I spent 12 days in Children’s Hospital and was lucky to have met a few fellow sick kids. One in particular humbles me to this day. John woke up every morning and blasted Thriller on his record player. I didn’t mind waking up to that song, but God it was early. John was a permanent resident because his parents abandoned him due to his condition and insane medical bills. I am not sure how long he had been there, but his room was a bedroom, not a hospital room and the nurses treated him like a son.
I have no idea what was wrong with him, but he was in a wheelchair and had a number of tubes coming out of every part of this body. I was pissed about the one IV – ridiculous. I couldn’t help staring at the hole in his neck and he explained at some point in me stalking him that it was the only way he could breath. The tube and the snotty nose were pretty appalling, but it didn’t keep me from visiting him every day.
I left the hospital and kind of knew I had a rough road ahead of me, but John doesn’t even get to leave the hospital. No teachers, grandparents or family to visit him. I was completely bent out of shape about the diagnosis, but knew that John was in much worse shape. I was going home to ride my bike and he would never leave his floor. Who am I to complain?
I found out after a routine visit to my endocrinologists office at Children’s, that John had died. I have no idea how or why he died or even if he had a funeral… On the bad days, I remember him and his positive attitude, badass wheelchair and love of Michael Jackson.
It is so easy to feel pissed when I’m having a bad day, but this story always brings me back to reality. Having a life threatening disease can be a total bitch, but I can’t help think, “I am still on this earth and my life, even on a bad day, is pretty amazing.” Next time you are frustrated with whatever is going on, take a moment to think of all of the wonderful things in your life.
Happy Militant Optimistic Monday (quote and words to live by via artist, Romy Owens).