It's Different Now

There is lots of medical literature out there that talks about how there are types of O.I. that experience a decrease in fractures at different times. And then there is information about hearing-loss that becomes more evident for people with O.I. at different stages. There is, I'm sure, also stuff about what happens when people with O.I. get older... things that I have clearly not bothered my head with. Yet.

I have been living that difference for at least the past 7-8 years. I haven't had a major fracture in quite some time (something that meant being in a cast for more than a month), and every time I have an x-ray of my chest/spine things are always "stable."My pulmonary tests don't waver far from the year before. My audiology tests reveal the same array of X's and O's on the audiogram. I am at that point of my O.I. where things are stable, and thank goodness for that!

When my friends ask me about fractures it can be difficult to explain to them what it's like. Particularly friends I met post-high school... they did not grow-up along side me, during the years when every two or three months I was in a cast. It's almost, in a strange way, like my friends post-high school are getting to know a different Sandy! Someone who is more willing to take risks, to go out, to party, to climb stairs to apartments, to trek through a blizzard, to do everything they do... because I am "stable" now. It is almost like having a totally different condition in a shocking way! I have found that there are things I could not possibly have been able to do as a twelve year-old without breaking my femur, that as a mid-twenty something I no longer think twice about. My friends post-high school don't come to visit me on inpatient floors, we do not spend our times together playing with TheraPutty, or seeing how long the other can stay balanced on the exercise ball.

It is a bit out of my league to explain the science behind this but I can offer some other insights. First is the most obvious: I am older. The liability for me to fracture a bone might not have changed, and I might still be just as fragile... but I certainly know more about my world and my body! I no longer have the same curiosity as my toddler or middle school self about what I can and cannot do. The temptation to try jumping into the bouncy-castle isn't as appealing when I know what might result. Secondly is that I have a better sense of the limits of what my body can and cannot handle. Those hundreds of fractures weren't just for the sake of archiving myself in hospital records! But each one taught me something about how much is too much, what it feels like right before a bone is about to break. And when that moment so much as pokes a finger at me I am quick to drop everything, to cease and desist. Thirdly, I am able to plan. It doesn't matter how much a classroom teacher, aide, physical therapist, parents may think to plan in advance for an incident where I might get hurt. Their planning will always miss some detail that only I will see, simply because it's my body, and my perspective. Being able to tell my friends "fine I'll go to the party, but someone needs to remain sober to carry me back down the three flights of steep stairs.." Or "okay we can go to Hong Kong and Macau but let's avoid the cobble stone paths if possible."

Things are different now and this is one of those times when the difference has been awesome. It makes me want to do as much as possible, get as much done as I can, cross off as many 'bucket-list' things as I am able to.. because I don't know when the next time things will be different again.

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2 Responses to It's Different Now

  1. I hear ya! Sometimes I forget that my friends (in adulthood) have never seen me injured/hospitalized... it's a weird concept to explain sometimes but it's also a good thing for me now :)

    1. Happy to hear that you're also in the same boat with me! Cuz it's like they say.. the more the merrier ;-)


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