I'm sorry if I may be cutting into an ongoing conversation, but after reading some of the accounts here of what may have affected various visitors to these forums and their livelihoods, I feel as though I have to get my own story off my chest. It's nothing like some of the other heart-wrenching stories I have borne witness here, however, so be prepared to be a bit disappointed as I try to jot down my abstract thoughts.
I can barely remember anything of my life as a toddler. Primary school in my hometown of Dalby was relatively quiet (two of my fellow classmates that I knew over the years, in hindsight, remind me quite strongly of Lilly and Hanako in both demeanor and personality), but I moved schools about halfway through my secondary education. I was lucky to have known a few of my classmates from a Christian youth group I attended, but it was still relatively difficult to adapt to a new environment. I also contented myself with computer and tabletop gaming (even went up against someone younger then me who could thrash me at chess!), reading (especially Shakespeare),
Unfortunately, just when I was on the verge of my final year, about six years ago, things went rapidly downhill.
My mother, who had inherited a genetic disease known as PKD (polycystic kidney disease/disorder), was hospitalised after complaining about pain in her shoulder and, though I can't remember why, she had to be transferred to a hospital in Brisbane, about 3 hours drive from my hometown. Finally, after five months of trying to struggle with both school and having to be temporarily transferred to the care of a friend's family - just one evening after it looked like she might have gotten better - my mother was forced to be hospitalised for the last time.
She had undergone the final stages of end-stage renal failure - I was, metaphorically speaking, forced to watch as my mother, who was only 46, finally passed away. Me, my father and my then 11 year old brother were utterly shattered; all I could do was to bury my head in school work, both in order to try and remain on track with my education and, in hindsight, maybe a way to try and deal with the agony of losing a third of my immediate family.
I had thankfully managed to graduate within the top 20 OP grades of my grade at the time, but in order to do that, I had to bury a lot of my initial grief, anger and anguish over the whole experience. I had literally sworn over my mother's grave that I'd graduate with an excellent result and, just after the end of graduation day, I broke down and wept out on the concrete outside the hall.
The final nail in the coffin for this whole episode was what my family found out about two years later after both me and my brother were tested by a doctor: however unlikely it might seem, BOTH of us had genetically inherited PKD; I was unfortunate to have developed the advanced strain of the disease. All that could be done was to try and keep it treatable, but, for the immediate future, there is no cure for the disease.
While I am currently studying for my final year up in a Brisbane university, I am still scared by the implications of this whole incident. While I did take away some positive experiences from both my life and from reading KS, I still have that question nagging me in the back of my head: will I still be alive within the next 20 years?
Sorry if none of this makes sense or is irrelevant to the original topic - I just felt I needed to vent. I could elaborate on the specifics, if need be, at another time.
Tha gaol agam ort, Lilly. Slàinte mhor a h-uile là a chi 's nach fhaic.
"I think I can hear SlientCook building more Sorry Corners from the remains of cooked threads to cope with the demand."
- Rhodri, 07/04/2015