As spring break approached, I did everything I could to avoid answering that dreaded question: “What are you doing over break?”
“Oh, I’m just taking a short trip and then going home and resting,” I told most people.
But the whole truth is that I’ll be sitting in my doctor’s office for two days hooked up to an IV to get a bunch of people’s antibodies poured into my body. The truth is that I desperately need this treatment so that my own bad antibodies will stop attacking my brain. The truth is that I’m going for my second round of IVIG to hopefully wipe out this disease once and for all.
As I’ve listened to classmates discussing their cruises, beach outings, road trips, or even their plans to remain at school, I’ve found myself feeling resentful. It isn’t the fact that I don’t get to spend the week on a beach with my friends—it’s the fact that I don’t have the freedom to choose not to do so. My symptoms are severe enough that the only reasonable spring break for me is to get more treatment. What can I do? I have to go back for IVIG.
With so many emotions—hope, fear, anxiety, and more—I stepped into a cab after my last Friday class and headed to the airport to go home. But it wasn’t that easy: my mom had to call the cab for me, because my social anxiety has been so bad lately.
Getting through the airport to go home was even more difficult because of my brain fog. These days, I walk around with a constant sense that I’ve forgotten to do something or that I’ve lost something. And sometimes, I get very confused by everyday things. Getting through an airport in that state was truly an accomplishment.
As I finally sat at my gate, amazed at how “off” and not completely present I was, I knew in my heart of hearts that, in spite of how much I wished to have a “normal” college spring break, it was time to go home.
Yes, I’m ready to be brought back.
Oh, IVIG, please bring me home. Bring me back to who I am. Bring me back to the days when OCD didn’t force me to make everything “just right.” Bring me back to the days when I wasn’t afraid of everyone. Bring me back to the days when I wasn’t in constant pain. Bring back my memory. Bring back my concentration. Bring back my mental clarity. Bring back my mind. Bring back my health. Most of all, bring back my hope.
One way or another, I’m going home. It may not be this flight, this trip, and this treatment that gets me there, but somehow, I will find my way. I’m going to go home. Something, someday, will bring me back.