I can be angry that life dealt me the Hydro card. I can curse everything under, around or above the sun…but, it won’t make a difference. 29 years old and living a reasonably sheltered life (as far as this condition goes), that’s the reality I faced before I read the words “Mild Hydrocephalus” on a CT Scan result, the reason for the daily headaches I had experienced since the age of 16. (A significant age, simply because that’s the first of two episodes when I had viral meningitis – the cause of my Hydrocephalus and the start of my journey).
The thing I realised a long time ago though, as much as we have freedom of choice, we don’t. There are certain things we don’t get to decide…
Like when we live or when we die, we don’t get to decide how either, nor do we get to choose the path we will walk from beginning to end. Most of it has been decided way before and without our consult. The only freedom we have is the attitude we choose to face each of these life events. This…I have come to accept. Therefore, my Hydrocephalus diagnosis (as much as I’ve rebelled against it all), I accept.
You see the thing is, (in time) I changed my mindset, my way of thinking, my approach and most of all my attitude. As I’ve gone each day, fostering new connections through technology, I’ve stepped into a new world. Walked through a door, which I never knew existed before.
Most people say that you shouldn’t let this condition define you…I agree. More importantly though, I think you should let it lead you to where it is that you need to be. I have always been a firm believer that we are all born for a reason and have a purpose to fulfil. It’s not glaringly obvious if you’re not looking but it’s there. For me, personally, it was literally receiving my diagnosis, leaving behind the country I love, with all my friends and family and, stepping way out of my comfort zone.
The loneliness of moving to a new country and being in unfamiliar territory, brought hidden feelings and fear to the surface. Feelings and fear, I didn’t exactly know what to do with. So, I decided to write. I started my blog and found my voice. It’s a voice that resonates with others around the world and quite honestly, this voice is the one thing that will have me uttering the words, “Thanks to Hydrocephalus, I’ve made connections with people across the world. I’ve found my purpose in life and there is so much more I still need to do. I am grateful for my diagnosis because without it, I would not be where I am today.”
So before you misunderstand, I’m not grateful for the countless surgeries, unpredictable nature, pain, misery, fear, anxiety, obstacles or anything else which is negative, that goes hand-in-hand with this condition. I’m not saying that I am happy to be living with a life threatening incurable condition. I haven’t lost all my marbles just yet…
I am saying that I choose to make the most out of the situation, that I choose to highlight and speak out about a condition which affects so many others around the world. I am saying that Hydrocephalus does in fact define the new life I have come to know. I’m not fighting against it, I embrace it…warts and all.
Do I really have any other choice?
I physically am not in a position to heal myself and change my diagnosis, no one is. But, I do get to choose my attitude which will, despite moments of weakness, be more positive than negative.
Finally, just because these are my views and attitude, does not mean that the next person living with Hydrocephalus has to agree and share my feelings. We’re all fighting a battle in our daily lives and no person can tell you how to do that…You have to do what works for You.