Aspiring freelance blogger focusing on normalizing openness related to mental health difficulty, body image and how these topics pertain to race, gender, and socioeconomic status.
For most preschoolers, going to the doctor’s office meant a general check-up, the occasional “I don’t want a shot” tantrum, and a few free stickers and a lollipop after the visit. When I went to the doctor’s office in preschool, it usually meant throat cultures, blood draws and another antibiotic prescription. At around age 4, I began contracting strep throat at least twice per year even with minimal exposure.. When I contracted my first streptococcal infection, I presented with normal symptoms--sore/irritated throat, nausea, and a fever. However, as I continued to contract this bacterial infection repeatedly, I began to show uncommon strep symptoms that presented more like the common cold. Due to this, it became increasingly difficult for my parents and caretakers to recognize the infection. It was perplexing for my family and doctors. They monitored my symptoms closely each time I became sick and I was tested multiple times to determine if I was a carrier for the streptococcal bacteria. However, even with the close monitoring of infections I developed, it was sometimes impossible to tell.
"I woke up feeling as if I was falling from the sky again last night: head spinning, heart racing — I pulled my knees to my chest waiting for it to end. I felt my kitten lie down next to me and press her tiny, warm body against me, almost as if she knew that I was being attacked from the inside out. I talked myself out of going to the emergency room multiple times in that next hour, repeating over and over, “You’re ok, you can breathe” aloud to myself. As 4 or 5 a.m. hit, I finally fell back asleep after shutting off my alarms and giving up any hope I had the night before of making it to my morning classes.” (Fall 2015 — personal journal excerpt)