Tuesday, August 19, 2008

An Interesting Experience

Today my mom came for a visit. She brought a Belgian waffle (would you expect anything less?) and another new lounging outfit complete with cushioned socks. After breakfast I was desperate to go for a walk, so we went downstairs. We stopped in the gift shop for a new magazine and a snack, and then just sat on the couch in the lobby for awhile.

While we were sitting there, two gals with IV poles strolled by. One of them said "hi Lauren!" and for a minute I had to try to jumpstart my brain to remember how I knew her. It was Katrina--one of my CF pals. We usually only talk on the phone because of the cross-infection rules. She and I email every now and then and we've seen each other in passing at clinic. She introduced the other girl to me, who was also a CFer in the room next to Kat's.

For almost 20 minutes we chatted with one another from about 20 feet apart. Thank goodness for my hearing aids or that wouldn't have been possible. We covered our mouths when we coughed (which wasn't that frequently) and compared notes on how the RTs are doing (they agree that they're bad at the schedule this time) and what meds we're on.

Believe it or not, speaking in person with another CF woman, let alone 2 at once, was an entirely new experience for me. I felt so connected. I felt an incredible sense of kinship and even joy to know that the road that CF takes us on is not one we walk alone.

That doesn't mean I don't feel connected to the online community of CFers. I do. It's just very different to be able to look at someone's face while you talk to them. I think that's also why I feel so connected to Marjolein when we're in Second Life together. There's something to be said for having a visual aid to accompany the words that are exchanged.

I'm so grateful and thankful for the experience I had today. It was a good for me to see others like me--dressed in casual clothes, walking around like normal except for an IV pole. To be honest, I hardly even noticed the poles or whether the girls had PICC lines or a port. I just wanted to commit the image of the two of them to my memory, and I have.

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