For a Straightened Spine

I am a worrier. I spend hours filling my mind with endless possibilities of what could go wrong. Maybe the outfit I planned for tomorrow won’t be worn because of a sudden weather change, maybe I’ll forget my homework at home and get a zero, and maybe I’ll take a wrong turn at an intersection and find myself lost for a while. One thing’s for sure though, plans change and things don’t always go a planned. I find myself worrying about the little details in life that can alter the course of a day. So, when I was told of the potential of getting two 14 inch titanium rods, along with about 20 screws, inserted into my back, I was worried.

It could have been the risks of paralysis, blindness, or death that scared me, but it could also have been the thought of change. Change of routine and familiarity, it scared me to think that there would be a day where I wouldn’t be waking up at 7:00 to go to school, instead I would be waking up to go to the hospital where I wouldn’t see familiar faces of and teachers, but I would see the foreign faces of nurses and doctors. There I wouldn’t be sitting in a desk, learning about what will be on the upcoming test, watching the teacher write on the board, I would be lying unconscious on the operation table with my back slit open by a freshly cleaned scalpel in the possession of a surgeon. The familiar routines I once knew and depended on would be replaced.

There would be no guarantee of a tomorrow where everything would be the same. It would be as though I was taken out of my ordinary life, and as everything continued moving forward, I wouldn’t be—time wouldn’t wait for me. I would start by falling nine hours behind in the operation room and then I would lose one week, being in the hospital. Everyone would continue working and learning, in their daily lives, and I would have to relearn the simple steps of life such as the ability to sit up, stand, and walk by myself. After that process, everyone would still be in school, doing homework, studying for tests, investing in their future, and I would be getting home after being discharged from the hospital. I would still be so drugged up, reading a book wouldn’t be achievable for me until after one more week. One more week wasted, then another, and perhaps another.     While the world continues on, I will finally be able to partially get back on my feet, trying to catch up and learn what was lost in my time spent recovering. With my lack of sleep, large intake of medication, and inability to sit still for more than ten minutes, I would have to try and catch up in life.

All that for a straightened spine. Was it really worth it? Would trading in six to eight weeks of my life where I could be moving forward, only to take a couple steps back be worth it? I didn’t know. But what I did know was that I put off this surgery for five years. Five years of going along with the same boring routine everyday and silently moping about this condition, when if I really wanted to change things, all I had to do was say yes and hold my breath. And even though after two months after the operation, I would be regretting my choices because procrastination and poor planning led me to fall behind in life, who knew I would be able to pick it back up again. No one. I learned the vast difference between, hoping for change and actually acting upon what I want. With every positive change in life, regret sometimes follows, but without it—as cheesy as this may sound—decisions will never be worth it.