What a whirlwind the past few months have been. It has been nothing short of painful and exhausting. Not only for me, but for those closest to me. As I sit here writing I can feel my thoughts spiralling and it’s hard to figure out exactly what to say and how to say it.
Firstly, I wanted to begin with a thank you. A thank you hopefully big enough to encompass all the gratitude I have for those of you who have shown me so much acceptance, love, and support through out this time. It wasn’t easy to bare my darkest parts on the internet-but through the acceptance and freedom I have found in this process; you all have granted me the biggest gift I have ever received. I have never felt more profoundly seen and understood. This journey with Osteogenesis Imperfecta has been challenging at the best of times, and everyday I become more and more proud to acknowledge this part of me that often goes invisible, or purposefully unacknowledged. For so long I have been repressing this huge part of my life and the learning that has come from this chapter feels monumental.
What has come to the surface are these deep rooted scars in relation to feelings of shame and fear surrounding my inability to accept OI. The amount of energy I have exerted into repressing the severity of the disease, its impact on my life, and the importance of honouring it and my body’s health on a day to day basis. I believe this has manifested because of a lot of contributing factors, but through this specific event surrounding my lower jaw, it has become apparent that it has historically been easier for me to avoid the doctors and the conflict I knew would be inventible. I was so avoidant of the check ups due to general discomfort, and now I wonder how this current situation may have unfolded differently with more regular monitoring.
I don’t plan to hold any judgement on myself, but I definitely have learnt the importance of taking my health into my own hands, and the bravery it is going to take to continue to pace head on into the next chapters of my life with an OI body.
Thursday was the day. The bridge is in. I have a full set of teeth again. Under the recommendation of my doctor we’ve left the hardware sites open (they are usually sealed with UV resin to protect the secure screw in sites) in case of emergency. If I notice any swelling or feel the slightest amount of discomfort I need to make an appointment right away. For the most part these small hardware sites are unnoticable and only require a little extra attention when flossing and cleaning, and the fact that my doctor even agreed to send me home with my lower bridge is the win here. Hear that? That’s optimism.
I’ve eaten pizza, sushi, salad, and raw vegetables of every kind. But more then any food item could have ever given me-what I feel is calm. Normalcy. An overwhelming sense of peace and being awoken by this painful experience. The back and forth between the hospitals, the financial burden, the emotional turmoil on my fiancé, my family and my friends and co workers. It’s felt like what started as something so insignificant ended up being explosive-and even through the worst of it all, I’m glad I can sit here and recognize the learning and growth that came from this time. I think it would be a dishonour to myself and my pain to return to the version of me that existed before this learning. If it was all for something, then I’m glad it was for this. I feel as though I am deeply connected to myself and my OI and I feel ready to change the paces moving forward. I love myself, and I will continue to nurture this part me. Even when it’s scary.
So what’s next for Made of Something Stronger? I fully intend on maintaining this blog and I’m very excited to see where it goes next. I’m eager to unpack and write about the many ways OI manifests in my life. I think that through this new perspective I’ve become aware of the work that remains in my healing. Where I find myself today feels a little like I’ve finally reached the summit of a challenging mountain climb, only realizing now the journey back is as treacherous-and there are many more peaks in the distance. (how’s is that for a dramatic analogy?)
I’m home. I feel at home in this body that I’ve grown so fearful and resentful of for the first time. I feel motivated to learn about her, to continue to accept and love her. I feel like me. I feel happy to share this with all of you, and to write this chapters close with these words feels a lot like a happy ending.