Have you ever been really, really sick? I mean drop-dead, knock-out, sicker than sick? If you’d asked me that question a month go, I would’ve told you “Yep, sure have.” I’ve had mono twice, I’ve had strep more times than I could begin to count, and there isn’t a stomach virus out there that I haven’t got up close and personal with. But none of that compares to what I recently went through. About two weeks ago I got sick. And I mean sick. When it was all over with, my world had been turned upside-down, and I had spent a week in the hospital.

The only other time I had ever spent time in the hospital is when I had O. And to me, that didn’t really “count”—almost everyone spends time in the hospital when they have a baby. It’s expected. But my recent hospital stay was completely unexpected.

Without getting into any details, a few weekends back I got real sick. I went to the emergency room on Monday per the advice of my doctor, thinking I’d get some IV fluids and some meds. Then I’d be on my way and on the mend. Half of that happened. I got IV fluids, meds, and I was discharged. But then I didn’t get better. So the next day I had to go back. And that’s when I got (dum dum dum) admitted. I needed fluids, potassium, magnesium, and all sorts of other things put back into my body, and IV antibiotics to cure some of the other things I’d come down with while I was fighting the scourge. They also needed to run test after test to figure out what was wrong with me. Honestly? The time spent in the hospital is a blur. The weekend leading up to my time in the hospital was a blur.

But I do know one thing: I couldn’t get by without a little help from my friends. And my family.

I’m a single mom. I don’t live close to any immediate family. I like to do everything for myself. I don’t like to take help. I don’t like to feel dependent on others. I don’t like other people to go out of their way to help me. Call me independent, call me stubborn, call me stupid—but that’s how I am.

This time, though? I needed help. Bad. And help is what I got. From some of the best family and friends a girl could have.

My parents drove five hours to Cincinnati and took care of O all week long—including toting him to and from daycare while visiting me in the hospital. With my parents taking care of O, I could actually rest easy (as much as possible in a hospital, anyway), assured he was getting top-notch care (not to mention oodles of grandma and grandpa time). Since I couldn’t see O while in the hospital (visitation didn’t allow, and I was scared to expose him), my parents called me every night so he and I could “talk.” Read: me talking and O breathing real heavy into the phone.

Two of the best friends a girl could ever have toted me to and from the hospital, visited me, ran errands for me, helped me with O—and assisted me in any way they thought they could. Even more friends sent sweet cards, care packages, flowers, and called multiple times to check on me and see if they could offer assistance.

I’ve never been that sick in my life. But I’ve also never felt so cared for. Thanks everyone, you’re the bestest.

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