Conquering Pain

By , Bloomfield Hills, MI

I am still alive, I can still walk around, wake up, and put my two feet on the floor. Having two people take me to the bathroom gave me a little snippet of what it would be like to not live the life that I do today, but it still does not even begin to compare. I am able to eat whatever food I want for breakfast with my own two hands, and each breath of oxygen goes into my body perfectly, without any trouble. Obviously, I cannot say a prayer for every breath that I take, but I need to be thankful for the little things in my life whenever I can.  


***


In this awful place, with a sheer blue curtain breaking the chain of beds, I know that the surrounding children can hear my screams. Small, metal, silver rails surround a small, thin, uncomfortable mattress. Small, metal, silver rails also surround me, but I am not strong enough to pull myself up. The smell of throw up circulates around the small room and refuses to leave. All I taste is sour vomit and salty tears. I look outside and see beautiful white clouds, a bright blue sky, green grass, and all I can think is why can I not be outside, playing with my friends, riding my bike, taking a walk with my dog, or playing a game with my brother. No, I am stuck in this closed space with other sick kids surrounding me. A sheer blue curtain that lets everything through, except for this sick smelling, thick air that refuses to escape. My dry throat feels as if it has been cracking for decades. I am not allowed to drink any water because at any moment I could go into emergency surgery, not to mention the fact that I cannot keep anything down.


The doctors and nurses continue to come in and fill up my IV and each medication stings my arm a little more. First Norco, then morphine, then tens of others, each one working its way through my bloodstream to help, to help kill the pain that is in me, but nothing works. The doctors have not yet diagnosed what is causing me so much discomfort. Finally, it is night and I gain some comfort in the fact that I will be able to sleep and maybe the pain will go away, but I cannot sleep. Between the throwing up, the constant pain, the humming of the air conditioning, and the nurse coming in every thirty minutes to take my blood pressure, I could not sleep. I lie there motionless and bored.


It is morning again, and my pain is still consistent. The doctors come in wearing their comfortable tennis shoes and blue scrubs.


“We talked to the surgeon and he said that we can fit you in for surgery in about two hours, still don't drink or eat anything and it should be a pretty routine surgery. We will remove the cyst and any part of the ovary damaged because of low blood supply.” These doctors diagnosed what has been causing me pain for weeks on end. These doctors are about to end that pain. These doctors are people I will never forget because they finally gave me answers.


Being rolled down the hallway in my bed, all I can think is my pain will be gone once I wake up from surgery. Suddenly, we are in a white room with bright, colorful flowers on the surrounding walls. The flowers are meant to make me feel more at home. As if a painting could make this all go away. Two women walk into the room and hand me a blue gown from the table.


¨Take off all of your clothes and then put on this gown and tie it in the front, not the back.¨ she said rushed but calmly. I do as she says and hobbled into the bathroom to change. This space is small and cramped and it hurts to stand, but I tell myself I can do this. I can put on a simple gown by myself. Putting on the gown takes all of my energy, and all I can do is wobbled back to the edge of my bed and my mom helped me back in.  They roll me to surgery and I remember a bright light in my face along with doctors in blue scrubs all around me. The surgeon puts a mask to my face and tells me to breathe deeply. My heart racing, I do as he says and breathe deeply. I inhaled the anesthesia and it pushed through my body. As my eyes close, the bright light in front of me slowly begins to dim. 


I wake up again in the hospital room. My mom is in a chair in front of me reading a magazine. She looks tired, and although she is being brave for me, I am sure she is just as scared as I am. She has bags under her eyes and her thick framed glasses cannot hide her frightened eyes. She turns her head to check if I am awake. 


¨Kate! You're awake!¨ There was so much excitement in her voice, excitement that I had woken up, that the surgery had gone ok. I had not really thought about what could go wrong with this surgery. However, the risk did pay off: for the first time in a long time I had no pain. I give a small but very meaningful smile back at my mom. She begins to tell me that the doctor had found a ten-inch ovarian cyst and confirmed that my ovary had rotated 730 degrees. They removed the cyst and untwisted my ovary. Then, the nurse says that it would be a hard recovery but it would be a full one and I should be back to normal within a few weeks.


I slowly look down at my stomach, scared to see what is there. It is orange from what they used to clean it and there are three, red clean cuts: one for the camera, one to put gas in my stomach, and one to take out the cyst and untwist the ovary. All I can think is, I am still alive. I am still alive after someone cut me open. I can still walk around and wake up and put my two feet on the floor and I can still breathe. My two days in the hospital gave me a little snippet of what it would be like not live the life that I do today. I am so grateful I am able to live the pain-free life I live today.






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