I had never been eight before, after all, and I figured that maybe, getting older was supposed to be like this. I decided to think about Mom and Dad coming to pick me up, instead. They would want to know about all my amazing camp adventures. You see, this was my very first time away from home, and I had been at camp for six whole nights. I had so much to tell them that I tucked my body feelings away and concentrated on everything else. There's always a lot to do in a cabin the day that camp's over.
And that's what I was doing, concentrating hard, using all of my energy to pack my clothes. When I had stuffed half of them into my giant striped bag, this sickness pounced into my life like a mean tiger from a nightmare. Thatís how scary it seemed. All of a sudden I felt very tired, and very thirsty, and very hot, and so dizzy that the cabin began to spin around. And then my eyes slammed shut.
When I woke up, I was so confused--I didn't know where I was. I thought that I should still be in my cabin, but my Mom and Dad were both right here with me, holding my hand and smiling, telling me that I was in the hospital, and that I was OK. OK? I was scared to death! This was the second time I had ever been in a hospital, and the first time was terrible. That's the time I was visiting my Dad's Grandpa. He was very sick and he died the day after I went to see him. So when my mom said that I was in the hospital, I figured that I was stuck in the middle of a bad dream. I wondered if I would die, too...
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Joan Fleitas, Ed.D., R.N.
Associate Professor of Nursing, Lehman College, CUNY
Bronx, New York 10468
Last updated: November 14, 2004