Peer Review by ariii (Singapore)

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WORK IN PROGRESS - Reviews greatly appreciated

By: Anne Blackwood


I am the kind of person who is simultaneously terrified of change and chronically dissatisfied with the mundane. I’m a butterfly afraid of leaving her cocoon; a dreamer who doesn’t take risks.
I yearn for something big to happen to me, so I can have a story worth telling. But I am often too scared to do anything about it.
I thought “something” would arrive with pomp and circumstance, loudly proclaiming “Hello! I am here to change your life!” Instead, it came gradually, like the smell of cookies that slowly spreads through your house, permeating every inch of the space. Of course, “something” smelled more like burnt toast than chocolate chips.

It started in late September when my job making slushies at Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm became so exhausting that I would come home unable to do anything but lie on my bed.
Actually, I first noticed it in August. My teacher’s pet self had late assignments only two weeks into school. I was simply too distracted to get them in on time.
Well, now that I think about it, that’s not exactly true either. I think the beginning was actually sometime in the summer, although I credited my extra fatigue to working too many odd jobs on top of trying to learn American Sign Language through an accelerated course.

I snapped myself out of my internal monologue with a jolt. It didn’t matter when I started to get sick, right now I had a doctor’s appointment to get to, and I still couldn’t find my glasses.
“Anne! It’s time to leave!” my mom’s voice rang out. I stumbled into the car, slightly blind, but also nearly late, if my mom was to be believed.
I was doubtful that some naturopathic doctor was going to magically rid me of extreme fatigue, brain fog, dizziness, nausea, and lack of appetite, but my mom was hopeful. That, and I was running out of options, having seen my family doctor, a nutritionist, an endocrinologist, and even a doctor in the ER, and I was no closer to figuring out what was wrong with me.
After an hour’s drive through the simple early morning beauty of Greenvale, my mom, dad, and I arrived at Blue Creek Naturopath.

“Hi, I’m Celeste. It’s nice to meet you.”
I thought it was interesting that a doctor introduced herself with her first name. That, along with her genuine, friendly smile, and the way she shook my hand as though I were an adult, made me take an immediate liking to her. Celeste explained that naturopaths are in fact qualified doctors; they just focus on integrating natural healing methods into their patients’ care.
“I think this may have to do with food sensitivities,” she said after I debriefed her on all of my symptoms. “I’ll need to have you take a blood test; we can do that right away.
Most people have an aversion to needles, but through this journey, I’d been stabbed with so many that I wasn’t even slightly nervous as she led me into the other room. I noticed that the whole building somehow lacked the typical chemical scent of most doctor’s offices. I guessed it was from the tea that always seemed to be brewing.
“Your mom’s pretty protective, huh?” Dr. Celeste laughed.
“Yeah, she is. So is my dad, just in a less… loud way, if you know what I mean.” She stuck the needle into my arm. “Wow, I barely even felt that!”
“Only the best for our patients,” she smiled. “Alright, let’s go up to the front desk and schedule your next appointment.”
I zoned out while my parents talked dates and times with Dr. Celeste and listened instead to the peaceful nature sounds coming from behind the couch. I wasn’t convinced that she was right about food sensitivities being the cause of my problems, but at least we had something to look forward to.

Message to Readers

This is a personal narrative that I've hit a block in. ​I don't know how to tell my own story. I don't know what people want to hear and what's unnecessary. I'm also not sure how to end it; as a cliffhanger (because it's not over yet) or to resolve it (there is a point where I could do it). I'd really appreciate reviews and/or comments on where to go from here. I'd also appreciate some title suggestions.

Peer Review

I like the introduction, because it is different from what I expected

I think that the time transition is a bit fast and I feel that the time in the doctor's office can be more descriptive.

Reviewer Comments

Overall, this is really beautiful and I hope to see the completed piece eventually.