Have you ever spend your Thanksgiving in a hospital? Have You ever thought about what it feels like? I have. I still remember every single details. It was one of the worst weeks of my life. I literally entered the hospital a few hours before Thanksgiving break. I still remember the ambulance which transported me directly from my High School to the nearest hospital. It was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. The students in the hallway who saw me were all wondering what had happened. I almost felt like in a zoo cage. I was simply frightened, worried, and experienced loneliness at a level that I had not lived before. In the heat of the moment, I was wondering how I could possibly go back to the same High School without being looked at differently.
After the many medical tests at the ER, I was sent to a Children’s unit with a new ambulance. I was wearing this half naked hospital dress. It was the most hideous dress I have ever worn. The hospital had provided me with this thin, paper looking blanket which had no other purpose than covering my derriere. Once again, I felt inhumane. I compared myself to a wild animal who had lost all rights to freedom.
Fortunately, the driver was a very handsome man, probably in his mid twenties. He could see the horror in my widely open eyes, so he tried playing some Pop Music. Instead of calming me down, the music worsen my anxiety. I was looking outside the car window wondering how much my parents will have to pay for my hospital bills. I was apprehensive of their reaction thinking that they would be mad forever. Yet, nothing scared me more than the thought of not finishing my homework on time. I could have died that day, but I couldn’t imagine failing any of my classes (getting a B in a Persian home is synonym to failing life).
Once at the children’s unit, the nurses inspected my entire body looking for any suspicious marks and dangerous objects I could have been hiding. They asked me if I wanted any dinner, but you can imagine that food never tastes any worse than under extreme shock. I was able to take a warm shower and head to my room. The room seemed gigantic because of how empty it was. The long white walls, the cameras, the guardian in the hall, and the blocked windows once again reminded me that I had no way out. If I could, I would have ran away. But clearly I was locked down.
I cried so much that night that I fell asleep. At 5 am, a nurse woke me up to give me some IV because I had lost too much fluids. They were extremely worried because I wasn’t able to eat anything and my blood pressure was constantly decreasing. It took me a few days before getting used to the hospital. It was not easy, but for the very first time, I was able to truly sympathize with people who are often in hospital rooms sometimes never get to leave.
It is in the most difficult times in my life that I truly learned what it means to be thankful. After this day, I never took my health for granted. Happy Thanksgiving and never forget about the suffering and the oppressed.
You won’t believe this, but Thanksgiving 2015, just three days ago, I was flat on my back sick as a dog, and alone! Now go figure!
Featured image credit Wikipedia