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tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches

Updated: Mar 2, 2022

I almost died when I was seven. My family jokes about it, the way you can joke when the person lives to tell the tale. It was a real emergency, and I have the giant scar to prove it.

We joke that my parents almost killed me, thinking I was overacting a stomach bug, when it was actually a burst appendix.

me, age seven

In reality, as soon as they realized my condition was dire, they wrapped me in a sleeping bag, and sped to the hospital. Within minutes of arriving, I was in an OR having septic shrapnel removed from my abdomen.

I might be from the ‘shake it off’ generation, but they must have been so scared. Their actions saved my life.

I bet I milked my near-death experience for a long time (who am I kidding, I am still milking it). I know I got five star care, because my mum is best at tending to her sick children. I'm sure I got lots of Jell-O, ginger ale, and popsicles, and of course tomato soup, and grilled cheese sandwiches.

About a year ago a friend told me she wants to meet my mum. “I know she’s an amazing woman,” she said. “Because she raised an amazing daughter.”

The request came after my friend had started to recover from Covid. She had the bad kind, not that there’s a good kind. It lasted a long time, and had terrible, lingering symptoms. I was concerned for her life. At one point during her illness, I went into full mum mode, dropping off every sick person recovery food I could think of. I asked what she ate as a kid to feel better, hoping she'd eat. I have a newfound respect for the life-saving properties of restaurant mac & cheese.

I know everyone is tired of Covid. I am too, but I am also thankful for the progress we’ve made against it so not as many people lose their loved ones. I know three people who died. That’s heartbreaking. I still hear people downplaying the illness because they were lucky enough to have a mild case, or they don’t know anyone who had the bad kind; the kind that makes a person unfathomably sick, or worse.

I have joked with my friend since she recovered from Covid. We joke about her memory fog, and how she stopped eating and needed emergency mac & cheese. I have the luxury of joking with her, the way you can joke when the person lives to tell the tale.

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