Cleaning out the Closet

“Kevin!” I desperately pleaded for my husband to come find me standing outside the bathroom. We were cleaning and moving the last remnants from our old two bedroom apartment to close it out. The air was musty from abandonment, and I wished I didn’t have to be here and instead was comfortable in our new town home rental – a place of fresh starts – a place where I was never sick or dying.

He came running and I wrapped my arms around him, and I took in the scent of our laundry detergent and sweat. I just stayed for a moment in our old empty bedroom to get my breathing under control as haunting tears slid down my face. I wanted to forget we ever lived here – that I was ever sick – that I ever laid in that bathroom many days and nights with bloody gauze pads from surgery and vomit on my lips.

After I composed myself, Kevin went into the bathroom with me and he held the black trash bag open. I sat on the floor in front of the small bathroom closet and grabbed handfuls of a painful past I survived.

Two empty prescription boxes of Lovenox needles I injected into my legs twice a day

A handful of large gauze pads I used to keep the tube in my side clean after I showered or drained it for fluid

A full box of discreet Mendela nursing pads though I could never nurse

Full boxes of pads and tampons I will never need again

Plastic hospital bags with discharge paperwork from the emergency room

One bright orange empty bottle of Hydromorphone

We threw the bag in the dumpster, and left it all behind, where it belonged. Then we drove to our new home and new life.

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