Mia Bell McCubbin, Author

      Everyone thinks that because things like surgery are rare, it won’t ever happen to them. Everyone thinks that bad things will happen to everyone else but them. But because everyone believes that,  people are surprised when bad things like surgery do happen to them. I was one of those people.    

      I sat in the bright white hospital room. My head thumped painfully. The hospital bed sheets itched against my body. My parents tried to distract me. They asked if I wanted to be read to, or watch a show. But no matter what they did, the thought of what was about to happen loomed in the front of my mind. I suddenly remembered the first time I was told about the surgery, it was one of the scariest moments of my life. The doctor’s face had been grim, but it was nothing compared to my parents. They had tried to act happy, for me. But I knew that they were just as scared as I was. 

      Suddenly the door creaked open snapping me back to the present and a male doctor holding a clipboard came in.“Hi, Mia!” He said, I could tell there was a fake smile under his mask. He held out the clipboard so I could see it. Tons of flavors were written colorfully on the sheet, with names like cotton candy, scrumptious skittles, and clementine! But then it hit me. These flavors weren’t for something cool like a dum dum, or cotton candy, they were for the medicine that was about to knock me out. I sat there for a long time glaring at the clipboard before I picked a flavor. Then came the worst part—the hospital gown. Within moments I was fighting, lashing out angrily, and shoving the gown away from me. “NO!” I shrieked, “NO! I’m not wearing that!” I don’t know why I made it such a struggle for me, my parents, and the doctors. Tears streamed down my face as I turned away from the gown, refusing to look at it. It felt as if when I put the gown on I would lose my hope, and my freedom, and the thing I feared most would become my reality. I wanted to be strong, I wanted to be ok with the fact that I was about to go into surgery and have my arm cut open. But I wasn’t, I was terrified. After a few more minutes of struggling, I caved. I was just too tired, I was done fighting.  

      I pulled open the bathroom door with my other arm that wasn’t about to be cut open. And slipped the gown on with as much energy as I could muster. I turned and looked in the mirror. I saw a girl whose eyes were puffy and bloodshot, she had curly blonde hair that was plastered on her face, and her eyebrows were scrunched from rage. Then it hit me, that girl was me. A wave of anger washed over me, and I wanted to rip off the hospital gown, I wanted to go back home, I wanted everything to be normal again but it just wasn’t. 

And before I knew it, I was laying on the surgery bed. It was so uncomfortable, I would have rather slept on the floor, but that didn’t matter now as the nurse slipped the sleeping gas mask on me.  I turned my head to look at my parents and suddenly I was filled with a sense of calm that flooded my mind. It wasn’t from the mask though, I realized it was me, finally letting go of all my efforts to control everything, finally understanding that I would be okay, no matter what life threw at me. A smile crept onto my face as my eyelids finally slid shut.