Monsters and zombies are the symbols of fright each October, but one student found his life’s scariest moment involved being cut open to have parts of him removed.
By Anthony Centineo
With the month of October in full swing, everybody starts to become obsessed with scaring the crap out of each other. Being the month of Halloween, many festivities such as haunted houses and scary costumes are made for the soul purpose of bringing fright to people. Sure, these things may bring fear to some, but for me, they are novice compared to the pain and terror I experienced on the 14th of February 2011. Ironically it was Valentine’s day, and normally it would be rather fun for a 10-year-old 4th grade boy in elementary school. I had all my treats and cards ready to hand out to my fellow classmates and was more than anxious to receive my share of heart shaped candies. But instead I was being put under the knife while people in masks and blue gowns filled my face with anesthetic. This is a true scene of horror.
I woke up early that morning bothered by a stomach pain. In extreme discomfort I went to my parents’ bedroom in hopes for a cure. My mother gave me a dosage a Pepto-Bismol, but it was futile. The pain only intensified and now seemed more prominent in my lower abdomen, shifting from one side to the other. After hearing my feedback, my mother knew my possible condition and immediately brought me to Heath Concepts, the clinic where she also works.
There’s not even a proven use for the appendix, other than to send people to the hospital.
Upon my parents’ and my arrival, I began puking aggressively every three to five minutes. Nothing but water would come out. After about a half hour of short tests, I was immediately sent to the Black Hills Imaging Center to get a CT scan. I was forced to gag down this horrific, chalky tasting concoction, and with my pain getting worse by the second, I couldn’t help but regurgitate most of it. I was soon taken through the huge white tube of the CT machine and multiple pictures were taken of my abdomen. After another agonizing half hour of pain and nausea, the pictures finally came in.
I was diagnosed with appendicitis, which is an infection of the appendix located in the lower right abdomen and connected to the large intestine. There’s not even a proven use for the appendix, other than to send people to the hospital. Surgery would need to be performed immediately, and I wasn’t thrilled.
Never had I experienced such potent fear sweep over my body and mingle with ache. I couldn’t thank my parents enough for the love and comfort they gave to ease my mind.
I made my final stop at the surgery center. From there, I was wheeled off in a wheelchair into a room where they hooked me up with numerous IV’s. Ironically, it was the most pleasant part of the day because my bed could adjust to take the pressure off my appendix, freeing me of pain. My mental state, however, was at a loss. I couldn’t have ever comprehended I would be getting surgery that day, that doctors would be cutting me open to save my life. Never had I experienced such potent fear sweep over my body and mingle with ache. I couldn’t thank my parents enough for the love and comfort they gave to ease my mind. Yet I also became more content once I found out that appendicitis is quite common. In fact, thousands of cases are reported each year with most people between the ages of 10 and 30. So I was nothing short of a routine surgery.
At around 5 p.m. the doctors wheeled me off on a bed to the surgery room while I said goodbye to my parents. This was it. I told myself to stay resistant to my fear and stay strong. By then, my body was paralyzed with pain. As the mask of sleeping gas was put around my face, I let my eyes close and my mind drift away to sleep, finally being freed of the torture.
Within what seemed like only a few minutes, I opened my blurry eyes to my mother in the recovery room. Once I saw her face, I knew all the horror was behind me. It turned out that my appendix was quite close to bursting, which would have led to sepsis and possibly death if not treated immediately. I thanked God for putting me in the hands of top of the line doctors as well as a caring family to stay by my side. I even received thirty get-well cards from my classmates, which helped me to a speedy recovery.
Photo: Surgery by Army Medicine on Flickr