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Young Dale (HHF member) writes about his hand surgery for school

"The Tenth Surgery" - by Dale M - 1/19/2012

I'm twelve years old and I’ve already had twelve surgeries. My left hand never completely formed so I've had all these surgeries trying to fix it. But out of all the surgeries the one I remember the most was the tenth one.

It was in January of 2007. My parents left my sister at my grandmother's house so that she would not have to come with us and wait in the hospital all day. After they dropped her off, we went to Yale New Haven Hospital.

This surgery would add two bones to my hand and separate two bones that kept fusing themselves together. None of the other ones were like this. They had to get the bones from a bone bank so they weren't even my bones. The doctor said it was an easy surgery, but since I was only 7, I was still really scared. On the day of the surgery my parents and I drove to the hospital. We waited in the waiting room for what felt like forever. As time passed I began to get really scared. The longer we waited the more nervous I got. And then I finally heard my name being called.

A nurse and the doctor that would be performing the surgery brought me into another room and measured my weight and height. They asked my parents a bunch of questions and had them fill out a couple of forms. The whole time I was sitting there, waiting, completely nervous. I couldn't believe what they did after that. They made me wait even longer. I sat there for what seemed like a half an hour. It was even worse that there was no clock so even though I thought a half an hour had passed it could have only been ten minutes. I kept thinking to myself, "If they were going to make me wait this long, why did they have me come so early?" And, "Why do they have to make me wait so long, I want to get this over with." Then they called my name again. I prayed that it would be for real this time. I just wanted to get it over with.

They allowed my parents to come into the surgery room at first, but then they had to leave. We walked into the room and the doctors had me lay down on a table. They put a mask on my face and told me to keep taking deep breaths. The taste of the gas was horrible, I had always hated it. Then I looked up and saw my mom and dad. The next thing that I remember was waking up in a completely different place with a huge cast on my hand. I was screaming that I wanted to go home, that I didn't want to stay at the hospital any longer. But because I was screaming the nurses forced me to say longer. But then they finally allowed my parents to bring me home. Then for the rest of the day I stayed at home and my parents helped me with anything that I needed. They brought me food, went to my school to pick up my homework and helped change the gauze on my hand.

So I've had twelve surgeries and I know that as I get older there will be more. But the one thing I remember the most about all my surgeries is my parents. My mom and dad were always there for me. They were there on the ride to the hospital, on the ride home and all the time in between. So I've realized that your parents are always there for you, no matter what happens.

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