Envisioning the Future

The bright lights blind my tired eyes. As I sit waiting for my name to be called, the blank, white walls stare back at me. Breathing in the antiseptic air, I am immediately calmed. Someone calls my name. It is time. They hand me a dressing gown, then wait for me to change. They take my pulse. More waiting. The surgeon finally comes. He initials my calves, telling me they do that to make sure they are operating on the right patient. For some reason, I find myself amused.

Finally, we make our way towards the operating room. As I wave goodbye to my mother, tears begin to form. I am not scared, but my reaction is inevitable. The hallway is never-ending. I keep walking, still waiting. Finally, we reach the operating room. The spotless, sterilized chrome room beckons me. Relief courses through my veins. My heartbeat begins to slow. A sense of giddiness replaces my anticipation. Smiling to myself, I look up at the viewing window, wishing I could observe the surgery for myself. Sadly, that would have to wait.

Lying down on the operating table, I am ready. The anesthesiologist hooks up my IV, and I am instructed to count down from ten. Drifting, I think of the day when the roles will be reversed — the day when I am a surgeon instructing a patient to count down. Before I can reach seven, the anesthesia takes hold of me.

I awake slowly, unable to open my eyes. In that room, I thought back to all my time spent in a medical setting. I thought of how much I enjoyed going to the doctor despite being sick. I thought of how much I looked forward to my surgery despite my pain. I thought of how fascinated I was by my X-rays. I thought of my favorite book, “Gray’s Anatomy”, and my excitement when I received my first copy. I thought of the cow’s heart in biology that I dissected. I thought all the reasons why I love the medical field.

Negativity accompanies hospitals. They intimidate people and cause panic. Yet for me, I embraced and celebrated my experience at the hospital. I turned the tragedy of an injury to a triumph. I see a hospital as a place where people heal and where life flourishes. Despite a hospital’s hectic nature, I feel a great sense of peace. Lying in that room, I felt at home. Standing in the operating room, I felt at home. Inside the hospital’s walls, I felt at home.

Following my surgery, I felt a change from within. Anticipating my surgery, I was nervous. Yet during the process, I only felt excitement. I reflected on all the years I wanted to be a doctor. I reflected on my recent desire to become a surgeon. My passion for medicine and surgery was amplified tenfold. I found myself enamored with the idea of becoming a surgeon.

I often think back to my long walk towards the operating room. All that I accomplished stood behind me; all that I awaited stood before me. I envisioned scrubbing-in. I envisioned prepping a patient. I envisioned performing surgery. I envisioned my future.