Senior Year: Changing the Impossible to Possible

Posted: August 23, 2013 in Dysautonomia, Mikaela's Words, Uncategorized

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August has arrived, and it’s that time once again where school is now starting up. I know that with other hidden teens, besides myself, this time can be a difficult one. It’s hard to swallow that you are going to miss out on yet another year of school. It makes you wish that you could just be ordinary and while the “normies” (normal teens) may groan and not look forward to starting school again, us hidden teens would do anything to be able to.

I am entering my senior year and will be homeschooled this year (instead of homebound through the school district); basically the last few pages of a major chapter in my life. For awhile, the blues had a grip on me and images of me having fun at football games, back playing the violin in orchestra, freaking out on finals week, and most of all -walking across a stage in a cap and gown – swirled in my head. It all tugged at my heart, and even though my past high school years hold no meaning due to me NOT actually going to school, I sometimes struggle with the fact the choice of going to school was taken away from me due to my health.

Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy being homeschooled.  I get to dive deeper in subjects that interest me and get to work around my bad dysautonomia symptoms days.  I just miss the gift of having a choice.  Normies – love your ability to have so many choices!  Regardless of the what could have beens, I still would like to have a memorable and special senior year. So that was when I became determined to get rid of the blues and just a few weeks ago was when I came up with an idea.

I was watching the Last Holiday with my family (one of my favorite movies) and I once again became inspired by Georgia’s “Book of Possibilities”: a book with all of the things she wants to do and places she wants to see. In one of our previous MHHA outreach meetings, we created something similar by putting together dream journals for us all to record our long term goals and dreams. However, as I watched the movie I began to think – why not create a type of “Book of Possibilities” specifically for senior year?Mikaela, Dysautonomia and School

By doing this I can have a number of things to plan and look forward to. And as I go through everything on my list, I can take pictures and record all of the fun shenanigans, trips, and things I do so I can eventually put it all together in a scrapbook. With this idea, I can look back on my senior year and see memories and meaning – instead of just Dysautonomia world filled with hospital trips, doctor appointments, physical therapy and plain not feeling good on most days with the reality that sometimes even getting out of bed without pain is an impossiblity.

So after that movie night with my family, I sat down and began to write in my Dream Journal my Senior Year goals and dreams. The “Book of Possibilities” was being formed into my very own “Book of I HAVE POSSIBILITIES”

My list ranges from a variety of ideas and is a combination of small tasks I want to do all the way to big dream trips I would like to take if money was no object and health was decent. Here are some examples:

Drivers Test1. Finally get a drivers permit and license (and hopefully maybe a car at the end of the year?) Wishful thinking!

2. Take a road trip and visit New Orleans (Love love love cajun food!)

3. Bring appreciation goodie bags to the hospital staff at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.

4. Start playing the violin again and learn how to play the piano

5. Try every single recipe in an Emeril Legasse (one of my all time favorite) cook book

6. Become fluent in Spanish

7. Get a henna tattoo (for no other reason than I love the beauty of the designs)

8. Have a Christmas Secret Santa party

9. Rent a limo for me and my fellow hidden teen friends for the 2nd annual Anti-Prom 2014

373043_329156207211715_1073428225_n10. Have an intimate graduation ceremony with my friends and family who have stuck with me throughout this journey.

Even though I will have my bad dysautonomia flare days that will pull me down, I’m so determined to push through and have a good time either way. My thinking is: no, it won’t be a traditional year with the running around the high school, going to the games and dances and graduating with a class. This realization does not mean, though, that I can not make something meaningful out of this senior year and have it special in my own way. I really look forward to adding onto my list throughout the year and what it could bring.

(Homeschool community is fairly new to me, but I have been very encouraged by how welcoming everyone is. And there are so many homeschooling families! I look forward to seeing how my chronic illness world can socialize on a hopefully semi regular basis with the local homeschooling groups.)

Whether you are entering your senior year, your first year of college, or any other grade for that matter; what is your own “Possibilities” list? It doesn’t matter how extravagant or small your goals you would like to do are. Sometimes the small things can have the biggest impact.

Make yours how it would best benefit you, what interests you and most of all what brings you happiness. Write them out and get motivated to try to carry out as many as possible. Hopefully this can help you if you struggle with the school blues as I definitely have.

I wish everyone good luck on their school year, and you are all in my prayers for The Lord to bring you strength, light, and for many “good” Dysautonomia days to head your way!

For more Mik’s Hidden Hearts Alliance updates, check our website at: or our Facebook page here.

We help teens and their families who have Dysautonomia and other life changing hidden illnesses.

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  1. Cyndi says:

    Mik this is a great article babe and is truly the thoughts of so many suffering from dysautonomia as well. Say prayers for Caitlin as she is going to try and return to school for her senior year, that is her dream and goal at present. It is going to be hard and she has done a lot to prepare for it, so all thoughts and prayers are welcome for her success.

  2. spiffyangela says:

    This is an excellent post, and a brilliant idea. This will be my third school year not going tophysical sschool.

  3. JillinoisRN says:

    It’s so true- people need to realize how fortunate they are; nobody knows when life can take a 180 degree flip, and make everything different.

    I look back, and I started having symptoms in my teens (1970s). I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 33 years old in 1996, and I’m going to be 50 in a couple of months 😮 Where did time go? I miss my ‘old’ life, when I could still work as a nurse, go to restaurants without my ice vest, and take day trips to various places- enjoying the simple things.

    It sounds like you’re making the best of what you can do- and that is incredibly important. 🙂

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