The Wait is Over
It was finally the day you have been waiting for, the day you would hope to be cured. It was the day of the wonderful last surgery, the one where your cardiologist will close the hole in the bottom of your heart. You are scared to death, hoping everything will come out okay and you will be done with surgeries, but your nerves don't kick in until the morning of or maybe it is that because you haven't eaten yet and can't until after surgery. As you are driving down Interstate 79, heading towards Pittsburgh Children's Hospital, you wonder to yourself, what do I need to be worried for? I have great doctors and nurses taking care of me. I have been with them for the past eighteen years of my life. You also think, this surgery should be a breeze since I have had so many before and they all went fine. You start talking to your mom about them and she tells you to rest your eyes and that you have nothing to worry about. You make yourself comfortable by leaning again the armrest of the car and closing your eyes. It feels like you have been sleeping for hours but in actuality you have been sleeping for twenty minutes. When you fully wake up your nerves come back questioning what will happen if it doesn't go well. Does that mean I will have to stay in the hospital longer or have another surgery? You are also thinking about everything you will have to do when you get out of the hospital. You plan to visit your boyfriend, hang out with friends, and catch up on school things. Speaking of your boyfriend, he was a nervous wreck before you left which made you more nervous. Then finally you hear your dad tell the parking official that you were here for surgery and need somewhere to park. So the parking official points you where to go and you park. The nerves are still going. To make matters worse, your mom keeps asking "Are you ok?" Having your nerves stressed enough; you have to ride the elevator four floors to the cardiac floor. You and your parents get off the elevator and begin to walk down the long hallways that all look alike. You keep taking one turn after another until you reach the door you are looking for, the door to your cardiologist's waiting room. Your dad signs you in, with the receptionist saying "it will only be a few minutes." Well that few minutes turned into a half hour, which I expected; you thought to yourself, we always have to wait. The half hour wait for your cardiologist was finished and it felt as long as the two hour ride down to the hospital. You go back to the exam room, only to wait more. You change into those oh so attractive gowns that have no back to them. It was ok because you got a robe to hide you back side. After getting into that gown you had to get an Echocardiogram done which you hate to get done. As you are getting the Echo done, you complain to your mom about the gel being too cold, and the tech is pressing to hard to get a good image of your heart. The pain is over until you have to go to surgery. But once again before you go to the operating room you have to have one more test which is painless. It's an Electrocardiogram (EKG) which is where a tech puts on six to eight electro stickers and hooks you up to a machine. The machine reads your heart beat and records it. It reminds you of a lie detector test machine only for your heart.
After you are done with all your tests you walk into another waiting room, only to wait more. But this is the last time you have to wait which is a good thing. But those nerves come back into play, because you realize that you only have a few more moments before you will be having surgery. You will be sleeping and doctors will be curing you for good which is overwhelming. As you are waiting once again watching T.V trying to calm yourself, a doctor comes in and talks to you and your parents. To you the doctor is talking in a foreign language, one that you don't understand, because it's all medical terms and is very technical. The doctor is actually telling you what he will be doing during the surgery. After the doctor is done talking to you, he exits the room, only to have another nurse come in all ask, "What kind of anesthesia flavor do you want?" You think about it for awhile only to answer, "Bubble gum please." She then says "Good choice." As she leaves a new nurse comes in and tells you it will only be a few more minutes, and you will be going down to the operating room. Right after she said the word "operating room" you start to cry; all your emotions are coming out. The emotions of fear, happiness, sadness, and more, then your nerves are back in play. But your mom hugs you and it seems to help a little bit, enough to make you stop crying because you know she cares. You know your parents will be there waiting anxiously until you come out of surgery.
Then the moment you have been waiting for, the one where the nurse brought you the stretcher, for you to go down to the operating room. But instead of you laying on the stretcher the nurse walks you and your parents down to the operating room. When you finally reach the operating room you say good-bye to your mother and father. As you walk away, you look back to only see your mother crying in fear that something will go wrong, but knows everything will go great. All these thoughts are still running in your head, but the one that sticks out the most is, why am I walking into the operating room, shouldn't I be under the anesthesia, and on the stretcher? As you walk into the room the doctor asks you to lie on the operating table, and you gladly do only to have chills go all the way down your spine. The table was freezing and the robe you had to hide your back side was not on you anymore, leaving only the gown. As you are lying there, you look around, to try to see what is going on, but you get scared when you blink and standing in front of you is a doctor in scrubs with mask and hat on and telling everyone else what to do. Noticing you were startled a nurse asks you "Would you like the anesthesia through an I.V. or gas mask?" you chose the gas mask, because, of course, you have a huge fear of needles. So the nurse agrees and says, "Okay, Jessica, we are going to get started now." She first puts on the gas mask and waits a few minutes until you are somewhat under. As the doctors think you are under enough they go head and start to put in the I.V., but to their knowledge you wake up. You freak out and start to yell at them to not give you the I.V., so they waited. That is the last thing you remember before the surgery.
You wake up staring at a recovery room ceiling, wondering where your parents are and what happened to you. Then all of a sudden you hear a familiar voice. After a few seconds you realize, it is the voice of your cardiologist. He is telling you that everything went ok and that your parents are on you right side of the bed, so you turn your head much to your surprise, your twin sister standing there. Though not really seeing straight you still happen to notice that she is crying so you ask her. "what's wrong?" She stubbornly shakes her head, saying nothing, but your mom whispers to you, she is scared for you. You then say, "don't worry, Ange, everything is okay now, they closed the hole."
She was like, "I know, but it is so scary in here with all the heart monitors behind you and the beeping sounds of them." In knowing she is scared for you, your cardiologist tells your parents everything is okay and they should get something to eat. Falling sleep once again because of the anesthesia, you don't remember much after that. The next thing you are aware of is sitting in bed is a room all to yourself. After coming almost out of the anesthesia, you tell the nurse to get you a bucket or something because you don't feel well. She then tells you she will be right back because she has to do something else first. So you in turn say, I need something now, but by the time she comes back to your room it was to late. You had gotten sick all over the bed. So instead of her rushing and ignoring the fact that you need something, she now had to change your sheets and all the bedding. But everything is all better and you are now comfortable in your bed, laying there listening to your parents talk to your sister. Once again, you fall asleep only to wake up to find out you have a roommate which you are not happy with. Another thing you wake up to is your sister telling you, "good-bye" and that she will see you in a few days. She also assures you that she will tell Frank, your boyfriend that everything went fine. So you say your goodbye and then watch some T.V. to pass the time, because you know its only minutes away until the doctors come in and check on you. After two minutes of watching T.V. and your sister leaving you, four doctors come in the room. One is your cardiologist and the others are medical students observing the aftermath of your surgery. The doctors are speaking in that foreign language that you hardly understand. But its okay, you know you are in good hands. After all, the doctors leave you thinking that you can finally go to bed until the morning, but you were wrong. You had to get up to go to the bathroom for the nurse and then she had to check all your I.Vs to make sure everything was going well. Returning to your bed after using the restroom you start to fall back asleep only to be reawakened by your unwanted roommate who is yelling to the nurse about everything she needs and how much pain she is in. Your mother staying all night tells you the yelling continued all night.
The next day was your recovery day; you just lie around wishing you could go home and see all your friends, especially Frank. This was also a day for doctors to do follow ups and make sure you are ok and that everything went according to plan. Everything did of course, but one thing was wrong, they didn't follow directions when you told them you were allergic to the tape that looks like graph paper. So what did they do, but of course, used it, and now you have a huge rash on your leg because that's where the surgery was. Its where your femur connects to you pelvic bone. But anyways, aside from that minor problem, everything is fine. Being the recovery day, you get to sleep a lot but it's got boring just sitting around doing nothing watching T.V. So you ask your mom if you could go walk the halls, and of course, she agrees because there is nothing really for her to do either but listen to your roommate still yelling from the day before. So you begin getting out of bed, but then a nurse comes in to check your IVs. When she leaves, you then make your way to the hallway. You reach it, only to your surprise you were almost the oldest patient on the floor. But that was okay; as you walked you look in almost every room just to see what was going on. You then come to a room where a patient is screaming about the pain they are in then realizing that you are back at you room. You continue to walk until you can't anymore, only to go back to your room to sleep some more. But this time, you go to sleep and don't wake up until the next morning. You wake up to the sound of your cardiologists voice say, Jessica today is the day you are going home, you look wonderful. Let me see those beautiful new pink nails. You were so excited to finally notice that you had pink nails because for all those years your nails were purple. Purple because of lack of oxygen, but now pink after the hole being closed during surgery.
You are so happy you can go home, that you tell your mom you want to leave right then, after Dr. Park left. But she said "we can't leave yet, we have to wait for your father to pick us up, I don't have the car."
So to pass the time of just waiting you slept more. This time waking up to a nurse telling you, you had to leave your room they need it for another patient. So you get changed out of the still oh so attractive gown and put on some sweats and a hoodie. Then you think about it for a second, where are we going to wait. Right after that thought crossed your mind the nurse said, that we could wait down in the lobby. So that's where we waited for a few more hours. Knowing that you were only moments for getting into the car to go back to Erie; you can't sit still, not to mention, you were wide awake because you have been sleeping for the past two days. So to pass the time remaining, you walk back and forth from one side of the lobby to the other. You also keep looking out the window to see all the cars pull up to pick up patients, hoping one of the cars would be your dad. Finally after about two hours pass you mom decided to call your father to see were he is. By her calling him you want to call Frank but she won't let you, saddened you go back to the window to continue to look. Then another hour passes and you notice a red van coming up the driveway to the hospital. So you run to the window to see that it is your father, but there was an extra person in the car. You thought to yourself, maybe its Nikki and Ange coming to surprise me. But a bigger surprise was that you went over to gather your things to get them ready to put in the car. As you turn around you see Frank walking in through the door. He had drove with your father two hours to surprise you, to see if you were okay. All you could do was smile and give him the hugest hug in the world. After getting in the car the whole way back you and Frank just sat in the back, talking and holding each other. Then you stopped for a bite to eat on the way home, and the dinner conversation was everyone telling you they all knew about Frank being there. They told you they had been planning it for the past month, and again, all you could do were smile, and think to yourself what a great boyfriend I have.
Now almost two years later you are all better, and not need of anymore surgeries. Since that surgery one only thing went wrong, you and Frank aren't together. Even thought the hole is gone you still feel as though it's there.
~Jessica Lynn~





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