If you read this blog, you’d have to have only read the first and last words of each post not to be aware of how important my end of year exams are to me, and the reasons for which I want to sit them. I was told that I would screw them up by someone who had little faith in me and underestimated the power of my stubbornness. The determination to prove wrong not only this individual, but all the people who told me I wouldn’t make it through my first year of university, was stronger than even I ever imagined it would be – it still is. It has fuelled my existence for months. And 6/8 exams are through.
“Do you want to get out of here?” An involuntary smile (second one this week) spread across my face as I thought about leaving. Yes. Thank you. I thought as he went on about going home tomorrow and seeing my cardiology team in London urgently.
And then he looked at me. His brow furrowed. He listened to my chest, to my heart. He noted the swelling in my ankles and feet that still won’t go, and then he examined my abdomen and it is full of fluid (I look pregnant, but it’s actually something called ascites).
“Sorry to give you false hope, you aren’t going anywhere for quite a while” he said, a genuinely apologetic and very concerned and suddenly serious look on his face. I still didn’t catch on to what he was saying. My denial was stronger than reason. When informed that my blood pressure was 80/60 and that I had gained over a stone in water weight, the furrow in his brow returned and he began apologising, multiple times.
“Yeah you’re definitely not going anywhere for a while. We need to sort this out. We’ll increase the Ivabradine you’re on…” I don’t know what came next because I zoned out into a mad panic. I had finally caught on to what he was saying
“I have an exam on Tuesday morning” he pressed his lips together and sort of winced. I still tried to kid myself that what was coming next might be different,
He looked at me with eyes that said I’m sorry
“Am I going to have to cancel it?” The hope finally left my voice. He nodded,
And it all came tumbling down.
I haven’t cried. In a weird way I can’t even allow myself to be sad because now is so not the time to crumble. I will crumble when I get home. When I get out. When all my friends are done with their exams and I am not. When I look for support and am denied it again. I will cry until I can’t breathe. I will hurt so badly it will almost be physical. And I will do so alone, because there’s nobody left who could ever see me like that.
I said I’d sit that exam no matter what, but I’m not stupid. I can’t risk my life for… Pride? Stubbornness? A letter or two on a piece of paper?
My mum and I have already managed to have an argument today – or rather, I broke her all over again and I am so, so sorry for being such an appalling excuse for offspring.
The nurses here are nice, the porters are hilarious. I’m in a side room in the coronary care unit so I even have a TV…
But I’m terrified about not showing up for that exam. And there’s nobody left to go to about it.
My heart was failing but whole. Now it is broken too.
They can’t give me drugs to fix the water retention yet because my kidneys are stupid and my heart is ridiculous. I’m super, super annoyed at my heart right now. Yes, that feels like the right emotion – annoyed.
And absolutely gutted. But life goes on (I tell myself as I pause every ten minutes or so in a mad panic that the world will grind to a halt because I’m going to miss that exam and the uni will be all “I told you so” and kick me out) Other than that I’m strangely and overwhelmingly calm because what else can I do? There is no other way to be. The doctors are going to write me a letter explaining everything that is happening for me to give to the university. If I’m not supported by the uni, if I feel let down… I don’t know what I will do.
I may be calm now, but I won’t stay that way alone (I have some awesome friends but I’m as tired of bothering them as they are probably growing of being bothered and sharing in my distress) I’m back to hoping. Hoping someone, somewhere, pulls through (or my heart because y’know … That’d be brilliant)