Then the rehab journey began. The day I got there, I had pancreatitis. Big word, I know. I couldn’t eat for 3-4 days. But eventually, it got better and I returned to rehab. It was hard. I was weak. But I had a great physical therapist. He made me laugh even when I didn’t want to. He was funny, nice, caring, and most of all he made sure I worked hard. We did things, like getting up on all fours and doing push-ups, or standing in a frame that held me up and simulated walking. My occupational therapist was a whole other story. The entire time she let me play board games. She made my day brighter.
I met one of my best friends in rehab. Her name is Amanda, she’s 15, and she’s from the Boston area. She fell down the stairs and broke her hip. I told her what happened to me and she said we could be there for each other no matter what.
People visited. They would bring food, games, presents, and things that you would think would make a person feel better. But the reality was that there was only one present I ever wanted; to be able to go home and back to school, like nothing life-changing had ever happened. To be treated as the same person they knew before.
I was able to go to my aunt’s house for Easter. When I was there, the feeling that everybody was staring at me and not the food, just made me angrier, and sadder. I wanted to leave as soon as possible, and I think my mom knew that. I also had to spend my 13th birthday in the hospital. Yep, I had a party in a hospital. A lot of girls came. My friend Amanda had left by then but she came back to surprise me. My aunt also surprised me with a private concert by one of my favorite singers from her hometown.
Eventually, I got stronger and the countdown to go home got shorter. My mom was there with me most of the time. She had the same emotions I did. It hurt me to see her so sad and frustrated at doctors and nurses. But we both knew why we were frustrated; it was because no one could tell us the answer to the only question we ever had. How does someone who has been extremely healthy their entire life end up spending two months in hospitals being monitored every day?