March 3, 2017
By , Lawtons, NY

“You don’t have any trouble swallowing or breathing?” my doctor asked as we sat in the pearly white examination room. “No, I haven’t noticed anything” I replied, wondering what he was referring to. “Well your tonsils are extremely enlarged, almost to the point of restricting your airway.” That’s when I found out that I would need to go to the hospital for the first time since I was born. I had never needed surgery, with my worst injury either being a sprained ankle or a pulled muscle, so needless to say I was worried about being put under. Without delay the doctor scheduled a date for my surgery and before I knew it I was in the waiting room, impatiently shifting in my seat. My foot tapped the floor as if it was trying to escape my shoe while I ran through the possible scenarios in my head. Despite it being a routine surgery that many kids have to go through I couldn’t shake the thought that while I was asleep they would be going into my mouth with very sharp blades. The nurse asked as she poked her head into the waiting room and called my name. I nervously stood up, looked back to the reassuring face of my mom and followed the nurse.

“What scent of anesthesia would you like? There is raspberry, mint, blaiejsg, or wtokdsjal.” I sat there half zoned out wondering why they would bother scenting the anesthesia. “Ummmmm raspberry I guess” I replied not really putting much thought into it. Why scent the anesthesia when it will knock you out in a few seconds anyway? Does it smell bad if it’s not scented? Would it actually be scented or was this just a ploy to make children feel more comfortable? These are the thoughts that ran through my head on a loop until they were ready for me. Next thing I knew i was in the surgery room with the mask on my face. “Just relax and if you are uncomfortable at any point tell me and we will stop” Well isn’t that great I thought, not like I could tell you anyway with a mask covering my mouth and nose. They began to pump the gas through and I quickly felt unable to breath. My heart rate sped up, I panickingly glanced at the doctor trying to signal that I couldn’t breath. Time seemed to slow down as I began to suffocate. Air, I just needed air, I did not want to die inhaling  raspberry-scented anesthesia. And then, there was nothing.

Hours later, or was it merely minutes? I couldn’t tell, my sense of time was destroyed and I had no idea how long I was out. I hazily looked around, and a nurse noticing that I was awake brought me a cup of water. I managed to let out a groggy thank you while she told me that she would tell my parents that I was awake. I was in and out a few times after that, once waking up and thinking I was being wheeled down a hallway, next my parents were by my side, it might have been a dream, it might have been real, I really couldn’t tell... I still can’t. When I finally came to, my parents, sister, and uncles were there. After they all wished me well I quickly asked for ice cream as that is often advertised as the good part of getting your tonsils out, you can eat all the ice cream you want. What they don’t tell you however is that you won’t even want to look at ice cream, every bite felt like needles being stabbed into my throat over and over. Saddened by this realization, I decided I would take a nap, which was easy as I was surprised that I wasn’t really feeling any pain besides when I was eating. Upon waking up however, I was in the most pain I had ever felt in my life. My mouth and throat hurt so bad that I began to feel a hot stream of tears run down my face caused by the pain for the first time in my life. My mom called the nurse down and they gave me a handful of pills, a nightmare because I was not yet comfortable swallowing pills whole. After much coaxing I was eventually able to keep the giant tablets down. While it helped slightly, that will forever be the worst night of my life. I woke up every twenty minutes from the pain and the night seemed to last forever. I tried watching tv to help the time pass but it didn’t help. Nothing did.

The next day I was allowed to leave the hospital with some prescriptions for medication I should take. The next few days were hard, I was mostly bedridden and unable to eat anything that wasn’t a liquid. I recovered though, and while I never wish to go to the hospital again, I’m happy that it went relatively well without any infections or diseases that I could have caught while my immune system was at it’s weakest.  Most people are admitted to the hospital multiple times in their life, and I’m relieved that I was able to experience it when I was younger, so I can remember that nothing went wrong the first time to help cope with the potential dread I might feel in the future.

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