Today was a long day.
First, I arrived on campus this morning only to find that my reserved accessible parking spot was completely filled with snow, with nowhere near enough space for me to actually park my car. Boo.
Then, I went to my first class. It was long, but not awful. At the very least, it was great to see my social work fam again.
After that, I had to get to my second class, which meant walking from one campus to another (for real, the buildings are super far away from each other). By the time I got there, I had a partially dislocated hip, a dislocated knee, a dislocated shoulder, and one seriously sore back. I ended up in tears talking to my professor, and by the end of the class she was insisting that I not walk back to the library, no matter what. She arranged for one of my classmates to drive me back, and recruited a few more of my peers to make sure that I accepted the drive, regardless of whether I wanted to or not. Despite my vehement objections, I got a ride back to the Killam, where I sat with friends until my third and final class of the day.
That third class? It’s in an awful room. The desks are attached to the chairs, and the chairs are so narrow that I barely fit into them. So, it should come as no surprise that when I settled into my seat at the back of the room, I suffered yet another injury: A rib subluxation.
There was a pop, and then so much pain, and suddenly I was gasping for air. It hurt to breathe, it hurt to move, it basically just hurt to exist. My body had clearly decided it was done for the day.
My mind, however, disagreed (more on that later). Naturally, I decided to try and wait it out.
So I sat in the back of the class, one friend on my left rubbing my back and trying to convince me to go to the hospital, another on my right asking every few minutes if I needed anything. As it started getting harder to breathe, and I started to get more and more dizzy, I felt myself starting to panic. I grabbed my friend on the left, said I needed to leave, and both tried to help me up, pick up all my stuff, and help me out of the room. I nearly collapsed in the aisle, but eventually (with help) made it into the hallway, where I reluctantly sat down.
After that, I was temporarily surrounded by a group of concerned classmates, all of whom told me I should go home. I tried to argue, but eventually let a friend drive me home (in my car, which I was unable to drive).
As I said, it was a long day.
See, in my head… I’m still capable of so much more, you know? Physically, I mean. I sometimes still think of myself as the 16 year-old Tier 2A soccer player. I feel, in my mind, like I can do anything. So I push myself, often to my own detriment, and I refuse to accept help when it’s offered. I get stubborn, and sarcastic, and I try to joke my way through the pain, and the frustration, and the anger.
But here’s the thing.
That doesn’t mean I’m not grateful for the caring, and the concern, and the support… because I am.
So, to my social work fam – who stuck with me today, and who cared for me when I refused to care for myself: Thank you. I see you, I appreciate you, I love you, and I don’t know what I would do without you. I know I’m stubborn, and I know I push too hard sometimes, but I promise you I’m doing the best I can. I’m not good at having all eyes on me, and I’m not good at asking for or accepting help… but trust me, I love y’all for giving it to me anyway.
I really, really hope you know that.
– Stephanie, ECC