Goodbye Tonsils

February 24, 2010
By Kristine Cortes BRONZE, Congers, New York
Kristine Cortes BRONZE, Congers, New York
4 articles 0 photos 0 comments

“Okay Kristine, now count backwards from the number ten.” That sentence was the last thing I heard from the nurse before I knew that I would be going into a deep sleep. I remember that I only got up to the number six. My body felt so weird. It felt numb and tingly at the same time. It was kind of scary. The last thing I saw was the ceiling slowly spinning until everything went totally blank. I felt like I was dead. This was the day I had to get my tonsils removed.

It was the summer of 2007 around July when it happened. I was scared and relieved at the same time because I’ve been told that I snore really loud. If there was an award for the loudest snoring, I would win it. My tonsils weren’t like the average person’s tonsils. Mine were abnormally huge. If you looked into my mouth, you would see that they could practically touch each other. So, I had to get them removed because they kept causing me to get sick. I don’t know how, but they just did. I was too young to understand.

There were pros and cons to my situation. I didn’t really want to get my tonsils removed but I knew it would be good for my health. I kept coming up with predictions of what would happen during the surgery. I was afraid that they wouldn’t give me enough anesthesia and I would wake up in the middle of the surgery. And the last thing I wanted to do is spend my day at the hospital. I would much rather go out with my friends and enjoy my summer vacation while it lasted.
So, the day of the surgery, I woke up really early and my family drove to Manhattan which is where Columbia Presbyterian Hospital is. I remember walking into the hospital with my parents and my sister. Everything looked so chaotic. I saw people everywhere moving from one side of the lobby to the other side, a long line of people waiting for the elevator, people being pushed on wheel chairs, and kids going in and out of the gift shop to buy candy. All of this movement made me kind of nervous. But once we reached the children’s section of the hospital, all the butterflies went away.
The room was so colorful and mellow. It was also very quiet. The only sounds I heard was the sound of the television that was playing children’s movies and little kids playing with toys. I was only with my mom because my dad and my sister left to go to another part of the hospital to visit my grandpa because he was sick at the time. There were only a few kids there and they were all younger than me. It boosted up my confidence knowing that I wouldn’t be the only one getting surgery. I was told by a nurse to put on this hospital gown. It was really uncomfortable because it was too big on me and it was the only thing I had to wear. I couldn’t even wear pants. When I got back from the bathroom, I saw that there was fewer kids than there were before. I assumed that they already went to surgery. All the butterflies came back. My turn was so close.
My mom and I stayed in the waiting room for a good hour before it was my turn. I remember walking into a white room with different kinds of equipment and machines. It didn’t look like what the movies portrayed. I expected the bed that I would be laying on to be comfy and big, like the ones they have in the hospital rooms where you get to rest. But it wasn’t. It was very thin and very high up. I would have to stay in place on my back because if I moved around on it, I would fall off. So when I climbed onto the bed, hoping that it wouldn’t break, I positioned myself on my back and waited for the doctor to come. Then these nurses came in and put these patches with wires on my chest and one of them stuck a needle in my wrist and left it there by taping it in place. Then they told me to relax as one of them put a gas mask on me and told me to count backwards from ten. I was knocked out in an instant.
I woke up to the sound of someone constantly saying my name. I found that the surgery was over. It felt like it lasted for only thirty seconds. It was like the surgery never happened, but I was back to reality when I tried to swallow. It was so painful to even drink or eat. It wasn’t like what you watch on TV when you see the person eating all the ice cream they want. I didn’t even want to eat anything at this point. And on top of that, I couldn’t even talk! My family left the hospital after I had enough rest. I had to get pushed on a wheel chair from the children’s section to the lobby to get to my car outside. This was because if I tried to walk, I felt dizzy. It felt like the room was spinning.
When we reached home, all I wanted to do was sleep. I didn’t want to take any medicine or eat. Eating was the furthest thing from my mind. So for the rest of the day, I slept everything off. The doctor said that I couldn’t eat solid food for about a week. All I could eat was soup, mashed potatoes, yogurt, jell-o, ice cream, or pudding. This was one of the worst weeks of my life because I couldn’t eat real food or talk. I remember looking into a mirror and trying to see where my tonsils once were. When I saw where they used to be, it was just white tissue that was in the process of healing.
The week dragged by. I was able to talk by day four. By the time I was fully healed, I was sleeping quietly with no snoring, which made my sister happy because she could finally sleep well.

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