A Bad week made better, by an 8 year old boy

February 10th, 2015, 9pm

I was hospitalized not that long ago for another one of my famous chest infections. I was super down about everything, because this was right before my final exams started and I had papers up to my eyes.

Then one day I took a walk around the hospital. I thought nothing too interesting was going to happen. Except a little boy in cafeteria asked what the thing in my neck was. (I don’t breath in my sleep, so I have a tracheostomy to assist with that issue.) I heard this and I went over and asked him if he wanted to know, and he said yes. I gave him the quick and easy version of what is wrong with me.

He was only 8 years old, had cystic fibrosis, and at first glance I thought he had cancer. He also had a chest infection that was hitting him hard as it was hitting me. We hit it off immediately. I still firmly believe that he was just impressed that he met someone else whose lungs were not behaving properly. We talked a lot about things that only people who have been sick their whole lives would understand. Hospitals, IV lines, doctors, and the Children’s Wish Foundation.

Our attempts at being normal were obvious. I am a second year university student who is unable to move out of her parents house. Due to having more medical equipment then clothing. He is only 8, so there is a very good chance that he doesn’t even know that his life isn’t normal. He has a basketball net in the childrens play room and wanted to show it off to me.

At one point he asked me if I was on peds floor like he was and I told him no, When I told him that I was on the 6th floor, his eyes got ridiculously large and said in all seriousness “Is it scary up there?” I was laughing so hard I wasn’t sure if the look on his face was hurt or sick. I had to pull myself together and say that “No it’s just grandpa’s up there.”

Sometime being lifted up comes in the strangest forms, and in the most unlikely places. To someone who is different being reminded that they aren’t alone, even if the circumstances are miles apart. Except that one similarity, that one thing that the two of you have experienced that no one else has, can bring you closer then ever felt possible. Even for a 20 year old with CCHS & a 8 year old with cystic fibrosis.

Victoria said thanks.

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Mariah Hillis

History buff living with chronic health problems. Lives life to the fullest, and dreams the biggest dreams, despite not being able to breathe in her sleep.

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