She Walks Into the Living Room...

October 19, 2007
By Abigail Ellis, Glen Allen, VA

She walks into the living room and lies down on the couch. I wonder what’s on TV: Cartoons, lame. News, boring. Oh here’s something, Discovery Channel… What’s happening? Why can’t I breathe?
Her mother rushes into the room. They rush to the car.
“Hospital or Doctor’s office? If we go to the doctor and you need to go to the hospital, you’ll have to ride in an ambulance.” “Hospital.”

She passes a mirror. Purple. Blue. Her fingers are swollen. She can’t breathe. It’s really cold. The woman at the counter takes her right away. The nurse places this “clamp” on her finger. It looks like the mouth of a crocodile. I hate crocodiles. Steve doesn’t though. He’s really brave. Be like Steve.
“Breathe deeply.”
She watches the screen. The numbers are getting smaller. Why are the numbers getting smaller? The nurse turns and whispers something to the doctor. She can only make out one word: admitted.

They take her to the back and now she’s lying on a gurney. There sure are a lot of doctors here. They start walking toward her. They must want to see if I’m OK. Wait. What are they doing? Get away from me. I HATE NEEDLES! She flops around like a fish out of water. I think I kicked that nurse in the face. There are seven of them now, all holding her limbs steady. She shuts her eyes.

Now where am I? The walls are bare white and it smells faintly of steamed peas. I hate you peas, with your color and your pea-like smell. There are wires and machines everywhere. Beep. Beep. I can’t breathe. “I want to go home. I don’t want to be here…”
“Calm down sweetheart. Just come down. No need to get yourself worked up…you’ll just make things worse.”

The doctor comes in. He pulls her mom aside and they start talking. Do they ever speak up? Don’t they know I can’t hear? Her mom is back now.
“The doctor just talked to me… “well, duh!” “…and he told me that you have pneumonia and a collapsed lung” pneu-mon-ia. That’s a hard word. If I got it in a spelling bee, I’d probably lose. “There’s more.” Great. You basically told me I’m dying… how could it possibly get any worse? “You have something called asthma. It’s a disease that affects your respiratory system.” She tries to control it, but it’s useless. She’s crying. Now what?

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