I sit there in the waiting room, looking down quietly at my phone as I read the text.
It has only been 2 months since my last hospitalization, a sure sign that Cystic Fibrosis is progressing. My lungs simply…are losing their stability. One chronic infection after another and I am starting to build up resistance to the only medication that exists to save me.
“Can I come up there right now to be with you?” Sure, I’ve had boyfriends feel it was their obligation to visit when I am hospitalized, but to sit with me in the waiting room as I find out what day I will be admitted, as I hack up mucous into sputum cups to send to the lab, as a 3/4 inch needle is attached to my chest…this is new.
I reply that his gesture is entirely unnecessary and I have checked myself into a hospital before, so no need for him to drive 20 minutes to sit with me for the next 30.
The problem is, he’s adamant. He wants to be there. I quit replying to his messages. This is MY life, MY failing health, MY struggle. I’m not ready to share it with a man I just met. Two days later, I’m hooked up to my IV machine and going through chest physiotherapy.
“Can I visit? Can I bring you anything?” He texts. I thought I was ready for love.
As Carrie Bradshaw once said, “I’m looking for love, real love. Ridiculous. Inconvenient. Consuming. Can’t-Live-Without-Each-Other-Love. ” And here, I am, completely vulnerable, with a man who wants to bring me dinner and sit with me in the hospital. Yet…I can’t bring myself to reply.
He never did anything wrong, he never said the wrong thing. He was polite and genuinely cared to be there for me, despite only being on a few dates. So why couldn’t I let him?