Surgery Day

My sister and I had to prepare at home for our scoliosis surgery also known as a spinal fusion. Before we left for John Hopkins Hospital there were rules to be followed to make sure the surgery went smoothly. The first rule was important, the doctor had provided my sister and I with iodine as an antiseptic wash before our surgery. We washed each others back in the shower and made sure we were clean. The second rule was that we weren’t allowed to eat for 12 hours before the surgery, that was the hard part. We packed our bags and my sister and I each packed enough clothing to last a week, because that’s how long we had to stay at the hospital after the procedure was over. Time flew by fast, and my sister and I were traveling to Baltimore, Maryland with my Mom and Dad.

Sitting in the waiting area for our surgery was not intimidating. My sister and I were playing on a computer meant for the doctor, but my sister and I were attempting to sign into (that’s right, I said, while my mother and father were staring at us as if it was our last day on earth. Our Spine Surgeon’s name was Dr. Sponseller, and he was extremely polite and very good at making people feel comfortable in his presence. He walked up to us, and with a big smile on his face, he asked who wanted to get the surgery first since he could only perform one at a time. My sister raised her hand quickly, and she says “I want to get it out of the way”. That’s when I saw my mother and father cry while hugging her and telling her everything will be fine, and reality sunk in. The next five hours of her surgery would be the worst five hours for me.

After waiting five gruesome hours, Dr.Sponseller walked through the doors with a smile on his face. He said that the surgery went as planned, and that my twin sister was recovering. He looked at me, and said “You’re next”. I wasn’t ready to have a  Herrington rod screwed into my back. I started getting nauseous at the thought of my spine being replaced with a rod. He took an hour break or so before he came back for me. Before I knew it, I was laying on the hospital bed being rolled into this white room. I looked up and I was surrounded by four or five doctors including Dr.Sponseller. They were all smiling at me and one of the Doctor’s told me that I would be just fine. They put the oxygen mask around my nose and mouth and they released the sleeping gas, and within minutes I was in a deep sleep.

Five hours had gone by, and I was awake and completely out of it. The surgery was over, and I was alive and well. My surgery was a bit more complicated than my sister’s, so I suffered from a punctured lung and they hit a nerve which caused my legs to swell up like balloons and go numb. They assured my parents that I would be able to walk again with rehabilitation therapy. I had a lot more tubes and attention from the nurse’s because of my complications during the procedure. The next week would be a blur due to the high dosage of drugs. One thing was for sure though, I no longer had an S shaped spine and it was the beginning to a new chapter in my life.

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