I signed up for a “World Religions” course which started last week but it didn’t really start off as well as I had hoped for. Last weekend I came down with yet another urinary tract infection. When the symptoms started coming on Saturday afternoon I was not a happy camper. I have gotten a UTI now every month for the past three months and I am quite sick of them. On Sunday I was not feeling good at all and wasn’t sure if I was even going to make it to my first day of class. I decided I really didn’t want to miss the first day so even though the class wasn’t until 11:30 I woke up at about 7:30 to take care of my “business” and such. I still wasn’t feeling well, but I took care of what needed to get done and I headed off to Central Piedmont community college with my aid for my first day of class as a disabled individual.
Once at the campus I had my aid walk with me to class to make sure I could get there and everything. So far the campus is very accessible but it is rather annoying having to go back and forth up a ramp several times as other people simply take a few steps as I continue to wind my way up the short incline. Upon arriving at the classroom, my aid departed as he is not allowed to sit in the class with me, and I entered what has now become a foreign social situation. As I rolled into the classroom and the eyes all turned in my direction I did not feel the sense of confidence I used to have when strolling into class for the first time. Instead I felt the weight of self-consciousness. The situation still seems so wrong to me. Me, a disabled student surrounded by able-bodied kids all curious I’m sure of why I am the way I am. It’s like some alternate reality separate from the life I am supposed to be living.
I come across as this very confident and outgoing person but I’m actually very self-conscious and hang onto a lot of nervousness and anxiety. I tend to anticipate future events and brood over what the results are going to be rather than just being confident in who I am and knowing that I can handle almost any social situation. I don’t know why I always worry things are going to go horribly wrong because they hardly ever do and I have had repeated experiences that display my ability to get along with people. However, each day I went to class last week, I found myself more and more nervous. You would never know it once I’m in class as I participate in discussion and speak up with forthright ability. Once I’m fully absorbed in the social situation I had been anticipating I’m completely fine. Hopefully one day I will learn to trust that everything is going to be OK and my nervousness is completely pointless.
All in all, I am enjoying being in the classroom. The time leading up to arriving in class has not been fun but I find myself very interested in the subject matter while present and I feel a new sense of accomplishment after its over. Is not the same sense I’ve gotten after working out or water skiing. It’s a feeling of overcoming my fears of participating in a life of normalcy. I’ve done a great job of jumping into activities which I’ve never done before but I’ve yet to fully embrace activities that were once normal to me such as being in the classroom. Embracing more activities of normalcy should help me feel like I’m living a more balanced life which is necessary for my overall health.
Last week also finalized the beginning processes of all three of my possible future endeavors. I am on the waiting list for Beyond Therapy, I have a trial visit scheduled for Project Walk on July 24, and I got my MRI taken care of for Portugal. The MRI results will confirm whether or not I am a candidate for Dr. Lima’s surgery. The other day I was hearing some uncomforting stories about the Portugal surgery saying that some people have actually gotten worse. It made me feel a little less confident about pursuing the surgery but my participation is far from set in stone. Right now I am much more excited about Project Walk and I am very much looking forward to checking the place out in July. The woman I talked to over the phone for Project Walk sounded very enthused and told me from what she was hearing she thought that they would be able to help me make some progress.
As the air around here is getting more and more humid and the temperature is rising up into the 80’s, San Diego is looking pretty nice right now. My dad is getting really excited, my mom is nervous about the whole thing, and I’m somewhere in between. It seems the more I hear about San Diego the more I like the idea of living there. Hopefully it will meet all my expectations.