The Hypochondriac

Lilia was born at 26 weeks, before her lungs had a chance to fully develop, so from the age of 2 till 3 or so, she spent a lot of time in the hospital with various respiratory ailments. She spent a lot of time in the ICU, the CCU, and the HCU, hooked up to IVs and C-PAPs. She was jabbed with many needles, confined to oxygen tents, pumped up with drugs that made her paranoid, and had her nose and throat suctioned several times a day. Believe me, she did not have a good time. Which is why I find it very strange that she now loves going to the hospital and enjoys watching medical dramas on TV. Today I took her to the doctor to see about this terrible cough she’s had since yesterday. As usual, she was a model patient, opening her mouth for the tonuge depressor without being told, and eager to use the nebulizer. After we got her meds, she wanted to hold the bag. She waited in the car when I went to get Jio after school, but I carried the medicine with me to make sure she didn’t do an Anne Nicole.

All I can imagine is that this is her way of dealing with her early trauma. At the time, I thought, “Well, at least she won’t remember any of this.” And yet, every time we see an ambulance, she perks up with recognition. To be perfectly honest, after all those years of having to pin her down and pinch her nose to get her to open her mouth for medicine, it’s sort of nice that she’s willing to take it now.


2 thoughts on “The Hypochondriac

  1. Wow, that is so fascinating (and pretty poignant, too). Maybe on some level the medical world is kind of like “home” to her, on a body-memory level. Awful to think of that teeny body enduring all that stuff, but amazing that it is almost comforting to her now.

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