The last time I ever ran a fever was when I was 12 years old. I was at a summer camp with my church, and I woke up that morning, knowing I was sick. Now, most normal twelve year olds would just suck it up and go have fun and play at the beach right? Apparently, not me. I was bedridden the entire day. I don’t even know how we knew I had a fever, but it was a blazing one. I don’t think we had a thermometer until later, but whatever.
As I slept the day away, I was hardly aware of everything going on. The six other girls sharing our room came in and out, changing clothes, throwing their bags down, showering, etc. And I just laid there in my own private infirmary.
Counselors took turns watching me. I remember awaking one time to one just sitting there with her feet up reading a magazine. I tried to force out a smile at her, to thank her, but it probably looked more like, ‘I’m about to pass out and throw up’.
Finally, someone suggested taking me to the clinic there. Genius idea right? Well our leader decided that was not necessary. Me being you know, twelve, didn’t argue. I just laid there doing nothing. But inside I was begging for a doctor. I was miserable, 8 hours from my Mom, and had no one to take real care of me. Basically they all told me to just suck it up after that first day.
We went to the cafeteria the next morning, and I could hardly walk, I kept blacking out, and I was unaware of everything. I couldn’t really hear people talking because my ears were just full of sickness.
I tried to tell the person in charge of our cabin that I really didn’t think I could participate in the activities, and she told me I had to.
You know why I remember this so vividly? Its not because the pain was so bad. Or because I was so scared. Or upset that I was missing out on so much. It was because no one ever listened to me.
They wouldn’t take me to the doctor. They wouldn’t let me rest. They were forcing me to do things, when I felt miserable. And there was no way for me to convey to them what was happening.
That night we had a worship service and the whole time I was sitting there I was pretty much certain it was my last day of life. At the invitation, I even went up and prayed with someone there about me being sick. I’m not typically the type to take up to the altar unless something is heavy on my heart, but I went up there to pray about me feeling sick. It’s sort of like praying for your cat. It seems silly to everyone else but makes perfect sense to you.
Anyway, I finally arrived home a few days later. I promise you I have never been happier than THAT day.
Being ignored and forgotten was the scariest time of my life.
And sometimes, I still feel like that. And it scares the bejeebies out of me.