There is a flood of people in and out of the waiting room of the ICU. People who I had never met, people who I loved, people from my past, my present. All people of different walks of life made haven in a tiny, cramped waiting room to give their love and support to me and my family. With them, my family gained the strength to get through the hard times that they were unfortunately and unexpectedly faced with. And in all honesty, I gained the strength as well.

I am dreaming of monsters and musty carpeted floors. I’m just a child in an empty hospital crying out for her mother. Where is she? Where am I? The world around me is whirling about and I can’t catch my footing, nor my breath.

I open my eyes and for the first time I remember. I remember through the drug-induced coma I am waking up from, the moments that had just passed. I remember the sounds, the smells, and the feeling. My heart aches and I want to scream. But I know that my family surrounds me; their sobs and then silence lingers in my ears and I know I must be strong for them. I am writing letters now or short sentences really… Quirky little phrases to keep them distracted from the reality that had chosen me.

I wake from terrors and dreams of walking. I try to get up, but my body is too weak, and my mind is confused. The nerve endings of my once present legs still remain. I can feel them there, yet they aren’t. I have trouble keeping up even with knowing they are long gone.

There are straps around my wrists held down tightly to the bed where I must stay. I am speechless, having oxygen pumped into my collapsed lungs. The air is filled with a metallic scent. It’s just the beginning, but it feels like a lifetime has already gone by.

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