Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Great Return...The School Year Begins

Stop the presses! This week I did something that I haven't really done in the last 2 years, I went to school. Not only did I finally manage to walk through the front doors, but I made it through two complete days!

It was almost like being a rock star. I walked around the corner of the school to gasps, and hearing my name over and over again. My old school friends hadn't forgotten me, which was clear since I was surrounded by people coming up to welcome me back. It's a weird feeling to try to pick up where you left off when it's been 2 years, something worthy of an episode of the Twilight Zone.

Physically, I'm exhausted. I'm in pain. And I'm constantly overheated since the class is not air-conditioned and it's hotter than India here right now. Which also means I'm constantly dehydrated. It's similar to the song about bones, except:

"The overheating is connected to the... dehydration.
The dehydration is connected to the... dizziness.
The dizziness is connected to the vomiting.
And around the loop we go". 

Yet I'm still lucky. I, at least, got to experience my first day alongside everyone else. There are some kids who don't get to have this experience because they're in the hospital, or at home too sick to go, or in some type of treatment room. For once I was able to do something so incredibly "normal", that it's often taken for granted by so many of my friends. Two years away from everything has taught me to be a bit more thankful for the "normal" experiences that I do have. I may not be able to run around the school-yard with my friends, join any sports teams, or even participate in some classes with my friends (I am not allowed to do gym, and I haven't had a french class since grade 4), but I'm at least there with them.

Being away from school so much over the last 4 years, also presents it's own challenges. For example, at my school we start learning to play instruments in grade 4. My instrument of choice was the french horn, which my mom went out and bought for me. Now, let's pause and consider my instrument of choice in terms of my health. I am constantly dizzy and nauseated. The french horn, for those who have never played, requires a great deal of air control and extremely strong lip muscles. When I start to play, within minutes my dizziness has me on the floor. Holding a note for an extended length of time....I won't say impossible but certainly difficult. So, because my music teacher has to start me off from scratch, she has given me the option of changing my instrument. Thankfully my mom owns most of the instruments already, so I have the flute, clarinet, alto sax, or piano to choose from. Now to decide what the least physically demanding instrument would be!

Anyway, the big thing is I made it through the first week. It's such a huge accomplishment for me!

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