Monday was the darkest day. My chest tightened as though I had smoked a brick of Marlboro Reds while walking up 100 floors on a StairMaster. Each time I took a breath, I’d feel a sharp pain; the nurse said I had pulled a muscle from violently coughing. The oxygen helped and kept my anxiety levels down. I slept. A lot. By Tuesday, I was able to sit up properly in bed and take in my surroundings. There were eight beds in the isolated ward, many with the curtains closed around them, but I could hear the faint hissing of the other patients’ oxygen tanks. I was surprised to see that I wasn’t the only ‘young’ one there. One guy on the ward looked in his mid 20s, others seemed to be in their 30s or 40s. My nurse, who had been attentively looking after me, told me I was lucky to have been brought in so quickly. I noticed she was trying to lift the mood, despite the fear in her eyes. She told me I was strong and would get back to good health soon. I didn’t believe her. Then I received a text from my friend, asking if I was still alive. I read it out to my nurse. “Still alive? Of course you are. I’m looking after you!” she said, smiling at me. And she did.
Jessica Morgan Read More