Yesterday, I decided to make my debut back into the real world. That means I went somewhere that didn't involve people wearing white lab coats and/or scrubs, hospital waiting rooms and exam tables covered in paper that crinkles loudly whenever you move. I went to... a volleyball game.
Ok, so my siblings practically got on their knees to beg me to go and came up with every reason they could think of to convince me of why I should go. They didn't have to do much convincing because going out to a volleyball game to watch my siblings play sounded a lot better than staying home by myself watching a movie or playing my iPod.
I had envisioned a fun day, watching my siblings play and cheering loudly for them, having enough energy to stay out the whole day, and not having a lot of people come over to talk about kidney/health related stuff. Of course, I expected them to be happy to see me and ask me how I was doing but because we're at a volleyball game, they're going to have other things to do so then I wouldn't have to get into some long conversation about how I'm feeling, how long I was surgery, how's my dad, how's my mom, how's the family, were you back for Thanksgiving, Christmas is going to be wonderful for y'all this year... You get the picture.
And there was no reason that it shouldn't have gone the way I had hoped, except for one thing that stood in my way. The mask.
Yes, the dreaded face mask that I'm supposed to wear whenever I'm out of my house around other people. For some reason, family members don't count, I guess. My brothers, kind-hearted as their intentions were meant, were all going to wear masks with me so I didn't have to do it alone. But the two that were playing quickly found a reason to ditch the masks before we even went in the building and the last little brother made it through the front door but lost his as soon as he got the first odd stares. It's not easy being different.
I was able to keep my mask on with a few people outside the gym, but as soon as I walked into the gym and found my seat on the bleachers, I couldn't take the looks anymore. Even though my mask was cute, even though I had an important reason for wearing it, even though I didn't know half of those kids in that room... I was too caught up in what people thought of me that I didn't keep it on. And then... I wished I had just stayed home because what happened next made me wish that the earth would have just swallowed me whole so I could disappear.
First, my parents were not happy with me at all and I got ugly with my mom about it. I'm grateful that she loves me, no matter what, and forgives me when I come into her room at night to ask for forgiveness for my attitude because I can't sleep knowing I was nasty to her about something that wasn't even her fault.
After that, a well meaning person decided to come sit right in front of me and ask if me and my dad were being good patients. Obviously, at that moment, I was not being a "good patient" and she then made sure to point that fact out to me by teasing and "harassing" (her words) me. And that was all before the first game even started! Things didn't get better after that. Let's just say, I got a huge lesson in self control and a reminder that being a responsible adult is not an easy thing. I never wished more that I could just disappear then I did during those two and half hours (give or take, not sure of the exact time) sitting on those painfully hard bleachers.
After the game, my mom brought me home, even though my siblings still had to practice afterwards and she was going to shopping with my dad. And that's what happened when I went out somewhere "non-hospital" and was trying to avoid staying at the house alone. As I was taking my shoes off in my room, alone in the house, thinking over the events of what had just happened and how hard things had been when all I wanted was to go cheer at my siblings volleyball game, I started to cry. Mostly because I was angry but partly because I was sad at how my "perfect, fun day" turned out. Then I watched a movie with the volume turned up loud so I couldn't hear myself think anymore.
Because of that, I have decided not to wear a mask anymore except to the hospitals. And my parents aren't going to take me anywhere (except to the hospital for appointments) for the next six weeks that I'm supposed to be wearing a mask. I don't expect anyone to understand but I just thought I'd let you all know that you won't be seeing me again for another six weeks unless I wear a mask and/or my parents let me go with them.
Life is hard, sometimes. It's tough being tough. I don't always feel like "hanging on" anymore. Maybe my decision will change, maybe I won't care so much about what other people think (or what I think). But for now... that's how it is.