Hospital Visit

October 1, 2007
As I lay in the hospital bed with the sticker over my right eye, I could only hope that the surgeon removes the correct one. I was diagnosed with retinal dysplagia (cancer of the retina) and forced to make a grown up decision, whether I was ready too or not. I was thirteen and had just entered the eighth graded when I decided to have my eye removed to prevent the cancer from developing further.

Since birth, I have lived with a rare genetic disorder that has impacted my life not just physically, but also on an emotional level. Through my childhood, I had more doctors’ appointments than play dates and countless amounts of visits to the hospital. There was one appointment that changed the way I viewed my life. It was that one appointment where the doctor walked through the door and informed my parents and me cancer had potentially developed. Why is all of this happening to me? Is God punishing me? Did I do something wrong? I just wanted to have a normal childhood, but that was when I realized, I was not your “normal” kid. I knew in my heart that I had to have this surgery even though my mind was fighting it. Once people found out that I only had one eye, not a day would pass where I did not get the not-so-common questions, “Can you take out your eye? It looks so real! Can I touch it?” At first, self-conscienciness and pity had overwhelmed me. It was hard enough going through the emotional roller coaster we call puberty, but then adding on my distinctive characteristic. I mean, how many people you know can take out one of their eyes! Having grown up with these experiences has shaped my life and ignited my passion for medicine and taking care of others. There have been memorable doctors and nurses that have helped me throughout my adventurous life. The day of my surgery, I was shaky, uneasy, and questioning the decision I had made. The nurses were in tune to how I was feeling and helped relieve some of the anxiety. They joked around with me and helped me to see that I was doing the right thing for myself. I want to touch other people’s lives just as much as those nurses had touched mine.
I see college as an opportunity for me to grown even more as an individual and expand my knowledge of medicine. I would like to spread my life lessons and change the world, even if it is for just one person. The people in my life have given me the strength and encouragement I need to make it through my tough times. They have taught me never to feel sorry for myself, but rather be grateful for the small things in life that make it worth living.

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