Too Much to Lose

By , Vancouver, WA
At age 12 I walked up to the glass doors of the children’s hospital, hugging my teddy bear and rolling a bright pink suitcase behind me, I stepped up to the admissions desk. I was excited, this was a new adventure, everything had come by so much surprise, life had become so uncertain. I held out my arm as a hospital bracelet was wrapped around my wrist.

“Nine North will be your unit, look for the sun sign” said the friendly receptionist.

The smell of Starbucks drifted to my nose as I boarded the elevator with flowers etched on the inside. I admired the art as I rode up to the place I thought would only be my home overnight.

We found the sign and entered my unit. I was placed in room 27 when doctors, nurses and about 500 other hospital caretaker bombarded my room. While they talked to me, my mom was in another room talking the anorexia specialist.

After he had talked to my Mom, he came in and told me about my condition and how the next few days would go. He told about how all my body systems were shutting down and how I would have to stay for 7-10 days. Of course, I had been in denial about my eating disorder in the months leading up to this event. Today had really hit me like a ton of bricks.

It wasn’t long before night had rolled in and back out again. At 4am a happy nurse came in to draw the blood of my grumpy self and take my weights and vital, which would continue as a daily ritual . Other then the events of the day before, during the middle of the night my temperature had become to low for the thermometer to read. I was, to say the least, exhausted.

My tuff nurse came with my first hospital meal, oh the drudgery. The meal rules were strict for patients like me. If you didn’t eat 100% of meals, it was time for “Ensure”, if you didn’t drink all of that, the feeding tube was next. I was scared, so I ate, but not everything, I would have Ensure for almost all my meals for the next 11 days.

After breakfast was done, all I wanted to do was curl up under my blankets in the fetal position. But instead, that CNA hurriedly put me in a uncomfortable wheelchair , wheeled to the bathroom, then to the sink to get ready for the day, and let me tell you, it was quite a trick when you couldn’t stand up because those caretaker were afraid you would pass out. But the most difficult was getting dressed with a telemetry box attached to you, it isn’t the greatest to have wires coming out from under your shirt either. A telemetry box is a semi-permanent heart monitor.

The hospital school was just down the hall, it was actually fun! I loved getting out of my room, since I didn’t have much homework, I could mostly do fun things! I even met a girl that I’m still friends with today.

Malan, my CNA (Certified Nurse’s Assistant), came to pick me up. Back to the room it was, for another dreaded part of the day... lunch. This time, I was saved my the miracle of the fetal position. At this point in my life, tucked under the covers in my 80 degree room was quite comfy. Although, I did feel bad for the sweating CNAs that had to be with me 24/7.

The rest of the day, up until dinner, I was given art supplies, movies and other things to do from the Childlife workers and volunteers. Sometimes I would receive gifts, that had been delivered to my room or that my Mom had picked up from my friends. Eventually, I would be allowed to see my sisters, have wheelchair and walking excursions. I would even be able to stand up and walk two feet to the bathroom!
The hospital was quite the experience, i’ve been there twice now and i’m glad that they exist. I am still in treatment today and it can be kind of a drag sometimes, but I have met a lot of amazing people in these past two years!





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