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Living with MD This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Theysent me a letter one day and I felt Death's hand clutch my throat. The letterlooked like any other, but I should have burned it the moment I saw it. The onlything that would have accomplished, though, would have been to lie to myself. Itwas the test results for a biopsy I'd had a few months before.

That wasthe day I discovered I was no, not dying, but living with muscular dystrophy.Suddenly, I had an explanation for the fatigue I'd always felt, the lack ofmuscle strength and low energy levels, and for the emotional overload that hit mefrom time to time.

I was thrown in with all these doctors, each one with adifferent expertise and set on telling me to jump when they said "Jump"and pee when they said "Pee!" Learning I had MD put a lot of pressureon me, and humor was my way of shrugging off the disturbance MD created in mylife.

With all the doctors, I had to either learn to work with people orhide in my room like it was a bomb shelter. The doctors told me I must go tophysical therapy, and I accepted that. So, from then on, I started going once aweek to get twisted into an incomprehensible pretzel. Some of those"torturers" however, turned out to be good listeners and, later,friends.

A lot of pressure fell on my family, also. At first, my momtreated me like I was dying. My parents went through a period of beingoverprotective and my sister resented me for the attention I got. People treatedme differently, and I didn't like it. This strengthened my opinion of equality.Classmates used to tease me because I wasn't fast enough or strong enough; theydidn't know brains are better than bulk.

There have been a lot of hardtruths for me to take in, and I had to learn to be honest with myself about mysituation. Denial wouldn't accomplish anything. I couldn't very well live in afunk for the rest of my life; I had to stop being depressed. I hear it takes alot more energy to be angry and depressed than it does to be happy, and I didn'thave enough energy to keep moping. So I used humor to lighten my situation. Ithelped me laugh again and see things in a better light. I used it when I wasnervous and when I needed to shrug off some of the fracas that came myway.

I still live in turmoil every now and then, but I have a morepeaceful state of mind. I've accepted my problem and am not letting it hinder metoo much. MD is not something I'd wish on anyone, but it's also not the end ofthe world. In my case, it alters some aspects of my life, but it doesn't stop mefrom living my life, either. I've become fairly open-minded from theseexperiences. I've had so many new things thrown at me, and because of it, Ibecame a walking change maker. I like to try new things and my friends havelearned by now that they will inevitably experience change when around me. I reekof it.

My life has been changed by muscular dystrophy, but I like to thinkit's for the better. I've learned to deal with life a little better and to faceit head on, and I've gained a lot of good skills along the way. If there's onething I've learned, it's this: Don't let something like this control your life.Let it change you, but for the better. Live your life with a smile and awillingness to try new things.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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reenay_95 said...
Mar. 11, 2011 at 9:43 pm:
This was a really good piece. Last fall I found out I had SAD and it's hard to control it from taking over your life.
 
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