The Worst 24 Hours This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   I had not been feeling well for a fewyears, and last November I began to feel dramatically worse. I went to thedoctor, who put me on antibiotics and sent me back to school. I still had thesame symptoms, though, and when I went to the doctor again, he tested me foranemia and diabetes and made me an appointment with Dr. Bauer at Children'sHospital.

In early February, following an ultrasound, I went toChildren's. It was very scary. There were tons of kids, some too ill to look at,all sitting in the same office waiting for the same doctor, even though theylooked much worse than I. I began to grow nervous, realizing that I could be veryill. After I saw this doctor, I was scheduled for an MRI andurodynamics.

The appointments were too far apart. One month later, I wasin music class when I began experiencing pains in my back. They were so intensethat I was using all my strength just to stay in the chair. I was dismissed fromschool and went right to the doctor's, and then was sent for an MRI.

A fewdays later I came home from school and found my mom at the kitchen table. Shesaid I had an appointment to meet with a neurosurgeon at Children's. Knowing howlong it usually takes to get an appointment, I was scared.

Theneurosurgeon reviewed my MRI and explained to me that I had spina bifida. Myspinal cord was damaged, something that could have been there since birth orcould have happened more recently. He would need to perform surgery to correctit. I knew of spina bifida; those were the kids in wheelchairs. He explained thatthe disease comes in many forms. I just sat there in disbelief, trying not tocry, as I realized my life would never be the same. Walking out of the roomstunned, I was silent for the hour's drive home.

The day of my surgeryI arrived at the hospital at 11 a.m. Having not eaten for 14 hours, I was veryhungry. Finally my parents and I went to the operating room's waiting room. Atall, frail-looking woman approached my gurney. She explained that she was theanesthesiologist and injected a liquid she called "happy juice" into myvein. That is all I remember.

I awoke seven hours later lying flat on mystomach. The surgery had taken longer than expected. It felt like there was ahuge weight on my lower back. There were tubes attached to my hands pumpingmorphine to ease the pain. I was very thirsty. I, who did not like water, couldthink of nothing else. All I remember is drinking and drinking, it tasted sogood. Suddenly I began to feel sick and threw up.

That night I had afever. The nurse came in every two hours to check my temperature and bloodpressure, which made sleeping impossible.

When the sun began to flowthrough the blinds, it was 6 a.m., too early to start a day that would be spentlying on my stomach with no pillow. Those 24 hours were the worst of mylife.

The next day, as my mom was on the first floor getting dinner, and Iwas on the ninth, the words "Code Red, Code Red" blared throughout thecorridors. There was a fire in the hospital. The door to my room automaticallyslammed shut and I was petrified. I was unable to walk because of the surgery andI still had an IV running to my hand. For once in my life, I did not know what todo. My mom finally was able to make her way to my room. The "fire" wasjust burnt popcorn in another wing. Everything was okay, but I was stillscared.

I was able to go home the next day after four days in thehospital. At home, I began walking more and growing stronger. I tutored myselffor the month I was home, and when I returned to school in June, I was notpermitted to carry my books because too much strain on my back could be harmful.I was feeling a lot better, and by mid-July I was feeling myself again.

My friends and I grew very close during this time. They had seen me getting sickand were always right there next to me in the nurse's office. I didn't have thecourage to tell them at first, but I began to reveal details. Unsure of how theywould react, I downplayed my situation. In the end, I couldn't have asked forbetter friends. They were so supportive and helpful. They called me in thehospital, they came to visit once I was home and called me constantly, and onefriend had our entire grade sign a card for me.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
today at 8:14 am
i love this so much!
The_Blackest_Rose This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 10, 2010 at 10:51 am
Very inspiring and very relatable. The one thing that I would suggest would be to proofread before you send it in, because there are a lot of typos. But other than that, simply stunning. Very believeable. All in all, a magnificient piece of work. :]
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