Hey friends, I know its been quite a long time since you heard from me, this is why… I hate the 4th of July. It is the one day every year I am in a rotten mood, I cry and get mad and throw things… I am not fun to be around.
My life was pretty average, but at age 15 that all changed. It changed on July 4th 1995.
Me as a baby
Before: I was always different, that much I knew, but there was never a clear reason. I knew from a very young age, maybe 5 or 6 years old. I started to go out of my way to become different so no one was aware I was already different. In junior high I started to talk backwards. Instead of do you want ice cream, it was do you want cream of ice. I complimented people for calling me weird.
Dad swimming with me
Junior High and Freshman Year of High School were pretty bad for me. I was really tired all the time, I was always thirsty and I had started to get migraines about everyday. At this point I would have
3-4 water bottles in my backpack. I would drink 3 or 4 of the bottles during a single class and in the few minutes between classes I would fill up all the bottles and go to the restroom. I was always thirsty. My lunches would consist of multiple sodas, juices and water and some food.
I would come home and would sleep until dinner and then do my homework and go back to bed. I never slept well since I would be drinking and going to the bathroom every hour.
My mom was always up early and in our house you needed to be up, dressed and ready for whatever at a decent hour. Mom was up at 7 and I would stumble down the stairs in my pj's hours later, on Saturdays I would not wake up til early afternoon unless I was woken up by my parents or brother. For many years it was always a struggle to wake up and even with an alarm clock and my parents it would take a lot to get me out of bed and even longer till I was awake.
The summer before my freshman year in high school started with marching band…the biggest mistake in my life. We would march for hours every morning and we had a break in the early afternoon and then more practice later. We only got drink breaks every hour or so and there was no bathroom nearby, it was the worst summer of my life. I never was good in the heat and that summer my mom would pick me up after practice and put me into an ice water bath. I really don't remember much from that summer, but it was horrible and that is when I started to really go down hill
Hanging out with my dad and baby brother J
I was never a big eater, my dad called me a bird (picking at my food like a bird). I was always full on drinks. But I kept gaining weight. Yes I did have a crazy sweet tooth and I would eat candy or drink soda more than I should have. But I kept gaining weight and I was always too tired to work out or even just to play outside. I had always been tired and never had any energy. I was lying to my parents about my sleeping at an early age. I would say I was going to play, read, or do homework and I would shut the bedroom door and fall asleep on my toys, books, barbies or homework. I therefore became a light sleeper, always listening for someone to come up the steps or open the bedroom door. I am sure I was caught a few times.
At 15 I had so very many problems but my doctor just thought I was lazy and maybe not adjusting to High School. But my mom knew something was wrong. She made an appointment for me to see a specialist, and endocrinologist at Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis. This endocrinologist took one look at me and my (moon face) and scheduled me for a MRI, 24 hours with no food or drink and many other tests. The day was the 4th of July.
I guess I kind of thought it stupid but I invited my very best friend Lisa to join me at the hospital for a "sleepover". Poor Lisa. Mom (who wasn't thrilled with this idea) left to go home to a 4th of July party. The sleepover was pretty much a disaster. After dozens of attempts to get and IV into me they gave up and just let Lisa and me watch some movies and then I was taken to my MRI. They did finally get me hooked up to an IV and I had my MRI.
Lisa and I went back to the movies and games but by this time I was so thirsty I had started to sneak water from the bathroom sink (who was stupid enough to leave little Dixie cups in the bathroom?) I would take a cup from the bottom of the stack and drink from it and replace it. Funnily enough many years later I found out that my doctors had know that I was sneaking drinks that night.
Around 11 pm the doctor came in to see me. I knew something was wrong. He asked for my mom's phone numbers and where she might be. He wouldn't tell me anything even after I offered to call her for him. Mom drove back into Indianapolis right after the phone call and when she arrived in my room with a doctor or two Lisa was sent away. Bad news… I could tell my mom was crying. Bad news…
July 4th 1995 was the day I found out that I had a brain tumor
I will share more with you next week… Kate