Over six weeks later, and I’ve finally been discharged from the hospital. Over six weeks: that’s a month and a half of my life.
And the saga’s not over yet. Not really. Health problems of this nature aren’t (surprise surprise) miraculously resolved when you’re handed your discharge papers and head home. I’ve got a ways to go, including eight remaining thrice-weekly treatments that I’ll do at the hospital on an outpatient basis. I think, though, that I’m on the right track. I hope I am, anyway.
I learned a great deal about myself and about how I view the world during this hospitalization: most importantly, that I’m more resilient than I thought I was, that I’m more willing to accept help than I used to be, that I needed, when I was first admitted, to seriously examine my priorities, and that I tend to make major—and generally false—assumptions about how people’s opinion of me will change when they hear about my medical setbacks.
The last few months have been two of the hardest that I’ve ever experienced, and the next one will also be immensely challenging. I’m acutely aware of how incredibly fortunate I am—for example, my amazing support network has sprung into action, for which I am infinitely grateful, and I live in a country in which paying for quality medical care isn’t something that I have to think about. That said, I’m sometimes guilty of wallowing in self-pity and falling into the all-too-common “you’ve already ‘lost’ x-amount of time and now you have to undergo a very unpleasant procedure with the potential for distressing side effects at 6:30 AM three times a week for the next three weeks so you might as well go ahead and quit now because it probably won’t work anyway” trap.
I certainly don’t have all the answers. What I know for sure, though, is that the only way to move is forward and that the only thing to do is to keep trying.