My secret made me sick. All that anger, guilt and confusion. I felt it in my stomach. And two weeks after I turned 18 years old, my stomach exploded due to a blood clot, which later was hypothesized to be caused from a stress ulcer. My molestation was a very stressful secret. Suddenly, my family could keep no secrets.
As a healthcare advocate and former ICU patient who has been transferred throughout the many divisions of the healthcare system, I would like to say "Thank you" to healthcare providers and all hospital personnel for choosing this path in life and for all that you do each day for your patients and their families.
I often reflect back on my time in ICU as a team effort, between myself and my care team, and also with my parents, family, and friends. Having my parents there with me in the hospital meant everything to me. Growing up, they were my role models, my friends, my supporters -- and in the hospital, my guardian angels.
In celebration of Obergefell v. Hodge we went out for drinks at Legal Sea Foods in Harvard Square. While enjoying the evening summer breeze, my spouse said we could have this experience all year if we moved to a milder climate. I snapped back and said, "I ain't moving to Georgia!" And that's what marriage equality looks like.
On March 31, 2014, two young men suddenly appeared in a dark alley in Pittsburgh. Their subsequent encounter with my partner, Allen, changed our lives forever. It turns out Pittsburgh is a pretty good place to have a massive heart attack. But for these two strangers, Allen would undoubtedly have died that night.
When it comes to the recovery of a patient, no matter how small an improvement is, there is still a level of improvement that is taking place. Something as subtle as the blink of an eye can be a monumental milestone because in that split second you are witnessing a speck of light in a world that had the possibility of remaining in complete darkness.