Three years ago I had surgery and was in the hospital for 15+ days. It was a defining moment in my life. I still shudder sometimes to think about it, yet it has also propelled me to who I am and what I'm doing today.
Recently, a close family member was told she too needed surgery, the serious kind with multiple days in the hospital, mulitple doctors and stages of recovery. In the days since hearing about this all of my fears and memories have resurfaced.
One of my biggest fears—you know the kind you brace against hoping it's not true, but not sure it isn't—is that if I walk back through hospital doors, they'll keep me. I'll have to go through it again.
And now...I'm going back to the hospital to experience what life is like on the other side. Not as patient this time, but as unconditional support and audience to the process. It has its own kind of fear and powerlessness attached and also a job—to remind her that she's not alone.
And neither am I.