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Word count: 1051 [Hospital beeping noise]

Faded Memories

Colleen? Colleen? I think shes waking up! My eyes roamed the room until they focused up above to my left. I was confused, but regained my bearing once I made eye contact with my mom. My mom was standing above me, holding ice packs against my face. Due to the fact that my face was numb, I could not feel the coldness of the ice pack, but only felt pressure on my face. I pulled my hands out from the covers to touch the area that my mom was holding the ice packs on. While my left hand moved in front of my face, I noticed the IV tube connected to my arm. This sparked memories of where I was only a few hours earlier. [Dreaming/Flashback music] I dont remember much about what happened on June 12th, 2012. Many of the gaps in my memory from that day have been filled in with pieces of information from my mom. I blame it on the anesthetics I was given. My first memory of that day was at 6 a.m. My mom came into my room to wake me up, but I was already lying in bed awake with my eyes open. I didnt get a good sleep the night before since I stayed up thinking about my upcoming jaw surgery. Once I could see the outline of my walk into my room, I slowly got out of my bed and found the t-shirt and sweatpants I had laid out the night before folded on my desk. I didnt bother turning the lights on, and just changed in the darkness since I knew the light would be too bright for my eyes. After I finished changing, I walked down the hallway, through the living room, and into the garage. The passenger door was open and my mom was already sitting in the drivers seat sipping out of her coffee cup, anticipating my arrival. It was going to be a long day for herespecially since she was planning on staying at the hospital overnight with me. My arm reached out and closed the door of the car. I wouldnt be back at my house for another day. [Car door noise] The entire car ride, my mom and I were silent. Talk radio played in the background, but I wasnt paying attention. All I could hear were words with no meaning. After a silent thirty minutes of driving, we finally arrived at the destination Queens hospital. My mom parked the car, and we both walked through the empty parking lot towards the hospital. The corners of my eyes still had crust in them from my restless sleep the night before. Somehow, we ended up in what looked like an office sitting area. This did not look like a hospital. A woman led us to a back area filled with cubicles. The woman then handed me some papers to sign since I was eighteen years old and no longer needed parental consent (although I would have preferred my mom signing the papers for me since I was so tired). After scribbling my name a couple of times, I was ready to be admitted to the hospital. A different woman led me down a hallway and into a room. She handed me a folded up hospital

gown and quickly pulled the curtains in a fashion that my bed was completely surrounded by curtains. [Sound of curtains closing] Even though it was almost 7 a.m., I still did not want to wear such an ugly frock. The gown was ill fitted, and hung off of my shoulders. I quickly hopped into the hospital bed [Bed squeaking noise] and pulled the covers up so that my ugly gown was nearly covered. I refused to lie down in the bed because I didnt want to look as if I belonged in the hospital. [Footsteps] A nurse drew the curtains and walked into my section of the room. My mom small talked with the nurse, but I knew there was an ulterior motive to the small talk; my mom was trying to get a grasp for the nurses experience level. The nurse wheeled a metal contraption up next to my bed. Once she hung a bag filled with liquid onto the stand I recognized that it was an IV. The nurse walked back towards a cabinet and returned with an alcohol soaked cotton ball and needle. Once my mom noticed that I was going to be poked with a needle soon, she sat up straight in her seat and craned her neck so that she could see exactly what was going on. My mom has seen people getting hooked up to IVs, but this time it was different I was being hooked up to an IV. The nurse shakily inserted the needle into my arm. Luckily, the nurse was able to stick the needle into the correct vein. The only reason I was able to tell that the nurse stuck the needle into my arm correctly was because my mom relaxed and sat back in her seat. The tension in the room all of a sudden decreased. It was as if the room let out a deep breath. [Sigh of relief sound] The nurse exited the room and came back with a man. The man was the anesthesiologist. The anesthesiologist held a clipboard and a pen in his hand and asked me a few questions. Once the questioning was over, he handed the clipboard over to me. For the final time of the day, I signed my name. [Signature noise] The anesthesiologist clapped his hands together and loudly announced to the room, We are ready to go! [Clapping noise] The anesthesiologist injected something into the same tube that my IV was in, and my vision slowly faded to black. I didnt try to talk for fear of saying something stupid. My body relaxed and slumped into the bed as I was wheeled out of the room I originally was in. I no longer was in control. The next thing I knew, I woke up to the sound of my moms voice and the beeping of a pulse oximeter. My jaw surgery was finally complete; what was left was the toughest partrecovery.

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