I had the opportunity today to tour what had been my home for a little over a day. Unit 31, the Neuro-ICU at Emory Hospital Midtown.
Beginning my tenure this morning as a member of the UPC (Unit Practice Council) of Unit 31 as a Patient and Family Advisor, I knew I was going to revisit and confront a place that represented the most difficult time in my life.
It felt weird.
It felt surreal.
It was thought-provoking.
I gained a good perspective.
Everyone knew me. Not because of my short stay as a patient, but as a patient who filmed a video with her surgeon for Emory Healthcare. Yes Costas, to my disbelief, you were right. Everyone has seen it. We are “famous” as you put it. It was bizarre.
I knew with clarity what room I had been in. I approached but had no desire to get too close. Filled with another patient, the room held a memory but was no longer personal and while I know the reality of finding myself again within the confines of those walls exists, for now I am free.
I became free from the apprehension I had felt in anticipation of the morning and became filled with hope. Hope for what I have accomplished thus far and reminded of how far I have come.
It was worth facing my fear, stepping back in and revisiting a profoundly difficult time.
I look forward to going back as a patient advisor, not a patient.