Sat, Sep. 9th, 2017

The hospital cards

Sat, Sep. 9th, 2017 11:08 pm
scarlettina: (Default)
I've been trying to declutter the house bit by bit over the last few weeks in preparation for some gradual redecoration. In amongst the piles, I found all the cards I received while I was in the hospital last year. Now that I'm healthy and functioning and about a year out from it all, I'm overwhelmed all over again--and in a whole different way--by the amazing amount of love and support I was blessed to receive during my illness and recovery. I had multiple cards from some people. I received cards from a few people I barely know. I had cards I don't remember receiving, probably because I was too out of it to really retain and integrate what I was seeing. Some of them included the most wonderful, the most moving notes.

I remember chunks of my stay. I remember some of the people who came to visit. Even now, people tell me they came to see me and had whole conversations with me, and I don't remember them actually being there. I remember the people who were there day in and day out. I remember being unable to sleep a couple of nights, and watching a TV channel that was nothing more than static netcams of beautiful places. I remember physical challenges that I would never have imagined having to deal with. For example, I had to learn to write all over again; I had trouble even holding a pen after a week. I had trouble managing some of the most private functions. It was unlike anything I'd ever experienced before, terrifying in so many ways.

I haven't taken a big trip since last summer--the trip to Ireland where, we believe, I picked up whatever it was that tried to kill me. I have been putting together my photojournal of the trip in fits and starts. It's been a very piecemeal, sort of catch-as-catch-can kind of affair, and I think it's partly because I associate it with my illness and so am having trouble casting back for trip memories to finish the project. And now, my brother has begun to plan our family trip to Arizona for next spring. Of course, I'm not concerned about the possibility of getting sick like that again, and I will not let any prospect of travel be associated with the possibility of another devastating illness. There's too much of the world left to see to be worried about that sort of thing.

I will say this, though. If I ever feel like I'm not loved or valued, I have only to look through the cards I received during and after my hospital stay, to remember the nine flower arrangements I received, to remember the friends who came and stayed, to remember that my brother flew out to tend to me. I am not alone in this world, even though sometimes I feel that way. I hate that it took such an illness to remind me of that so thoroughly. But sometimes a kick in the head (or the gut, in this case) is what's needed. And a pile of cards I can turn to again and again and again.

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scarlettina

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