The date was Tuesday, April 5th, 2017. For most, that meant another boring, uneventful day at work or school in which you realize that your life is nothing more than an insignificant waste of time in the grand scheme of things. That was not the case for me, however. For me, this day was anything but insignificant. That day was the day that I was to go into surgery. Earlier in the year, I had learned that I had scoliosis, and not a minor case at that. When I got my first x-rays back, I learned that the curve was a 64 degree curve. To put that in perspective, the minimum curve size that requires surgery is 45 degrees.
After learning of the severity of the curve, my family decided that we really had no choice but for me to have surgery. So, we scheduled the day that it would happen, and just went on with our lives. In truth, I really didn’t think about it much. That is, until surgery day came. That morning my father and I woke up at 5 o’clock A.M and got ready to leave for the hospital. As we drove down there, thoughts were racing through my head. What would happen if something went wrong? Would I be able to walk again? Would I die while on the operating table? I pushed these thoughts out of my mind as we arrived at the hospital. Once we were inside, we went through all of the procedures that came before the actual surgery. We filled out paperwork (a lot of paperwork), I got changed into a hospital gown, and we talked to the doctor about what exactly the surgery would entail. I was then brought into the operation room. As I walked in, all the doctors that would be assisting with the surgery were milling about, doing all different miscellaneous jobs. They were all talking about random things. A few were talking about vacation, while others were talking about going out and getting a drink. I then laid down on the operating table. After a minute or two of awkwardly sitting there as the doctors continued to perform random duties, another doctor came over to the operating table.
He looked at me and, with a thick accent that I couldn’t place, said, “Ok, so I’m just going to put this mask over your face, and I’ll need you to take deep breaths, ok?”
I did as he asked and began taking deep breaths in. Immediately my nose filled with the scent of mint. I was pleasantly surprised. I expected it to smell like chemicals or some other disgusting smell. Mint was the perfect scent. The doctors continued to talk as I took in deep breaths of the mint-smelling air. Everything was completely normal.
Then everything went dark.
The next thing I remember, I was laying in a hospital bed in the ICU. I looked around confused. The last thing I had remembered was being in the operating theatre inhaling mint-scented gas. I looked over and I saw my mother sitting in a chair next to my bed. When I asked her where I was, she told me I was in the ICU, and that my surgery was over. The next day I was moved from my room in the ICU to a normal room. I spent the next three days in the hospital. On Friday, they cleared me to leave, and I immediately took advantage of it. The ride home was painful, but being home in my own bed was better than sitting in a hospital bed with nurses waking you up every hour to check your vitals. Either way, the whole experience was one that has changed me for my entire life.