I was told that the Medical University of South Carolina was (and is) one of the best hospitals in South Carolina. They have some of the best doctors working and teaching. The hospital has all kinds of doctors scattered throughout the hospital and in the clinics throughout Charleston. It’s the hospital that you want to be associated with if you have an illness.
My first year after being diagnosed was horrible. I was poked so many times that now I am used to needle pricks. I went through a spinal tap, MRI, and X-rays, just to name a couple. My life as a 15-16 year old was far from normal at first. My first two years in high school were the hardest but eventually life became easier.
I had the occasional upset as far as getting sick but nothing that I would call major. I used to feel like people were staring at me, at my face, my aching body and the funny way I walked. I tried so hard to walk normally but I was just in so much pain. It felt like my body was betraying me.
I graduated from high school and enrolled in college. I started dating a guy that I later married and we had a child. Being pregnant was one of the most scariest times in my life. My doctors tried so hard to talk to me about the complications and problems that could arise but I didn’t want to hear it. I wanted my baby. I was only 19 years old.
I was not quite the perfect patient during my pregnancy. I missed many appointments and paid for it in the end. When I finally went back I had to get a stress test done and some other tests. During the stress test I became light headed and dizzy. The nurse told me to sit up and see if it was better…..it got worse! She told me to go in the restroom and give them a urine sample. They examined it and told me almost immediately that my babies life and my life was in danger. He had to be delivered soon. Real soon.
I was admitted on a Monday to the hospital and put into a room. Hooked up to IVs and monitors…..I was scared! My son was born on Thursday, October 26, 2000. Christopher Germaine Harrison, Jr. was the most beautiful baby and weighed 4 lbs. 13 oz. He was born five and a half weeks early and having problems breathing. I was confined to the bed for 24 hours and unable to see him that first night. I felt horrible…..what had I bought my child into? I had wonderful nurses and they definitely took care of me but I wanted my son. My nurse took pity on me and bought me a picture of him. I was so grateful, I still have that picture to this day and he’s 11 years old.
By Saturday, I wasn’t able to stay in the hospital anymore but my son was unable to come home yet. They still hadn’t fed him yet and he was cranky lol. I cried all the way home and when I got home, locked myself in the bathroom and cried all afternoon. Being home without my baby was never what I wanted and drained me.