• By: Kala Grage

Dear 2010 Kala.

First of all, let me teach you about grammar and spellcheck… Only kind of kidding – future you isn’t a jerk.

More importantly, let me tell you about that heart rate of yours… It’s not going to fix itself. Doctors are going to tell you it will. They’re going to say you’ll grow out of it. They’re going to tell you to get more exercise. They’re going to look at you like you’re crazy when you say that you black out from time to time. They’re going to tell you that you’re not drinking enough water. They’ll say you’re EKGs are fine, so there’s nothing to be concerned about. They’ll say things like “you don’t want a diagnosis on your file at this age, you don’t want that label.” And they’ll even pass you on by saying “I’m not sure – come back if it gets worse.”

Eight years later, I don’t remember what I did on July 3rd, 2010 to make this realization, but I can say it wasn’t the first time or the last. Remember in seventh grade math? We were learning things like miles per hour and beats per minute. Fractions (or something I can now google or do on a calculator even though they swore it’d never be an option…). Remember how your heart rate was almost double everyone else’s? You didn’t mess up. You’re not stupid. You’re capable of counting. Your body was and is different from the rest of the class.

Remember in eighth grade when you stayed home from school once or twice a month because of migraines? Or in ninth grade when people didn’t understand that it wasn’t “just a headache?” Or in tenth grade when that nurse that came into your health class, checked your pulse and blood pressure and then promptly told you to bring it up with your MD next time? Or in 11th grade when you felt so ashamed of that holter monitor at school? Or in 12th grade when the specialist said what you were experiencing wasn’t that bad? Or when you were 20 and your doctor started you down the anxiety path?

All of that fight was worth it.

Because this year, eight years later, we stood up for ourselves in the doctors’ offices. And they looked at me and our files and said “You’re right. This isn’t in your head. Let’s figure it out together.” And we did. And now we have a team of people who listen and want to help.

Don’t listen to the people who will try to tell you how you feel is normal. There’s nothing normal about blacking out. There’s nothing normal about sleeping all day. It’s not normal to be dizzy. It’s not normal for your veins to practically be busting out of your skin. The “not normal” list goes on, girl. You have no idea. You deserve to feel better than that.

Fight hard and take care of yourself, ok? It’s going to be a tough road, but the person it’s going to make you is worth every harsh appointment and every horrible prescription.

Hang in there!


future & diagnosed Kala

To read more from Kala please visit her blog: www.whenlifegivesyoupots.wordpress.com

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