Today in Canada, it is Mental Health Awareness Day. Every call, text, and tweet with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk will contribute 5 cents towards mental health initiatives in Canada. Let’s end the negative stigma surrounding mental health, it’s not something that just happens to outcasts or weird people. Friends and family can go through the same thing and being open to the conversation can be a life-changer.
I filmed a Vlog to be a part of the conversation and to let people know that they are not alone.
It wasn’t until I was around 20 that I learnt why I was sick when I was around 4. Growing up I just periodically had to go to Sick Kids for checkups every year and I just assumed it was a regular routine thing for a growing child. I’m completely healthy now, whatever strain of leukemia I had (I’m still somewhat unclear on all the details), it was curable. Doctor visits have become much less frequent and trying to recall the events of back then is actually rather difficult. Here are some things I do remember:
I remember my doctor’s name was Dr. Freeman. Other than that, I don’t remember what he looks like. Every time I try to picture him I get the image of Colonel Sanders from Kentucky Fried Chicken. Maybe that is what he looked like.
I remember ALF came to visit me in the hospital and it was fuckin’ frightening for a 4 year old. Also I’m pretty sure I still have the pogs he gave me.
I remember playing with a kitchen set. It was yellow, and I loved pretending to cook pretend food.
I remember wearing a weird fanny pack for a while when I was out of the hospital. It made me feel like a robot. Around the same time my parents also threw out all the microwaves and we weren’t allowed to have them until 10 years later.
I remember making friends with a girl name Sarah. She had down syndrome. I wonder where she is now and how she is doing.
What I don’t remember is what it felt like to be sick or how I got there. I don’t remember all the depressing parts of being sick. I have Sick Kids Hospital to thank for that.
I’ve been a musician all my life, but I didn’t start to have problems until I started hard 4 hour practicing when I was in university. At the end of my university journey I was experiencing pains in my middle finger and wrists. All those nights practicing passages and octaves 100 times had put a tole to the health of my limbs. I’ve done some therapy and research, and here are some tricks I have been using to prevent some of the pain of repetitive activities. Most of these can be applied if you spend too much time on the computer as well. Continue reading