Imagine this: a vacation spot where you’re guaranteed a room at the top of a high-rise overlooking a beautiful city, 24/7 room service–in fact, the room comes with a buzzer to call for the staff, bringing an attendant to your door within 30 seconds. Free movies to watch at any time, unlimited amounts of food and drinks, and exercise equipment delivered right to your room. And, you don’t even need to make a reservation in advance!
This place does exist and it has become our get-away, usually during Eamonn’s school vacation times. So where is this unheard of secret spot? You guessed it- Brigham and Women’s Hospital located right here in Boston!
Since Eamonn has lived in Boston (as a post-college grad) we have “vacationed” here 5 times, last weekend being the most recent. Though the description is all true, don’t be fooled. It’s not as magical and glamorous as it sounds. However, the Brigham has jokingly become our “home away from home.” Despite hating being there for many reasons, most obvious being that it means Eamonn is sick, we actually find ourselves relaxing, having significant quality time together, and simply enjoying each other’s company (we also love visitors!). Our visits have included dance parties; watching movies that we otherwise would have never seen; a great excuse for Chinese take-out; learning new games to play on the iPad, such as Risk, which I just learned; meeting so many kind, helpful nurses that all love Eamonn; getting new socks, (you know the hospital ones with the grips at the bottom) which has meant that Eamonn has not had to buy his own socks for a very long time and unstoppable laughter.
I often get thrown off when Eamonn is admitted to the hospital—it’s incredibly unsettling and always a reminder of reality. CF is like an ex-relationship—it shows up just when you’re back on your feet, feeling better, and thinking you are ready to move on. It knows exactly the best timing to remind you that it’s still a part of your life even when things seem so much better. But sometimes Eamonn and I need those reminders—to not take each day for granted, especially when everything starts to feel so “normal.”
Someday, hopefully soon, Eamonn and I will go on a vacation that does not include nurses, doctors and an emergency room, and where he’ll have the freedom to come and go as he pleases. But it doesn’t really matter where we are as long as we have fun together and remember to keep laughing! For now we hope to stay out of any hospital—on that note, this past weekend marked 1 year since Eamonn was last admitted for a serious CF exacerbation (his most recent admission was due to a health scare that required observation). So here’s to many more years away from Hotel Brigham, but many real get-aways in the future!