So as you’ll all know I’ve done a letter blog post before,and that was to myself. But this time, it’s to someone I know. Let’s call her Laura. Laura is a teacher and my absolute anger needs to go somewhere, so it is going here. I would also like to say, anger may have consumed me, but I tried my hardest to be respectful, mature but also firm.
Dear Laura/Form Tutor,
I am writing this, because I am in utter shock at the absolute ignorance I recieved today, over something that has consumed my life, and is something that is none of your business. We’ll start with the background of it, shall we? And don’t think I’m doing the backstory for you, I’m doing it for my readers. Invisible Illnesses are illnesses that you can not see, but can be purely physical or mental. Examples of this are; Asthma, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Depression etc. Now, as you’ll know, surely as I confided in you most of last year, I am one of 100 million people that suffer from a whole list of invisible chronic illnesses. Now last year I was that consumed by so many illnesses, with so little help, I had to drop out. You knew this, as you were my supportive form tutor. I had doctor’s full permission to quit college and not sit my exams, talked about it and hoped to come back.
So, college started again 3 weeks ago, and I decided, yes I was going to come back. I wouldn’t let these illnesses completely take over anything, and get the A-Levels I truly deserved. I wanted things my way, I wanted to be isolated, and that was the only way I’d be happy coming back, as you learn you need to be independent when dealing with so many things at once, purely due to the fact it’s less stress coping with others. Lessons are A-Okay by the way, thankyou for never asking.
So of course, as you should know, invisible illnesses are like a trial and error. One morning I could wake up feeling fresh as a daisy, the other day my body could be stuck the bed, just as super glue can stick to wood. But I’ve felt perfectly okay the last few weeks until last week. I woke up Wednesday morning, okay-ish. The weather is changing, so I’m always aware I’ll have to start taking my inhaler more. So I got on the bus to college, my chest feeling tight but hey I ignored it, I’m an asthmatic, what do I expect. Got into college, and the change of temperature was drastic. And bam! My chest tightens even more, my oxygen levels are dropping and I’m panicking for air. I took myself, as an asthmatic should let’s remember, to the first person I could find and told them I believed I was having an asthma attack. I was then sent into hospital.
Do you know what the hospital said? They said it wasn’t an asthma attack, but something they class a a “bronchospam”. This is when you’re usually ill, if you’re asthmatic, your lungs will imitate an asthma attack to tell you “Hey girl, something’s wrong here”. That “something wrong” was a viral infection. After a few more tests, I was sent home with steroids, and I am now on antibiotics, and some pain relief, as it has triggered my chronic migraines (for those who aren’t aware, also an invisible illness).
Right, so I suppose we should get onto the actual reasons, I am sat here, with my large cup of cranberry juice and aggresively typing. I have missed 2 whole days in the past 3 weeks. Now I deserve a gold medal for this, as with the amount I go through, I’m quite surprised. One of these days, I came in and got sent to hospital due to a life threatening event, the second day was literally yesterday as my viral infection is bound to last two weeks, you know, due to having a weaker immune system but hey, that’s not okay! Anyway, I haven’t missed any other days, I’ve powered through, even the days were I’ve woke up and unable to lift my head off the pillow due to the massive pressure, I’ve forced myself into college. This is my final chance afterall.
The thing is, you’ve believed you’ve had the right to have an opinion on my business, which personally you don’t. Last thursday, I walked into college, missed form time again, as I had an asthma attack the day before, I was told I deserved to come in just for my lessons, which is what I did. And you know what I was greeted with? One of my friends who also attends these silly 10 minute form sessions, to tell me I was being spoken about infront of a whole room of people who, to tell you the truth, I could never tell you their names. The thing said was “Oh Amy isn’t here? How typical?” Now, yes that was typical of me last year, I don’t blame you for that. But I’m sure you were aware of what I had endoured the day before right? Since the office staff are quite brilliant, and left a note on the register for you to see? But maybe you didn’t check it because you saw my name, and thought it was so typical of me? Typical of me to think I was possibly dying? Do you know how serious an asthma attack? Do you know how it feels to know your life could be over any minute because your lungs don’t work as good as anyone else? No, you don’t.
The second thing I had to encounter, on a day where I did attend a form session, was you singling me out. “Oh, Amy!” as soon as you see me, gosh I know what a surprise I attended college when I have been doing soundly. So we continued with ours kills audit as usual. It got to the end of the session, and you asked to speak to me. Of course I knew what was coming as I needed to speak to you about why I missed form last week. But what I received, was a big lecture on attendance. An ignorant one if that. Especially since you weren’t listening to some of what I said, and assumed the worst of me. Now, for my readers, my timetable is a bit different to everyone else. I cannot attend history lessons due to the new specification, so I do my lessons outside of the timetable on MY own time. Now I have arranged this with the history teacher, but apparently I have not?
|Photo taken post Asthma Attack. Date can be proven on facebook.|
I arranged it for Tuesdays after college. Thankfully, my new nephew was born last week, and the only chance I had to meet him was last Tuesday. Now, I personally think seeing my new born nephew was a little important. Of course history is too, but I was going to make it up to my history teacher as I had all the appropriate work to give to him. As I said, I’m doing everything independently. But what you heard, was that I skipped college, in the day, to go and see my nephew, and had the decency to give me a sort of face as if I’m a terrible student. I personally think Laura, if you were in my situation, you’d do the same, am i right? After 3:15pm, is MY time, as Ive always said. And I missed this Tuesday’s session as you know, I had a virus and I was incapable of moving anything, and had severe symptoms (TMI).
I then went on to explain myself (which do I really have to do?) about why I missed last Wednesday. Again, why were you not aware of this? Or are you that ignorant? I stated how I had an asthma attack but did actually come into college beforehand. Well, it seemed you gave me another “eyerolling” look. I’m sorry, did my not being able to breathe, thought I was going to die, bother you in some way? I’m so sorry, but personally I dont think I should be apologising. You then went on to tell me how important attendance was, which I already know. You then went to tell me how it seems I’m going to end up being like last year. Now, I would of understood that if I missed maybe a week. But 2 days. I’ve even been doing extra work on my frees, but nope, not okay as I could of died.
This is what I’m on about. Teachers should be educated on a lot of things. Of course, teachers get training for dealing with mental health and learning disabilities. And this is the way it should be. But what about other conditions. Would a teacher know how to deal with a girl who has endometriosis and has a flare up one day? Would they know how to deal with a boy who is extremely tired due to having chronic fatigue syndrome? How about a person who has lyme disease? Do you even know what that is. I suffer with a whole list of things but apparently it doesn’t matter because I smile everyday. I can walk. I can talk normally. Well, you know what? It’s not. I still need to be recognised. There may be a day were I need to be calmed down. Did you know I have a hormone imbalance? So what would you do if I randomly started crying in the middle of a lesson? Or one morning I wake up with low serotonin levels and can’t get out of bed. Is that lazy? Should I apologise?
I cannot stop my body from being sick. I cannot make myself look sick. I should not have to apologise for having a de-evolutionised immune system.
But you know what you could do? Educate yourself.
And if you need help with that, just ask me, because trust me I have a whole list of resources.
I hope this is a learning curve for you.