Four years ago on February 4, 2013, I almost died of the flu.
Yes, this is a true story.
What stated off as a routine, regular, flu quickly snowballed into pneumonia, a double lung collapse, shock, and kidney failure all at once and in the matter of one day.
I could talk about how wonderful the support during those seven days in Yale's PICU four years ago was, as I have the last three, or I could talk about how scary it was.
I could talk about how before this day I didn't have a single medical diagnosis and hadn't ever been on any medications. I could talk about how each new doctor I see always compliments my copious medical history and amount of medications.
I could talk about how everyone always asks how it's possible to almost die of the flu and what it's like to have been told that you're not going to make it, and when you do make it be told 12,000 more times (and counting) that you shouldn't have.
I could talk about how this was the very first packing of the snowball of my chronic depression and suicidal ideation, as well as the end of my life as an athlete.
But I don't want to talk about it. I just want to feel loved & important & valuable.
Because after experiencing an illness such as so, never mind a major life setback, we just peace and calmness. We don’t want the hustle and bustle of visitors, of texts and calls and messages and likes and comments and whatnot.
We want a hug, a really good one that both reminds us that yes, we did make it, and that said hugger is glad that we did. We want a smile, a stroke of the face to wipe a stray tear away. We want affection. Not an “I’m so sorry” text.
Because when people ask what they can do, they want to do things. But I promise you that we don’t want that. We may need it and appreciate it greatly, but we really just want love and peace and support and safety.
We want our hands to be held as we get back on track, even if we never do.