I waited until I did something great because I didn't want to talk about this otherwise. I did my best to type this in a way that would make sense.
Some time ago, I can't really remember when it started, but roughly 5-6 years ago I began experiencing strange swellings. I don't remember when because I didn't think much of it at first but I have come to now three levels of inflammation, pain, and humility.
Level 1: Targets finger joints, can be described like arthritis, joints begin the day locked, warm up as I painfully force them down then return to normal as the day goes on. Not too bad.
Level 2: Targets almost every joint at one point, jaw, wrist, fingers, toes, ankles, hip, shoulder. The joint is visibly swollen with an almost liquid and cannot be bent and does not change as I try to use it, this one is the most common problem and often just stops my fingers from bending at all. So you can imagine how difficult that makes it. Or when it attacks my jaw just trying to open my mouth to eat is a challenge.
Level 3: Targets only the tissue on top of my wrists or feet, EXTREMELY painful, debilitating, and definitely the most scary of the three. It swells the top part of my wrist or ankle and locks it in it's natural position (foot is not flat). I feel a warning sign somewhere along the morning and by noon I start limping, by 3-5 PM the whole hand or foot is completely unusable and it hurts so much I can't sleep and I just cry on painkillers. I have to stay the whole night resting then to relearn walking or using the hand as it's not fully recovered. Losing my ability to do basic things like walk or to help myself really humbles you and puts things into perspective.
Why does this happen?
Unsure, I've been to so many hospitals and doctors and they've ruled out some things like Lupus but can't exactly say what it is. Not arthritis I've had x-rays, blood tests, allergy tests.
All I know is if I don't eat healthy, and get good sleep something bad is more likely to happen. Also if I push my joints too hard which is typically why I don't do exercise and such.
How often does this happen?
Sporadic, unpredictable. Not constant thankfully but it's stayed for full weeks sometimes, left me alone for a month to where I forgot, come every other day. Spin the wheel.
How does this relate to Smash?
It's been a huge factor in me wanting to go pro in Ultimate and I do it to beat the challenge presented to me. Frankly, I'm 18 and this is happening now. I'm extremely scared about my future if I'll even be able to move and such so I decided to shoot for what makes me happy even if the ailment has set me back so many times. Too many times to count have I had to play and fingers just don't work. My South Florida and close friends have known about this for a while and I'm so grateful they help me and make me feel safe, even 8BitMan piggy backing me out of a expo tourney for a whole mile and half downstairs when my foot level 3'd.
Why wait to do something "great"?
I've proud of what I've reached, and didn't really like talking about this. Didn't want to present myself as weak or handicapped. I've done what I needed to do and earned my respect the normal way. I'm in Summit how many can say they got this far?
When I presented this ailment to the public I wanted it to be in a positive light, because all I can do now is make the best of it. I share this not for you to feel bad for me but I did this because I needed to prove something to myself, and it's crazy I'm starting to feel like I'm getting there. Life threw this at me but I didn't let it stop me (with an input heavy character at that..). As corny as the message is, no matter what you want to do if you put your heart and soul into it you can do it. I cannot tell you how many times I wanted to give up.
Going to CEO one year, I was about to play pools and my fingers stopped working, I cried. It felt like what I trained for I was defeated before I even really had a chance by things out of my control it's infuriating and helpless. I took WAY too much medication, soaked in epsom salt, and even used a muscle relaxer all at once hours before the pool panicking and hoping the swelling would go down some. My pool starts, the swelling doesn't go down and I'm extremely dizzy, long story short I SD to lose in winners barely make it out in losers finals, have my friends walk me to my room where I immediately pass out. Day 2 I somehow beat k9 and Javi with no right thumb.. then lose to Fatality.
I have countless more stories and experiences but you get the point. I pressed on, feels like I beat something powerful now. So if you read this whole thing, I thank you. I hope whatever your endeavors are, you find your focus and don't let any amount of ailments, parents, or anything else hold you back. You have one life! Make it count. Do what makes you happy.
If you've helped me at one point in time I'm so grateful to you. You know who you are <3
Thanks for all the support