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Hayden, (14/16)

“My Grandma was in the hospital, she just got a knee replacement surgery. It went fine. But I didn’t think that night would end in tears.”

“I walked into the hospital for the first time since my surgery. It’s amazing how our minds associate smells, noises, and scenes to specific memories. All at once my mind flooded with images and memories of my surgery. I sat in the hospital room staring at the dripping IV bag, the buttons that control the up and down movement of the bed, the pull string for the nurse to come after you go to the bathroom, the hospital cup with lukewarm water. I haven’t thought about my time in the hospital as vividly as I did tonight.”

“I remember the fuzzy image of the nurse when I was coming out of an 11 hour anesthesia. I remember how thirsty I was as I wondered where I was. I remember praying that I would see my family and go back to sleep. I remember that first night, barely lucid as they filled my body with morphine and shoved a giant shot in my stomach every 8 hours. I remember the woman in the bed next to me, screaming and moaning about the noises and pain. I remember keeping my arms as straight as a board because I had double IV’s and it hurt to bend them.”

“I remember not being able to go pee and the nurse had to watch me as I tried my hardest. I remember the silent celebration when finally did pee, only to be embarrassed that the nurse had to clean up after me each time. I remember sitting up at night listening to the foreign beeps and scrapes and thinking to myself, I’m a cancer patient.”

“I remember the pain as the nurse suctioned the drains going in through the back of my neck into my throat. I remember gazing into the mirror for the first time and seeing a black mass of stitches on a swollen face, I didn’t even recognize myself. I remember being humble and vulnerable as the nurse used towelettes to bathe me. I remember wondering if the days I spent in the hospital would be some of my last memories.”

“As I remembered, I cried. I remembered it all...”

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