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Not Today, My Friend This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Game point. The ball was served and hit theground. Volleyball class was a joke, and my team hit the ball around asif it had never touched the ground. When the teacher said, "Okay!Game!" the girl next to me, angry at our loss, kicked the ball directlyinto my hand. Instant pain.

By the time we reached the emergencyroom 30 minutes later, my hand was killing me. When the doctor came in,she noticed how much pain I was in and asked if I would like somethingfor it. She brought me a narcotic in the codeine family, then took mefor x-rays. I had a severely sprained wrist and a dislocated thumb. Sheput it in a brace, wrote a prescription for 12 more painkillers and toldme I'd be fine.

We went to fill my prescription; when thepainkillers hit 15 minutes later I was floating. But then I started tofeel ill. I ignored it and did my best to carry on. Then I started tofeel really ill.

I thought I was going to be sick as we passedthe wastebaskets in the bathroom department. I grabbed a designer canand sat on the floor. My mom was panicking about me throwing up in thegarbage can; she kept saying we'd have to buy it and we didn't need it.That was the least of my worries.

My mom ran to get me a bag tobe sick in. A lady turned the corner and asked if I wasokay.

"No! She's not okay!" my mom said, and the lady tookaction. She pulled rugs off the shelf, grabbed my shoulders and pulledme onto them. By this time, I was in a cold sweat and freezing. Thelining of my stomach felt like it was being ripped out, my head wasspinning and it was extremely hard to breathe. My face turned white,then blue. The lady took my pulse and said, "I can hardly feel it,it's very weak. Call an ambulance!" Then I stopped breathing.

Mymom was hysterical, crying and shaking. A crowd had gathered. The ladykept trying to bring me back, and eventually I started breathingagain.

I was aware of what was going on. I got scared and startedhyperventilating. My mom said, "Oh no, you don't. Come on, honey!"I remember employees grabbing blankets off the shelf and a washcloth formy head. All this time I was thinking, This is it. I'm going to die. I'mreally going to die.

I stopped breathing again. The fire andrescue crew arrived and revived me, then hooked me up to oxygen. Theytried to take my blood pressure but it was so low they coudn't get areading. Finally, the paramedics arrived with a stretcher and foughttheir way through the crowd. They too tried to find my pulse, butcouldn't. That's when they realized I really needed a doctor.

Onthe way to the ER I was in and out of consciousness, but managed to ask,"Am I going to die?" The paramedic replied, "Not today, myfriend." I believed him. I didn't want to die.

When we reachedthe hospital there was guilt in the eyes of the doctor who had given methe nearly-fatal painkiller. They poked around my good hand to put in anIV, but my veins were in shock. After several tests, I was forced to eatand they released me.

The doctor who had advised us to pick upthe pills realized she hadn't asked me if I had eaten anything that day,which I hadn't. She gave a narcotic to a minor without asking generalprocedure questions, and it almost cost me my life. I truly thought Iwas going to die.

A few days later, when I went to my regulardoctor, I was diagnosed has having had a hypersensitive reaction. Evenwith food in my stomach, however, I still would have had a reaction,though not nearly as severe.

I feel lucky to be alive.



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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