Other Side of the World

Last year this time, I was laid up in a hospital bed with a morphine drip recovering from a ruptured appendix, fresh off a night of hallucinations and nightmares both featuring monkeys in tuxedos (long story). I spent most of the previous two or three months in agony, ignoring my friends urging me to go to the doctor, trying to walk it off. All of that toughness went out of the window as I walked into the ER at 5am, doubled over in pain and was told that I would need surgery later that afternoon. That afternoon became three hours later, because my appendix ruptured as I laid in the triage.

In between morphine nods I saw the two people that saved my life, Bilquis and Chuck, it was their urging that led me to finally going to the hospital. Those hours heading into surgery, I realized how valuable their friendship was, from Bilquis taking me to the ER at 5:30 to Chuck going to Walmart buying me drawls and socks. My mother was living in Oklahoma at the time and unable to get to me fast enough, so Chuck played the role of conduit, keeping her updated, until she was able to dispatch my aunt and one of her close friends to the hospital during my recovery. Chuck was in and out throughout my weekend stay, charging my phone, checking on me, making sure I was eating, not trying to move too much. I was in and out for most of the weekend as well, in too much pain to sit up for an extended period time or even stay awake for more than an hour at a time.

Somehow during everything that was going on, I remembered I was supposed to hang out Saturday afternoon with someone that circumstance had prevented us from spending time to get to know one another. I think I cancelled two or three times because of the stomach pain, so when I called to tell her I was in the hospital, I suppose she was a bit skeptical. So skeptical in fact that she decided that she would come to the hospital to check on me, even after I told her that she didn’t have to. Glad she was as stubborn as she was that day, because a year later, she’s stretched out on the couch next to me trying to peek at what I’m writing.

I guess everything happens for a reason, because without the pain, I wouldn’t know this joy. Also, without that hospital visit, I wouldn’t have taken a peek at the other side of the world and decided to finally chase a few of my goals and dreams. Sure, I left that hospital minus my appendix (what does your appendix do anyway?), but I discharged with a much clearer sense of who I was and what I could do with my life. I left all of the pain I was carrying with me in that room and started addressing the issues I was dealing with. I’m still a work in progress, but I’m much further along and much happier than I was this time last year...catch me if you can next year!

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