By Clare Almand
27 Feb

Not Corrected

Monday, February 27, 2012

Ever since I was born, following a surgery, friends, family and acquaintances would ask my mother, “Is she OK now?” or “Is she all fixed up now?” And my mother would always say, “No.” I think it was difficult dealing with the same question over and over again and not wanting to have to explain that her daughter had something that couldn’t just be “fixed.” (And after reading this, my mother maintained that it is still difficult to answer that question as she still gets asked that even now).

It’s one of those things that I have trouble putting into words. I’ve been through a lot. And there was a time when I felt betrayed because I did think that I was fixed, only to find out years later, however, that wasn’t the case at all.

Still, I am very lucky. I’ve had so many surgeries that it’s not something that I fear. I will be in the hospital again. I will have surgery again. I will probably have issues with bleeding after surgery again that will make me turn into the terrible patient that I so often am. And I’ll be really mad about it for a little while. Then I’ll get over it and move on.

But instead of dread for the future, I have a serious confidence issue. I think I’m kind of a big deal. And when I walk into a room, even if I don’t know anyone else there, I assume that I’m probably one of the most amazing people, if not the most amazing person, in the room.

That kind of confidence might sound off-putting. Just to be clear, I’m not on some ego trip. I am quiet, unassuming, polite and non-confrontational. But I know that I am incredibly strong mentally and physically. I don’t go around announcing to everyone that I’ve had 10 heart surgeries and have been through things they can’t even imagine. I just use that knowledge to propel me forward during times when I’m not sure I can handle whatever is going on in my life. Because the biggest concerns in my life right now are not heart-related. And that’s kind of amazing for someone who’s not corrected.

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