My Health Roller Coaster

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As I look through my room, I come across my photo album that I’ve been keeping over the past few years. I open it and the first few photos remind me of my very early childhood. As I look at these photos, I’m seventeen, but in these pictures, I’m only ten days old. I hope that I can have a normal health status like everyone else. Some people take their health for granted, but I know that I never will. I take everyday one day at a time and live each one to the fullest. I value my family greatly for supporting me through all of this. I enjoy being a teenager, playing sports, hanging out with friends, and playing the piano. I’m Connor Bartz, and this is my health roller coaster, one that I’m still riding on today.
I’m black and blue, sore from my delivery. They had to put these clamps on my forehead to pull me out, because I wasn’t coming out as planned. I’m lying on this bed, struggling to live. I hear no other children my own age. I’m wondering why I have all of these lines, needles, tubes, and monitors hooked up to me, in some way, shape, or form. I can’t sleep because all of these fancy monitors keep me awake almost all night. I constantly have to go to these other rooms for these tests. Apparently, these tests are called cat-scans, x-rays, and another test that’s called an MRI (whatever that means). They had to put me into this very long, narrow tube. Then they gave me some medicine that put me to sleep shortly after they gave it to me. Luckily I don’t remember it at all, but if they had to give me medicine to complete this test, that makes me know that it wasn’t a good test to be awake for, so I’m thankful that I was unconscious.

Although I don’t know how to count yet, I’m pretty sure that I’ve had more surgeries so far, that I can no longer count them all on one hand. Almost my whole body is aching now, mainly my head. Here a few days ago, after I had another one of my many surgeries, I woke up only to find a large cardboard box around my hands. I heard one of the doctors say that they didn’t want to have me ripping off anything that was attached to me, so I guess it was a safety issue.

I try to feel my head. It feels very soar. The minute I barely touch it, I hear myself crying due to the tenderness. When I did feel it however, I felt my skin was bulging around where they put this thing into my head. I also felt squishiness to it as well. It felt like there was water or some other liquid there, and I’m pretty sure that it shouldn’t be there. It hurts to roll around on my head, due to the tenderness. I can’t wait until it finally heals up and it doesn’t hurt so much, but as of today, I think that that day is still a ways off yet.

Apparently, all of the doctors that are working on me are confused. They don’t see how I’m doing so well. I don’t think I’m doing so well, because I’m miserable and soar.
I see many of my family members stopping in frequently to see as to how I’m doing. I’m thankful for that. I’m starting to know them real well, because I can remember their faces. I hope that when I get out of this hospital, that I can see them and learn to bond to them like all the other kids my age do at some point or another.

Finally, after what seems like spending an eternity in this hospital, I’m released to go home, and I only have to come back if I still am having problems. They sent me home with this breathing medication for whatever reason. Ever since I started to use it, I’m finding it a lot harder to breath. I loved it when my mom would feed me, because she had to take it off, and I could luckily get back some of the breath that I’ve lost. I feel very suffocated while wearing it. We went back to the hospital shortly after my mom discovering this problem. When the doctor looked at the prescription he put me on he realized that he overdosed me. That’s why I could barely breath. That mistake could have ended me my life at some point, had they not noticed it. I’m thankful however, that they caught their mistake; I just hope that in the long run, that this breathing problem won’t affect me.

After that visit to the hospital, we only have to go back for temporary follow-ups, just to make sure that I’m doing all right, which I’m definitely thankful for. The doctors seem to see improvement in me overall, which puts a smile on all of their faces.
I’m starting to crawl, make out words in this language called English (apparently that’s what it’s called). Although most words I don’t understand, I learned the words mommy and daddy and I’m learning more and more as the days go on.
One day, we were riding down the road to go somewhere, when I got this strange sensation. All of a sudden I couldn’t see that well. I started to throw up. The next thing I knew, I was unconscious. After experiencing this, we were back at the doctors once again. My mom described as to what happened and they said that I had what was called a seizure (whatever that is). He told my mom that we see this commonly in children who are going through problems similar to mine. They decided not to do anything, but told my mom to keep an eye on it.
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I’ve been doing well lately. I’m now seven, and at home going to a local school in our town. However, recently, I had another surgery. They decided to put another shunt in (apparently that’s what they call it.) They did this to see if this would take care of the problem with my seizures. Shortly after this surgery, I have had more since then, and it only seems to happen more frequently as time goes on. Hopefully, I end up out growing this problem, but as of right now it’s definitely hard to say if that will end up happening or not. They’re really thinking of putting me on seizure medication, but as of today, they haven’t. Being that I don’t want to go on medications for my problems, I’m very thrilled that they haven’t so far, and I hope that it stays that way.
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I’m now sixteen years old now. Recently, we went to play basketball with some friends of ours, out to our local community college. I got bumped in the head and have had a headache all weekend, which I know isn’t right because I rarely get headaches at all for that matter. So we went back to the doctors, and I’ve now had at least six surgeries to once again try to solve my problems. I now have a new neurosurgeon to try and solve my problems, but he’s just as confused as the doctors I had in the past. We heard of this neurosurgeon doing a great job on a cousin of mine on my mom’s side of the family. Being that our last neurosurgeon wasn’t doing us any good, we decided to switch so that we could at least get a second opinion on my current health situation. Nothing medically has made sense since the first time we saw him, but he’s never given up on me, and neither will I on him.

To this day we still haven’t completely figured it out yet, but I still keep my hopes up that it will one day be completely solved. I do feel a lot better, but I still don’t feel 100 percent just yet.





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