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The Struggle of Facing an Unknown Future Due to Illness in My Senior Year

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I’ve always loved learning. Like, really loved. I thirst for every drop of knowledge I can get. But the past few years as my brain fog has gotten worse, I’ve had a real problem retaining and recalling information. It’s like I’m standing in thick fog and can feel what I need, but can’t see it. I often can’t even get through the simplest of tasks. It’s as if a part of me has died.

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I’ve always loved science particularly. Since I was 5 I’ve known I want to go into zoological sciences. As my physical health has deteriorated, I’ve had to cut apart my dreams sliver by sliver.

I can’t do veterinary medicine since my muscles tremor, especially in my hands. I can’t do field work, as walking across the house is exhausting. I’ve had to come to terms that some of my dreams can’t be a reality for me. Piece by piece, my dreams fall to the ground.

My health took another nosedive almost two years ago. More things have become impossibilities. I’m in my senior year of high school and I have no concrete plans for next year. Nothing is ever certain anymore, which is frustrating beyond measure.

I’m not positive I’ll be able to handle a full college course load. I don’t even know if I’ll be able to work a job. It’s heartbreaking. I’ve always wanted to make an impact on the world, solve problems. But there’s a very real possibility that my academic path and career will end before it really begins.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” It’s a question every child has heard. It eventually transitions to “What are you planning to do when you graduate?” Seems like a harmless question, but now, for me it’s just painful. I don’t even know how to answer. This stranger doesn’t deserve the weight of my problems, but how do you even answer that? “Oh I’ve always known what I want to do but now I can’t because my body is eating me alive.” Not quite what’s expected.

Thinkstock photo via LSOphoto.

Originally published: October 21, 2017
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