Winter Pains

By Taylor, age 15, Ontario

I was born in Toronto and then moved to Kingston. I was always happy in Kingston. I had friends I loved, a great school to look forward to every day, and the best bedroom a girl could ask for. But when my mom retired from the military, my dad got a job in Cornwall, and we began our journey again. I made new friends, had awesome teachers, and I got a dog.

When grade 3 rolled around, I was ecstatic. We finally got to do big kid stuff. When winter came I began getting these terrible pains in my stomach. My mom thought it was just the flu, but when it lasted all winter from November to March we ruled out the flu. I spent many hours in and out of hospitals, getting blood taken, and they performed ultrasounds. They found absolutely nothing wrong with me and thought it was because I missed Kingston. But why only in the winter?

When grade 4 came and winter followed again, from November to March I had the same stomach pain. I couldn't handle it. I was in tears non-stop, calling home from school every day. I missed almost 3 months of school during the winter. The pain was unbearable. Again, I went back to the doctors where I dreaded the blood taking. That year they thought I was making it up. But only being age 10, how could I force myself to cry like that?

Summer went well. Then grade 5 came, and again so did winter. The same thing happened. I spent a night in the hospital getting woken up every few hours for ultrasounds and blood work. Still nothing showed, so they sent me home. Another 3 months of missed school. They threatened to fail me.

Grade 6 came, and I was terrified for the winter. I didn't want to go through that tortured pain again. This year it got 10 times worse. I thought I would be sick. So I spent countless hours in the bathroom. Most nights I fell asleep beside the toilet. I was up all night, screaming and crying in pain. Many nights my mom and dad drove me to the hospital, but they sent us home saying nothing was wrong.

Well, guess what? When grade 7 rolled around I still had it. It came to the point where I wanted to stab myself in the stomach just to release the pain or to feel something different. The doctors thought maybe it was because of the lack of sun I was getting in the winter. So they bought me a sun light. It still didn't do the job.

In the summer they enrolled me in the hospital for a week. What help this would be I didn't understand because the pain only came in the winter. Grade 8, my graduation year. Still horrid pain. This time they thought I was bipolar or depressed, but why only in the winter? I had so many questions that just couldn't be answered. I missed my own grade 8 graduation due to this stupid pain I had. I felt different, like God hated me for some reason. Why was he treating me differently?

Well, when grade 9 came I found this bump above my belly button. When I went to see my doctor he said I had a hernia. I went into surgery and came out fine. That winter nothing happened. During those six long years of pain I'd had a hernia. The doctors couldn't find it and the pain was always in that area. Boy, was I relieved when I didn't get that pain. This year is grade 10. I'll keep you updated on this winter.

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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