I remember when I tried to run across the street with my mother, but I was so exhausted that I could barely put one foot in front of the other. We were on our way to the hospital for the first time.
I remember when I heard Dr. Harvey say “You’re daughter has a disease called Lupus” to my Mother and Father, as they all sat in my hospital room at Sick Kid’s Hospital. They weren’t talking to me, but I heard them. I remember laying my raised head back down on the pillow abruptly. Abruptly in fear. Abruptly in confusion.
I remember my father feeding me ice chips at the side of my hospital bed. My tongue was sore from when I clamped down on it repeatedly during a seizure I had just a few days prior. I remember how badly it hurt. I remember the band-aid on my Dad’s face from when my fingernails scratched him while he tried to hold my thrashing arms down as I seized wildly.
I remember my sister sitting at the edge of my bed at home as I writhed in pain from severe stomach pain. I remember waking up a few days later, in a hospital bed. I remember being told that I had become dispondent…then started seizing. Someone had already dialed 911 by then as my sister recognized my behaviour from the last time this had happened.
I remember having septic arthritis in my knee. I remember the inexperienced doctors coming into my room at least twice a day to try and tap the fluid in my knee. I remember them not being successful at tapping my knee at least 95% of the time. I remember them being successful in causing me a great deal of pain 100% of the time as they shoved the huge needle directly into my knee. I remember needing knee surgery. I remember it everytime I wear a skirt or shorts.
I remember feeling sick one day. I remember feeling so warm that I had 2 fans in my bedroom, both on full blast, pointing at me. I remember walking into the hospital with my sister to get checked out. I remember losing my ability to walk, move my arms, and talk without drooling just 2 days after. I remember being told I had a ‘growth’ on my brain. I remember being frustrated because I couldn’t articulate things the way I wanted to. I remember crying by myself in the middle of the night when the nurses who came to my room to move me up in the bed pulled me up with such force that I hit my head on the headboard. I remember when they quickly turned around and walked away right after I yelled “OW” and started to cry.
I remember the drive to the hospital that day. The bumps in the road where exceedingly painful. I remember being told I had a perforated sigmoid colon. I remember having no idea what that even meant. I remember being told that I’d need emergency surgery. I remember calling my sister to tell her as I lay in emergency. I remember calling my friend and co-worker Andre. I remember the nurses taking off my socks as I spoke to Andre…as the on-call surgeon got himself and his team ready.
I remember wearing a bag on my stomach for 6 months. I remember the gaping hole in my stomach from when the staples were removed too early and my wound reopened immediately after the last staple was out. I remember that everyday when I take a shower.
In spite of all this, ALL of this, I sit here. Not only do I sit here, but I sit here, working part time and getting amazing marks in school. I just got my final mark for computers. 95.1%. I always knew that I was a fighter and that I’d make it, and I knew I wanted to go back to school. What didn’t know was that I’d be pulling off a 95% in anything. I never dreamed of it.
Thank you Lord.