America's Youth
by Kareem J. Maxwell Take A Walk In My Shoes

My mother soon had to leave, because she had to go to work. Later in the evening, after my mother left, my brother Shane came. After he came, I realized I hadn’t used the toilet in days. The medication I was on was the reason why. The medication made me constipated. “I want to use the bathroom.”

“You want to use a bedpan?” my father asked.

“No, I want to use the toilet.” There was a little toilet next to my bed.

“You think you can make it over to the toilet?”


My father and my brother helped me off the bed. As soon as my feet hit the floor, I tried to ignore the pain and walk. I felt like I was going to collapse. “I can’t do it. Put me back in the bed.” My father and brother put me back. I felt angry and hopeless.

“Don’t worry, Kareem. You’re just not ready to walk yet, that’s all,” my father said. But when would I walk? I couldn’t take lying on the bed all day like a dying man. I just wanted things to be normal again. Instead, I had to resort to using a bedpan. I felt ashamed.

My thoughts were restless and negative. What’s going to become of me? Will I ever be able to walk again? Will they actually remove my hands? I couldn’t even sleep. I was having constant fevers due to abundance of wounds on my body and from the lack of blood in my fingers. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I wanted to get out of this bed I was in and walk and be back to normal.