This past December, my mother was diagnosed with a very bad infection and had to be hospitalized for three weeks. For a variety of reasons, her illness was one of the most surreal and traumatic experiences of my life.
First off, seeing my mother in such bad shape was very frightening. When she first fell ill and was sent to the ICU, she had to be intubated to help her breathe, just like I was when I was 14 years old. Watching her struggle to breathe as plastic tubes protruded from her mouth brought up so many emotions; fear, uncertainty, sadness.
No child should have to see their parent in such a traumatic situation. It is a very sobering and scary thing to experience. At first, doctors were uncertain if she would survive, and the idea of losing my mom was a very real possibility. As she fought for her life in her hospital bed, my mom was always surrounded by family and friends.
Another interesting thing about my mom's illness is that she was treated at the same hospital I was at 16 years earlier. Rolling down the same hallways and elevator was a truly surreal experience. The more I visited my mom as she recovered, the more memories would come flooding back. After spending eight months fighting my own illness in the same hospital, I can say with certainty that Good Samaritan was a big part of my life.
Overall, the entire experience was quite the ordeal. The one major thing I got from this experience is just how much strength it takes to be at the bedside of your loved ones. I now have a greater appreciation for all of the family and friends who stayed at my bedside during my own fight with Hopkins Syndrome. While I had the courage and will to overcome adversity, it takes a completely different kind of strength to be a support system for those you love.
After being the one at the bedside and not the one in the hospital bed for the past three weeks, I don't know how my family did it for eight months. Their own strength and perseverance is to be admired, and I will forever be grateful for their support. With my mom finally being released, we seemed to have come full circle once again. Her road to recovery is still a long one, but I will continue to be at her side, helping her overcome her illness, just like she did for me, so many years ago.