Hi everyone! I am back. Sorry for the 4 month hiatus. Before I start writing, I just wanted to say thank you so much to everyone for all of the love and overwhelming support I got on my last post. I was completely shocked from all the reactions and comments and so glad it resonated with as many people as it did. I will keep writing as much as I can!
So a few weeks ago I was given an assignment from my English teacher, she told me to write about my most outer body memory so here it is:
As I’m thinking about my childhood, the most outer body memory I have was when I was admitted to a rehab hospital for the first time. I was being transferred from another hospital where I had been for two weeks with no improvement so they suggested I go somewhere closer to home for intense rehab for mobility.
I had never been in a hospital for an extended amount of time. I had no idea what to expect. I guess you can say I was lucky. I had never been to a hospital for myself in my life since birth, so “lucky” I say.
There is nothing anyone will say to prepare you for what you are about to see when going into a Children’s rehab Hospital. When you are there, you are there for a reason. It’s not just a regular hospital that anyone gets admitted to. One can be there recovering from a car or motorcycle accident, cancer, post operation recovery, people that are born with genetic problems, or someone in situations like mine, the “grey area” for a place like that. People that just need help getting back on their feet.
When I first got out of the elevator to say emotion overcame me is an understatement. I began to sweat and it was not hot. If you have been to any hospital before, they keep the AC roaring 24/7 to keep the germs from spreading. It was me. I was sweating like a menopausal woman (which I am not). It was disgusting. My eyes began to fill with tears realizing I was going to be in a hospital for months.
Immediately out of the elevator still sweaty and overcome with mixed emotions, I look to my left and I see a few kids. All were in black electric wheelchairs hanging out right beside the elevators by the recreational area. A nurse accompanied them after she was walking by in maroon scrubs rather abruptly and displeased they were alone.
One boy sitting there, Andrew, had no leg on his left side, with a colorful soft fuzzy blanket draped over him. There was another girl there hanging out with him listening to music, Ayesha, she had her hair in beautiful braids with different colored beads at the end of each and a pink Abercrombie shirt on. She had a tube in her throat and tons of IV’s and various tubes hanging from her from all over. I couldn’t imagine what happened that she had so many tubes coming from her. I was so worried someone would step on them. I later learned she was in a terrible car accident. Her mother and brother died instantly and she was the only one who survived. I cannot even imagine how hard that must be and how it is going to be when she is better and not in a hospital.
I had never been around anyone that couldn’t breath on his or her own; until I was and it wasn’t just once or twice. It was now all the time, day in and day out. Those “people” you see in a commercial, maybe give a small donation to, and feel sorry for from afar but never really take the time to think about and what they really go through. They had all become my close friends. Had this not happened, I probably would have continued life without being as aware as I became. But it did happen. I am very self aware now, about things I never would have thought of 4 years ago.
The “average person” doesn’t have to think about breathing or their heart beating. I don’t have to think about either, as I’m writing, thinking, and typing this. Who knew there all luxuries apart of daily life that can be snatched away so quickly.
I was especially reminded of this, “simply” breathing, when I had a met my roommate, Alicia, who was very sick with a genetic disorder. She had a tracheostomy tube. The nurses were constantly cleaning it so she didn’t get an infection, our room had such a strong scent of rubbing alcohol you can almost taste it. She was constantly gasping for air. It sounded like she was slurping on a straw on the end of a milkshake. She never got out of bed and got visibly sicker daily, it was horrible to watch. I can’t imagine what it was like being her. During the weeks we were roommates she never had one person come visit her. She eventually got transferred to another hospital. I think about her daily and her abrupt departure from the hospital.
It is so crazy how much I used to take for granted. Even just going to school, going out to eat, going to get a manicure, talking, and simply walking whenever I wanted was a freedom. I never realized how hard things could be and how quickly they could change. My eyes have been opened to a whole new world and I will never turn my back to all the things I have seen and suffering I’ve endured through daily life, tests, and witnessed in others so close to me.
Hope everyone had a “good holiday.” If you’re going through something difficult right now I understand how hard the holiday time can be. Not being able to go to holiday events or be with family and friends, is very aggravating, hard, and just annoying. Some people do not get it. Which makes it even harder. Holidays for me stopped mattering; they just became another day of the year. I missed so many of them. By that I mean on the 4th of July I have been in the hospital not at a BBQ, if I went down the list I would start to bore you. I have been sick almost four years and now I just do not care about them anymore. I haven’t just magically woken up feeling better about them and personally they just make me feel more frustrated about life.
People throwing their amazing vacations and “happy life pictures” in your face on Facebook and social media this time of year. Like we get it you had a good day, I’m not taking it from them but when you’re having a shitty day it’s irky. Don’t say well just don’t go on Facebook or Instagram that’s like saying don’t eat the cake in front of you. We all eat it.
This past Thanksgiving I was in the hospital, it is what is. It is not the end of the world. I don’t even like turkey or stuffing. I know I’m weird. I had lasagna this Thanksgiving, my family had turkey like every other American (if you were wondering). I told them: can you at least bring me what I like now that we’re not at a big family gathering? They did.
You made it through holiday season! Congratulations!! I’m PROUD!!! If you get what I’m saying unfortunately you get IT!!!
© Samantha Sloves 2019