It has been much too long since my last post but here I am! And you won't believe what has happened! I'm going to school now!
I was accepted into the Medical Office Assistant program at UFV (University of the Fraser Valley) so I'm officially a university student - finally!!
I first planned to attend college right after I graduated from high school - 33 years ago.
Life took some twists and turns and threw me on my face a few times but I always hoped that someday it would be my turn to further my education.
In 2010, when I got sick with encephalitis and sepsis, I thought this dream would be over. My brain had sustained significant damage. My neurologist showed me my MRI that showed that my brain looked more like the brain of an elderly Alzheimer's patient and not that of a woman who still was going to accomplish so much in life.
I broke down and cried uncontrollably for a few minutes when I got that news but soon started asking questions, grasping for any shred of hope.
"What counts is what I am actually capable of, right? Not just what's on the screen"
My doctor agreed.
"The only thing that matters is that I CAN do stuff, right?"
I could barely speak through my tears but I needed to clarify a few things.
Again, my doctor agreed.
"So, it doesn't matter what's on the screen, right??? It only matters what I am doing?"
I was frantic and desperate.
"Yes, that's true", she said. "There is so much about the brain that we don't know. Whatever you are able to do is what's important"
I nodded my head, dried my tears and was determined to be capable of everything I'd been capable of before my brain took such a beating.
It took some time to recover. It didn't happen overnight. I would accept my progress and think I had come back all the way, but then I'd remember what else I wanted to do.
I took belly dancing classes as well as Hebrew classes because I had been told that dancing and learning a new language worked both sides of the brain so if I could accomplish both, then I knew that both sides of my brain were functioning well.
I would be kidding myself - and you - if I said that it was easy for me but I stuck with it. I took Hebrew because I thought that Latin based languages wouldn't be enough of a challenge and I wanted to push myself! Plus I was planning to take a trip to Israel so why not learn to say a few things?
I thought I had proven that I was fully recovered.
I had returned to work as an administrative assistant and was getting on with my life.
Then a few months ago I remembered that I had wanted to go back to school for real, not just to take interesting courses here and there.
At this point in time though, I thought I couldn't afford to dream of such things.
I took a deep breath and went to my local employment centre and explained my plight. I was not satisfied with my level of employment and frustrated that I didn't have the education to make a significant change.
I completed their long and involved application, almost giving up a few times. Each time I would remind myself that I need to go to school, I deserve to go to school, it has to finally be my turn to go to school.
I persevered with the application for funding and handed it in.......and waited.
I got inspired as I wondered about whether or not I'd get funded and I got more determined that I would be going to school - one way or another.
So I also applied for a student loan - not sure if I'd get it but also not sure if I'd get funded but I had to increase my odds of getting the funds needed for school. I was more determined than ever that come September, I would be in school.
I applied for the MOA program, got accepted and then had to do a couple of tests to see if my skills were up to the level required for the program. One test was a "Composition Placement Test" and the other was a typing test.
I have since learned that not only did I pass the tests, but my mark for the Composition Placement Test was actually outstanding!
My brain was definitely back! I qualified to take university courses!
Now I'm working through the second and third modules of the program. Medical Terminology is tough but I'm sticking to it, doing my homework diligently and reminding myself that I can do this
I have wonderful support from my family and friends. I am in a class of girls who are the ages of my children and I love it! It feels like the most normal place I could possibly be!
I just got my mark back for the first module of the program and I got 98%!
Yes, my brain is definitely back.
I keep saying this but I can't say it enough - YOU decide how your story goes. Don't let anyone else set your expectations for you.
It's not too late, you're not too old, you aren't too broken to get up and keep going to where you want to be.
I am living my dream - and I'm nowhere near done yet!
Linda blends warmth, wisdom and humour into every presentation. Enjoy the ride!