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When I Almost Died

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With a lean on the pole, my eyes widen as the post on my bed cracks abruptly and falls to the floor. Losing my balance, my vision blurs as I tumble forward, landing on the long, two-inch screw. Being a rambunctious, blond-haired, seven year old girl, I climb the bookshelves in my room and jump on the bed. I guess now I had learned my lesson not to do those jollity adventures again. Too affright to feel anything, my leg is numb and feels like it is gone. There I dangle. I know that the screw had gone through my leg. Terrified, I scream like a banshee, as though my inner fear transformed into a wild, bloody visage ready to swallow me whole. My dad and sister rush in like lightning to save me and lift me off the screw. There is a hole in my upper leg the size of both my fists; I can see my ligaments and muscle. Then the pain hits.

It feels like my insides are tearing; like someone peeling my flesh with a sharp kitchen knife. Roaring tawdrily, my voice rips from my throat. My heart thumps against my chest and my head hurts from blood loss. The overwhelming pain claws through me as though my whole body is dying. My teeth clench and my hands form fists. I know I am fighting the pain now. I fight like a warrior, my thoughts deep in concentration, trying to think about something providential. You’re going to be fine, I tell myself, it’s just a little hole, how bad can it be? But I look anyway. The hole is bigger than I thought and Dad’s eyes are wide. I frown. Though I know it’s the truth, I don’t want to face it, because I am strong and I can get through this on my own. Dad picks me up in his powerful arms and carries me downstairs, Mom and my sister follow closely behind. Still screaming, I fight the urge to kick.

We race to the ER. I am accepted into the operating room almost immediately. I can not be sedated, because the lytocane does not work as expected. My leg is X-rayed, and then I am pushed around on a hospital bed, I bite my tongue—quiet for now. The walls and ceilings are white, but I see red walls and purple ceilings. I am seeing things that aren’t real, I think, closing my eyes and picturing my yellow room. Milky white shelves, pink porcelain dolls, sea green pillows…My dream fades like a lost memory. I suddenly see red and black as though Death stares me in the face. I move down, down, down, below to my end; I beg God to just take me now…but someone’s icy fingers wake me…“Lauren.” The voice—so faint—almost seems like an echoing call from the past. “Lauren…” I’m searching for the deep, crisp, sound that has no fear, but peace…I feel my head turn, and suddenly my eyelids fly open.

My doctor stands over me, “It’s going to be all right, Lauren.” No it’s not, I almost died back there and you weren’t there to save me. He holds a needle and thread in his hand, with Dad beside me. Mom and my sister—my younger and caring sister, of whom has eyes for only me—stand outside the door. My doctor tries to numb my leg, but I feel everything, still. I want the pain to go away, to leave me in peace so I can just die right now and no longer see Death hovering over me with a teasing grin. He sighs, “What is your favorite Bible verse?”

My emotions in such array that I thought my heart would explode. Thinking it will get my mind off the pain, I think a minute.

“Dr. Patterson goes to our church,” I hear Dad say. I breathe heavily through my nose. “John 3:16,” I say, the only AWANA verse I have memorized. My legs twitch at feeling the needle dig into my skin. Dr. Patterson pulls the thread gently. “Recite it to me,” he says, giving me a smile, though I can tell it is sympathetic. “’For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him, shall not perish but have everlasting life,’” I reply, my eyelids fluttering after each word to keep the tears of pain back. The medicine the nurses give me does not work either, so my dad pins me down. His pressure hurts, but his calm voice relaxes me. I have my surgery wide awake, feeling almost paralyzed by the throbbing pressure. “One of my favorites,” Dr. Patterson says after what seems like hours. He begins to tell me about the book of John. I try to listen, but I’m focusing on my “happy place.” I keep losing my concentration, my brave little heart pumps so heavily I fear it’s going to burst. Through the last agonizing moments, he rubs some kind of gel over my patched skin.

I’m going to faint; I think, feeling nauseous and blacking in and out of consciousness. The room’s icy cold and bone nipping air plays with my skin and flies through my hair. As I sleep, I can almost feel the Holy Spirit swimming in the air around me. I can vaguely hear Dr. Patterson tell my dad that if the screw had gone any deeper in my adductor muscle, I would have bled internally to death. I pray and thank God that I lived through the accident and the surgery.

Dad helps me from the hospital bed, after hours of excruciating pain, and gives me a sigh of relief. I can imagine what’s going through his head. My leg stings, but it is not as painful as yesterday. I can see clearly now. Mom hugs me and my sister sucks in her cheeks, I know everyone is thankful that I am still alive.



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