June 23, 1994

Written by 13 year old me for my freshmen English class:


“It was the closest I had ever come to dying. It was the 23rd of June and I had just come out of a seven hour back surgery. When I woke up I was in the recovery room and all I remember was that I hurt and I kept asking ‘Is it over?’ The next time I woke up I was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and felt really groggy. I hadn’t really noticed much before but there were tubes and needles going everywhere. There was a monitor above and to the right of my head. It showed my respirations, my central venous pressure, my pulse and my blood pressure. Every once in a while my mom or dad would give me some ice chips because the oxygen I was receiving would make my throat dry. Just about every two hours or so the nurses would give me pain medicine through one of the IV’s in my arm. It wouldn’t do much good though because within about a half an hour I would be awake and in pain again. Then I would have to wait an hour and a half for some more medicine. Actually, it seemed like days but I’m told it was only hours. Not many hours after I first awoke I started getting very restless and groggy. I kept hearing a beeping noise and then the nurse would come in and do something to the IV and the noise would turn off. This seemed to happen several times. I kept falling asleep then awake, asleep then awake. Once when I came-to, my parents were standing next to my bed and there were a couple nurses on the other side doing something to the IV. Then I looked up at the monitor and my blood pressure was rapidly dropping. My mom is a nurse so she has told me when it’s too high and too low. So I knew if it got too low that I could go into a coma or even die. Everything got very hazy and I was getting more and more restless. It was so hot I felt as if I were in the Sahara Desert. It just kept dropping and dropping. The nurses had my IV going full blast. I wasn’t quite sure what was going on except that I was losing a lot of fluids so it was making my blood pressure drop. I felt so awful, like I was just going to lose it. My normal blood pressure is around 120/60. But by this time it was 58/30. That was the lowest it got. As it got better, one of the nurses gave me a bag of blood. I still felt pretty out of it for a while, but the worst was over.”


Wasn’t that riveting?? haha. Sweet 13 year old me. Happy Anniversary to me! 20 years since the day I had back surgery to correct severe scoliosis I had lived with for years. I wore a lovely back brace (ala Romy and Michelle) for 4 years to try and correct it but it didn’t work. Surgery became the only option, especially if I didn’t want to further compromise my heart and lungs. I’m now part stainless steel, with two metal rods fused into my spine which is fused from T-3 to L-4. Which is a pretty huge chunk of my spine. I can’t arch my back or twist very well, but my 72 degree curvature was corrected down to a 22 degree and I can do a wicked cartwheel 🙂