Mom wrote a poem called Meningitis recently and presented it at the TBS talent show. The poem describes in graphic detail her experience of my catching Meningitis when I was three years old. The coma. The burning to the touch. My body being kept on ice to bring down the temperature. My parents not being allowed to touch or hold me for days. The massive amounts of penicillin. The child across the hall who died (the most likely outcome) before I recovered.
I did recover. Though, as with some coma patients I had to relearn basic motor functions (at an accelerated pace). The doctors were concerned I was not talking. When I got home, I resumed talking like normal. A part of the story not in the poem is that I would point in the direction of our house with a frustrated expression. Since the room in the hospital faced such that I could see it, I didn’t understand at the time why I could not go home…. after all, I could see it.
I have mixed feelings about whether this is a private or open topic. Its deeply personal. However, at the same its somewhat abstract for me. Something that happened so long ago. I do not remember these events except as the stories other tell about me.
I am glad I survived. At the same time, when I think about the other families whose children who did not survive, I usually shed several tears. I could pass them in the street and not know who they are, but for some reason it pains me.