By Nicole Cater
I’m 26 and all is right with the world. I just got married. I love my job at a local bank. I’ve grown from teller to lead teller, to receptionist to commercial loan assistant. I have a hand in making multi-million dollar deals happen and at the same time, making small time dreams come true for basic consumers. I’ve won a Service Person of the Year award. Well, co-won, the other winner was my best friend. No one in the company doubted we deserved it. I was an up and comer, a Jill of all trades. Any questions that needed to be answered, just ask Nicole. Eight years in, I knew this business and my place in like a well oiled machine. And that machine was about to get and upgrade. I was in training for Project Analysist, the step below Loan Officer. And I was doing all this, enjoying my honeymoon and putting myself through college. The one and only complaint I had was an ever present pain in my back that would sometimes hinder my movements, or shoot burning pains down my leg. I was in Physical Therapy for what was guessed to be arthritis, but it didn’t help much. I was out through so many blood tests, I felt like a pincushion.
And so it was just another ordinary day when I went to the doctor to get and update and a refill of the medication that was giving me an ulcer. Instead of those routine issues, lightning struck. I learned one of the many blood tests finally found something. It found HLA-B27 and antigen on chromosome 6 that courses your immune system to attack your spine, causing vast amounts of arthritis that can never be cured called Ankylosing Spondylitis. I grieved. I grieved for the life that would never be. I grieved for the person I was that I would never be again. I fell into deep depression.
Doctors, no knowing what to do, and lacking a Bi Polar Disorder diagnosis, put me on anti-depressants. They didn’t work. I snapped. I lost my job. I lost my husband. I lost my house. I even lost my dog. Another two jobs, another two freak outs. It turns out, lightning struck again. Not that it is ever pleasant. But this time I was prepared. There would be doctors. There would be pills. I would suffer and adjustment period. But I also knew I would survive. After all, the first strike didn’t kill me. Change the course of my life, absolutely. But I’m still her, still fighting. And for those here tonight who don’t know me personally, I fight, I survive, I thrive!
This is our new Wicked Short Stories page with submissions from various Authors. Please look for bio-snippets about the Author at the bottom of the various pieces. Enjoy!