Aida Zabidi
I was always the weakling child. 

The one who would get bouts of illness. The one who would go in and out of hospital for asthma. I was always sickly, and my parents banned me from sporting activity out of concern for my health. 

My younger sister was the strong one. Never ill, forever active. How I envied her. 

I don’t remember much of hospital, but I remember how much I hated that white sterile environment. They could chuck in all the pink sheets and murals they wanted to, but there was always a certain smell about the hospital that I hated. And I hated being there, bored to death in my ward, with restricted movement. Ironic that I still pursued medicine after all that.

I was sick this week; struck by a bout of fever and asthma that knocked me off my feet for a good couple of days. It had been so long that I was that sick, and I had forgotten what it felt like to have difficulty breathing. 

How it felt to not be able to take a full breath, like there was a tight band around my chest. 

How it felt like breathing itself took effort.

How it felt to have no energy and no appetite, to the extent that every single moment was focused on recovery. 

I cannot imagine those who undergo chronic illness, to constantly feel less than themselves in their everyday lives. 

Health is a blessing, and it is only when it is taken away that you are reminded of how precious your strength and your health is to you. I am thankful for the reminder, least of all at a time when I myself am dealing with ill people every day, and to remind myself that I am in a position where I should be able to relate to those who pass me by every day.
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