They say that almost only counts in the game of horseshoes. I don’t know anything about that game but I do know that sometimes almost does count. Like the day I almost died.
It was supposed to be like any other routine surgery. I tried not to let it get to me but being an adult having my tonsils taken out just felt wrong in a way. I had never been to the hospital before, well except for when I was born. Everything felt so cold and sterile. I know that’s the point, but for a person who is already nervous, it can make you feel less like a human and more like a number.
“Number 33 tonsillectomy,” is what I imagine would be said over the intercom system just before I get wheeled into the operating room. Of course, that didn’t happen, but your mind wanders in times of stress. I was called by my actual name and reminded of what all would happen during the procedure.
As they wheeled me down the hall on my way to meet my destiny, I had a sick feeling in my stomach. I assumed it was from being nervous, but now I know better. For when they put me under and began to cut into my throat, it only took a matter of minutes before my heart stopped. To me, they put on the mask that helped put me to sleep and then I woke up. But I could see everything from a different angle. Then I noticed there was a lot of frantic movement in the room and people were hovered over someone. It didn’t take long for me to notice the tattoo on the wrist and realize it was me.
I watched as the doctor performed CPR on my lifeless body. After a minute of this, they switched to the electric paddles. Although I was separate from my body, I noticed that the lights got so bright that they blinded me each time they shocked my body. I could not feel anything. I was just blinded by the light.
On the last shock, I heard a voice. I could not be certain, but I could have sworn it was my grandmother. The only two words I could make out were “not yet” and then the light blinded me until I thought I had gone blind. That is when everything went black and pain started to swarm my body. I could feel where the right tonsil used to be and the fact that I still had my left one fully intact.
I don’t know what happened after that. I woke up hours later and I was missing both of my tonsils. When I tried to ask what had happened to me, the nurses acted as if they had no idea what I was talking about. I knew what I saw was real and that I did in fact almost die. My deceased grandmother had made sure that I knew it wasn’t my time yet. So, almost can count for more than horseshoes and when you almost die you take that as a sign to truly live.