I left the hospital around 9 pm last night. This is the same hospital where my dad had dialysis for two+ years before I gave him the kidney and where he also received his Gastric Bypass operation. It’s not like other hospitals. They actually pride themselves in advertisements around the wings that say “this is a hospital for people who don’t like hospitals”.

My mother has been staying there for the past couple of nights. She drove herself to the emergency room on Friday because she was feeling these weird chest pains and also in her back as well. It turns out that my mother may have had a slight heart attack. They don’t see it on many of the tests, but they suspect that is what it is because her Enzymes levels are all out of wack.

She looks fine, and feels better than she did when she first checked in Friday afternoon. I guess I should be shocked that she had one, but I don’t. My mother has been stubborn about taking care of herself, and I know that the recent death of her father (at 90) has been really hard on her. I think however this is the wake up call that she needed. The smoking is gone, the diet Pepsi will be gone and she’ll be working on rehab at the hospital.

How did I react? I went to Wendy’s and ordered a double cheeseburger. I know I was upset about my mother, about losing my grandfather last month, about the loss of my relationship (who is now of course already with someone else), but this was ridiculous. I wolfed it down and then thought about it. What the hell was I doing? I have been working out for the past month and have lost a bit of weight. Why would I jeopardize it by eating this crap? Well, what was done was done, and I’m not about to throw up the food, so I did the next best thing: I went swimming at 10pm. 🙂

It was amazing. It was completely empty and had this peaceful quality, shimmering throughout the length of the pool. I jumped in, dunked my head, put on my PINK goggles and started my laps. I moved slowly at first, and then picked up to a nice speed. I swam back and forth for about a half hour, stopping only to do some exercises in the pool like a little old lady.

The last stop was in the glorious whirlpool that awaits me every time I finish swimming. Usually, there is some guy in the whirlpool who I always try to avoid by looking away. I can’t see without my glasses and I don’t want anyone thinking that I am giving them an invitation to talk to me. That is my worst pet peeve when I am in the pool.

The water was coming down in the fake waterfall and I just let loose. The crying commenced and I just sat there for a few minutes, letting it all out. The pain, the suffering, the release of letting things go and knowing that I needed to let life happen. I can’t control it to my liking, I just have to let things run their natural course.

 Stacy Jill, 34, Chicago

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