The summer after the first time that my foot swelled up, I went outside in my bare feet. I especially didn’t have much feeling in my right foot, and I burned my feet on the blacktop of the parking lot so bad that my right foot blistered. The blisters took many months to heal and left scars on my foot. That’s when I began to realize that I couldn’t go back to doing everything that a lot of other people can do.
Then I was out playing in the snow after the Winter Storm of 1994 had hit when my right foot swelled up and turned red again. Maw Maw took me back to Dr. Goddy, and I was, once again, back in the hospital.
This hospital stay was even more fun than the previous one, because I wasn’t on constant antibiotics. The food was still excellent. The nurses continued to squabble over me–I mean, rave about my eyes. And I preferred to fall asleep on the couch while I was watching television like I was at home instead of sleeping in the hospital bed. I wasn’t thinking at all about when I’d get to go home.
Aunt Rita would sometimes call me and ask me if I wanted something from McDonald’s before she came to see me. “A Quarter-Pounder, large fries, and large Coke,” I’d always say. Dad didn’t bring my Nintendo this time, but there was a “Ms. Pac-Man” game in the children’s playroom. I’d be in there at all hours playing “Ms. Pac-Man,” because I wanted to be as good, or even better, at it than Aunt Rita. She loved that game, and sometimes we’d play it when she came to the hospital to visit me.
Even though I had to stay off of my foot, being not hooked up to antibiotics all day and night, I liked to get into my wheelchair and race up and down the halls at night. The nurses would know that I was doing it when they had to flush out the blood that seeped into my I.V., and they told me to watch out, but I guess they didn’t make a big deal about it since I had such pretty eyes (hey, I’m just telling you what they told me). But I’m really glad that I didn’t hurt someone, because that’s awful to even think about.
When I woke up one morning, my breakfast tray was on the table by my bed with the milk carton opened. I immediately wheeled down the hallway and told my nurse that someone had drank all of my milk. She told me that Dr. Goddy had been in my room to see me, but she didn’t believe that anyone drank my milk. That nurse thought that I was trying to get another milk! After I wheeled back to my room, I picked up the milk carton to discover that it was still full. My nurse must’ve opened it for me. I panicked, downed the milk, and continued to swear up-and-down that Dr. Goddy drank all of my milk when he came in to check on me.
I was back in school a couple of weeks after I got out of the hospital. But I think that that hospital visit taught me that I should take care of God’s blessings. I almost lost my right foot once, and after I was released from the hospital the second time for my right foot, I kept my feet protected whenever I went outdoors.