It may well be true that everyone is more than just your roots (and it is very true that who you are today is your roots plus all of the adventures you have had since then… all of the things that have happened to you… all of the days and nights, rain and snow and sun.. every place you have been, everything you have seen and every experience that you have experienced.
But it is also true that who you are all stems, sometimes very directly, from all that you learned when you were very young. Sometimes what we learn destroys our spirit. Sometimes what we learn means that we are battered both in body and in spirit. Sometimes we learn to fear. Sometimes we find in ourselves a taking these formative years and becoming stronger, sillier, and to become like a snowdrop (looking more delicate than you are proven out to be).
There are certain periods of time that I remember with amazing clarity. The first time I was able to successfully read a mercury thermometer (gasp… mercury… what we did to ourselves… mercury encased in glass… nothing like now). I felt horrible. I took my temperature and it was 102 degrees. I took it more than once before I fessed up to anyone. I was immediately told that I was incapable of reading the thermometer. I was probably running it under hot water in the sink. I was trying to get attention. I ended up in the emergency room that night. Turned out I wasn’t trying to get attention.
Several years later, I remember that I told everyone that my right side hurt. I learned that you tough out feeling crappy but it was weird that it hurt for days and days. I was, again, trying to get attention. It was my imagination. It was just a girl thing. It was really nothing and I should just suck it up and get on with the business of life. We went to Buffalo to Roswell Cancer Institute for my Aunt’s appointment. I spent most of the time laying on blankets in the walk in closet on the floor feeling crappy, but not talking about it. I went to the doctor a couple times. They gave me a couple highly scientific tests… they had me jump down off the table in the office to see if I landed on two feet. If I did, I was probably fine. I did. I was trying to get attention. I was imagining it. I was spending too much time reading and writing. I needed to get out and work in the garden and I would feel better. They finally did blood tests and my white count was amazingly high. They decided to do a laperoscopy. Turned out that my imagination was a four inch long appendix.
I think about these things and realize that there are a lot of reasons why I didn’t go to the doctor as soon as maybe I should have when I started to feel not right and when I started to hurt when my eventually to be diagnosed RA started to really be affecting me. I should have gone a year sooner, my Rheumy told me. A YEAR sooner. If I had gone sooner, I would probably have been better able to treat it because it would have only had a toe hold, not a vice grip on my joints.
Sometimes you are a lot of what you learn to be.
Sometimes you hope someone else can learn from the mistakes of your past to keep from having anything as bad happen.