“A hospital bed is a parked taxi with the meter running.” ~ Groucho Marx

I never planned to live in chaos. But here I am again. Trying to steady my brain. Looking up at the sky. Searching for my purpose with the stress of my diagnosis sitting on my shoulders.

Endless doctors appointments, various symptoms and unsolicited magic potion advice builds the pressure. Until one day I blacked out. Fainting from the force of my burdens. Regaining consciousness in an all too familiar place. Laying flat on my back in a hospital bed. Waking to monitors flashing my status. Echoing like slot machines. Not knowing if I was dreaming or awake.

I silently looked around the room and saw my husband sitting in a corner chair. Eyes closed, slowly bobbing his head with headphones wrapped around his ears listening to Kanye West yell at him. Music so loud I could hear every lyric.

Above his head, there was a dry erase board hanging on the wall. The date, my vital signs and unfortunately my weight were written right below the on duty nurse’s name.

I glanced back at my husband and realized he had fallen asleep. And worst of all his music was still playing. I couldn’t help but think, if I die right now the last voice I’m going to hear is Kanye West. What a horrifying fate.

Why couldn’t he be listening to Adele or Beyonce? I love crying to their music. The distraction of sympathizing for them always makes me feel less sorry for myself.

For the next 30 minutes, I listened to muffled rap music and watched as twilight slowly pierced the window blinds and overtook the room. Creating a murky space with an aura of sadness. To ward off melancholy feelings, I concentrated on all the good times. The love I received from others and the love I had for myself. I diverted my attention to a tray table displaying a row of cards and flowers undoubtedly given to me by my friends and family. It provided me hope and a feeling of joy.

Then from the shadows, I noticed a nurse entering the room. She approached my bed and very cheerfully said to me, “Welcome back.”

Her acknowledgement confirmed I was not dreaming. So I smiled the biggest smile I had ever smiled. Because at that moment, I recognized I had once more faced and conquered my demon. I was triumphant. And thanks to the universe, I was allowed to continue living, loving and laughing.

So as my hospital room filled with the voice of Kanye West screaming at the world, I began screaming at the MonSter, “I’m still here!”

(The first things I saw and experienced after waking up in the hospital. And finally being discharged.)