Here I am in hospital, just for a blood test. Last time I was here, was four days ago, being released. I am glad to be free from an inpatient stay. I know this hospital, like I know my own soul. Since first coming in, twelve years ago, full of trepidation for my baby and me.

Surgeries, clinics, inpatient, tests. Fractured limbs, fractured mind, cath labs, echoes, vocal cord injections, endo, ortho, and all of the rest. I’m doing just fine right now. Accepting reality, not feeling weighed down.

Starbucks, Walgreens, restaurants too. Cardio, psych ward, medical, outpatient appointments. Fear, relief, uncertainty. Laughing with staff I’m comfortable with. So many times I’ve seen them, and they’ve seen me.

Doctors and nurses, sitters, security: most of them friendly, ignore the rest. Each time I’m released, I promise “no more,” at least from the psych ward. No more pain for my kids, my spouse, or for me. No more mistakes, or stupidity. For medical stays, I promise I’ll walk, be healthy, eat right. I don’t want to come back for either. It is likely inevitable. At the same time, I feel how lucky I am. Ranked #7 in the nation for cardio, and cardiac surgery. I live in a time and a place, when and where, I can get great care.

And so when I lie in a bed, or sit in a chair, and am prodded and poked, interviewed or sliced, I must remember just how fortunate I am.

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