I woke up with my lower abdomen just generally hurting like hell. It had hurt intermittently for about ten days before that. I’d already been to the doctor, who declared it a bladder infection. But that morning, the pain was enough for me to be scared. When my gynecologist couldn’t find anything wrong, I went to the emergency room. After a CT scan, the doctors told me that my appendix had burst, and they’d need to operate as soon as possible.
I told everyone who would listen how scared I was. One of the nurses told me something that helped: “It’s like getting into a plane. The fear is all about losing control.”
I went into the operating room. I remember putting my arm on one armrest, and being told to put my right arm on the other. A moment passed. I opened my eyes. “Hello,” I heard someone say.
The surgery had taken four hours — they estimated that my appendix had burst at least a week before. I was in the ICU for a couple of hours because my oxygen saturation was too low, but a cannula worked. I stayed in the hospital for six days after that.
To make sure I got all of the above right, I went back into my journals and reread 2011. Holy hell, that was a bad time. The almost dying part was a garbage jewel in a dumpster tiara. I want to give 2011 me a hug, and tell her: Even though there’s plenty of unimaginable garbage ahead, you’ll be so right to do some of the things you’ll eventually do.
Anyway, today is my tenth birthday and if you’re reading this, I’m grateful for you.