Further down the line, I am now in and out of appointments I’ve got appointments coming out of my ears. I am starting to be in pain from my back. I would get this sharp feeling in my left abdomen, the same pain I mentioned in the first post. As you know, it wasn’t hayfever or anything minor like that; this was acid building up on that side due to my lung being utterly depressed. I remember this agonising pain where I couldn’t walk as it felt like I was winded. Obviously, the best thing to do for me at this time was just to try and relax. Trying to relax is kind of a hard thing to say to a girl who is doing their GCSE’s and has about a trillion things on her mind. My surgeon informed me that it was best if I took a break from any sport as I just need to be relaxed. I remember telling him It wasn’t possible, as I had a big netball tournament coming up that I had to play in. He said it wasn’t allowed, and I shouldn’t be doing it, and he will write a letter fully explaining this. I guess you know what the reaction might have been by now? Yeah, my school still made me do the netball tournament, I was In so much pain playing that match. Then again, it wasn’t the pain that bothered me. It was the fact I couldn’t breathe. I would be out of breath within a minute, and that’s when I wasn’t evening running, so playing a sport such as netball was near to impossible.
At the time I was diagnosed, there was another girl at a school near me who had been. I am so glad for that girl, that the school and friends were so supportive, it is all you need at that time, because that’s what anyone can do, well decent people. This girl, let’s call her Emily got all her notes sent to her for any school she had to miss, and the teachers went over and beyond to help her, which made me so happy she was not going through the same experience as me.
The next paragraph, a lot of people very close to me may not even know about these things, and if anyone from my school does read this, you might remember this. While I was at school one day, I was sitting in English class learning about of mice and men for my exam. Two girls were seated in the corner laughing, acting like children. My teacher liked people reading out the different parts, and it came to Crooks a guy with a crooked back like me. These mean girls then go, “Why don’t you read that Charlotte, you relate to him the most” I remember just all eyes being on me waiting to react. I felt my cheeks fill with warmth and my eyes fill with tears. It was probably the most upsetting thing someone could say to me, talk about knocking someone when they were down. I don’t think it was the comment that upset me the most it was the laughter that followed and the fact the teacher knew what was going on, and decided to say nothing, not one single word.
Not only was it the snarky comments I got from other students it was the teachers, but they were also just as bad as the pupils. I found they just acted a little odd to me like they had no clue how to respond. Another funny thing is when I didn’t come into the last day of school because I was recovering from my operation. A girl who was supposed to be my friend who didn’t see me after my operation may I add, or even say good luck or how are you. She went up to my other good friend and goes “Why is Charlotte not here” and naturally she turns around and goes “She has had a back operation? Of course, she is not coming in, she is in pain and recovering” and they say “oh, it can’t be that bad, though, didn’t think it was anything bad” Oh.., How naive some people are.
I think the most ironic thing of them of is the head of the school had a back problem herself, so why wasn’t she sympathetic? Before my operation, my mum had many different meetings with the school and certain teachers. I am going to tell you about three that stick out in both of our memories, and also was the real deciding factor for all of us that they didn’t care, or know what they are doing. The first meeting was after my mum had accepted the cancellation. Obviously, we still had the problem of missing my final exam, maths. The school weren’t the most forthcoming with help, to be blunt they didn’t want to set anything in motion. They were conclusions flown around the room. Such as, we will mark it on your homework and other stupid things like that. The most irritating thing for me was I had to tell someone I was ill every lesson and every exam. I remember thinking to myself “so, do you want to me turn into some parrot? Chanting the same words every 5 minutes?” They just didn’t seem the grasp the fact that I was ill. However, being nice I just went on with annoying everyone with the same words when I walked into any room. I remember, the only exam that pulled me aside for and said “if you want a break, just raise your hand, and you can walk around” was the drama exam. If any of you have taken drama, or know anyone that has they will all say the same thing. It is like one big rush the written exam, the only free time you have is to read the question. So, yes they decided to be nice once, but probably the worst time. After I got my results, I soon found out that I should have been allowed 4% across the board because of my symptoms…Which the good old school gladly forgot to mention.
The next stand still meeting was with the head of the school and the deputy. My mum walked into the heads’ office and sat down, wanting to put her point across calmly. You’ve probably gathered by now; it didn’t go down like that. My mum told me that they were very patronising to her and they seemed to of think I was still having some cosmetic surgery. They were not happy that my mum opted for the earlier date and told her to change it to August as they didn’t understand my mum’s opinion. Hey, my mum is one of those people if I say I’m ill and then just go out to Tescos with her on my day off, I’m apparently “not ill enough” so, I don’t think she took missing my maths lightly. I think the most hysterical bit of the situation is they didn’t want me to come back for A-levels…Well, I didn’t want to be anywhere near your small hamster box regardless. Even though, they never fully said those words to my face, oh boy I knew it. I remember once one of the teachers told me I wouldn’t cope with A-levels and that I would better suit an easier option and not go to Chesham Grammar as this would be a bad decision. The best thing about the situation is that I ended up at Amersham College and ended up with better marks than anyone in that year at A-level…Oh, probably the ultimate smack in the face.
The last meeting my mum had still annoys my family till this day, as it was just that, horrific. The reason behind this meeting was due to the practical side of my PE exam. As I had this pain when just breathing can you imagine what it was like to swim? My mum had tried to contact my teacher, but no one replied to her, so she was left unstuck. She then spoke to her good friend who teaches Physical Education at Brunel University, she saw the video and said she would mark it outside as there was obviously something going on with the school, and the video was technically fine. The only thing we can put it down is their jealous nature. When I was doing this video, my parents were members at Cliveden, so, therefore, we decided to do it there. It has a quiet pool, and they were okay with filming. There was also another outside opinion on the video, and that was the person who helped my film it, my personal trainer. He is a professional triathlon, so you could say he knows his stuff. He is an incredibly honest person and told us, it was GCSE standard, and at least worthy a pass. Back to this meeting, after all, this build up my mum is booked in for a meeting with the teacher originally, I think. My mum asked my dad to come in with her as she felt like she was going to be intimidated. Dad agreed and walked in with my mum. I remember seeing my parents both go in, as I was in between lesson and thinking what the hell is going on…? Bare in mind this is supposed to be an “informal chat” My mum described it as the dragons den when she went in with my dad. There were many teachers all sitting around a table with pen and papers, intimidating my mum as she thought they would. The second they saw my dad, you could tell their hearts fell into their ass, they knew they would stand a fight against him. The craziest thing I remember my mum telling about that meeting was my dad shouting at one of the teachers for not answering an important question my mum had asked. I don’t want to think how they would have bullied my mum if my dad wasn’t there.
The thing I never got about that whole meeting was the fact not only did I have all my swimming badges I had school colours for swimming, yet I wasn’t up to standard? So, what does that show for your school? Also, they didn’t even know what swimming badges where. They didn’t know you can have exams in swimming which can lead to being a lifeguard. How embarrassing on their behalf, and I was on their netball team, so I must have been a massive let down or sympathy vote for them on their teams. In the end, I got an E for my PE exam, and the only reason I got that mark is because I did so well in my theory exam, so they dragged me down with practical work, I think I still have the video, If I do I will add in below.
– Charlotte x