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CMT - Charcot-Marie-Tooth Channel

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Growing Up With CMT
By Laura Moquin
(Page 3 of 4)

I couldn't go to my parents because I didn't know what to say. I was confused. The principal finally approached me about my grades. "You're about to lose your scholarship," she said flatly. I racked my brain for anything, something to say... Nothing came, so I simply promised to try harder.

A few months passed by and things felt a little better, but my grades did not bounce back. My 99 average had slipped down to an 85. My parents thought my AP classes were too tough. No one understood what was happening, not even me.

Finally, a mandatory meeting with the principal came. I sat outside her office wondering what I could say. I couldn't lose my scholarship because then my parents' would know something was really wrong. I couldn't lose my scholarship because everyone had expectations I should meet. I simply couldn't. How could I make her understand? I could imagine myself saying... oh principal, I have this disease I don't really understand. A few months ago I had this really painful surgery. I have metal bars through my toes and it's all I can think about. My arms are constantly burning from these crutches. I don't really know if the doctors know what's wrong with me it's really scary and I'm not going to get better. As simple as those words come out now, it was incomprehensible to me that she could understand. Those words were the farthest thing from my mind. I needed an excuse. I was desperate. I tried to think of something she would be able to relate to.

"I had this operation," I said not able to make eye contact.

"Laura, I understand but it's been a few months and you should be feeling better."

That was the problem. Most people thought a broken foot or leg would get better... but I couldn't. I wouldn't get better.

"They can't make it better, they don't really know what's wrong..." my brain was racing for something to say, "I have weird growths on my foot. They think I might have... cancer."

When the words came from my mouth I knew it was a lie. It was a total and utter lie. I felt sick to my stomach. It was just that I knew she would understand "cancer," not CMT.

Why am I pretending that I might have cancer? My brain was spinning... Why would I do that? I hated myself, but it got done what I needed. She gave me some more time. My lie bought me another semester.

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