Today a woman who shares my first name and is a member of one of the arts communities online that I’m a part of had a heart attack. I don’t know her well, but was glad to hear that she’s doing okay, and is expected to make a full recovery. When the news was spread about her heart attack, I got an email just a few minutes later from another semi-local person in the arts community.
The email asked if it was I who had the heart attack, and what they could do to help.
It made me cry.
It took me a while to sort through why exactly that would be a sad thing for me, and I think the truth of that sadness lies in my diabetes diagnosis. I was in graduate school, surrounded by people I hung out with for hours every day and considered my close friends, people who I laughed with and went out to dinner with and complained with. When I was in the hospital, none of those people called. I don’t think they really noticed I was missing. When I got back to school, they were surprised to see me. It was a busy time in the year, and on the heels of a vacation, so I can see how it may have seemed like I just didn’t get back in time or something, but it hurt.
And then in Tucson, when I was in the hospital for 5 days from DKA stemming from an infection they could never locate (turns out it was likely related to Valley Fever), Daniel called his parents and told them not to come. We kept thinking we’d be right out, as it wasn’t anything other than DKA which resolved pretty quickly, but they kept us and kept us to try and figure out the trigger. And even though I had asked Daniel to ask his parents not to come, I felt the same feeling of being forgotten. Not by my in laws, but by the rest of the large and usually joyous family that was spread all over Tucson.
We’ve been moving for a long time. We’re only just beginning to plan a life in one place. And here, now, for the first time in years, I’m starting to feel like someone would notice and care if I ended up in the hospital. Someone other than my family, and other than my husband. And it isn’t just that email. It’s something else altogether, some way in which this city is slowly rising up to meet me, and that is more reassuring than I have words for.