Things were fairly calm aside from my foot and chest until I turned thirteen. Halfway through my first year of high school it started to become increasingly painful to sit for the entire school day -to be more specific – my ribs began hurting me too much to do so. This became steadily worse for weeks until eventually I was calling home in the middle of the day, and then eventually missing days at a time because of the pain. On a few different occasions I even went to the ER because the pain was so intense.
I finished the school year at home but unable to accept that this was to become my routine -my life- at the beginning of grade nine I enrolled back into the school. This would be the same heartbreak all over again. I only lasted a few weeks. I can remember being picked up from school by my mom and us having a conversation that solidified what I already knew -this wasn’t working. I remember the sky was grey, dull, -as was my mood. Tears slid down my cheeks as I stared out the window trying to dodge my mom’s sympathetic gaze. I knew that I had to accept the fact that whether I wanted it to or not, it just wasn’t going to work. So, shortly after beginning my high school experience, I had to come to terms with the fact that this was the end of it. This was all that I was going to get.
Eventually, after pushing for every kind of test possible and being told by many pediatricians and specialists that teenagers just don’t suffer from chronic pain – which would mean that I was a faker – we finally got an answer and a diagnosis. I was told that I had a connective tissue disorder, most likely to be and most similar to Marfan Syndrome, and that excruciating rib pain was certainly not unheard of when placed with the disorder, no matter the age. Placing my symptoms with my disorder, I was told that I was suffering from costochondritis, basically, inflammation of the cartilage of the ribs. I was also told that some of my rib pain may also be from actual tearing of the cartilage and tissue due to the faulty and weak connective tissue seen in Marfan Syndrome.