The Smiles

Brooke - Santee, California
Entered on December 18, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Have you ever heard the sound of death? The sound of complete and utter nothingness, the sound of no future, no love, and no life: I have. But unlike a lot of other people, my particular experience was not in the span of 30 seconds or two minutes or even a week. My experience was over the span of eight months. Eight months with the sound of pure nothingness.

I was nine years old when my family decided to vacation in the small town of Glenwood, Iowa for shopping, swimming, jet skiing, and tons of other fun fill activities. It wasn’t until a week after I got back from vacation, that I realized it was the worst vacation I would ever go on. When I returned home that September I found my skin to be covered in oddly shaped bumps. My mother took me to my pediatrician the next day. Although I loved my doctor, I believed every other doctor but mine was creepy. Doctors in my mind were old men with cold hands and oddly shaped smiles.

The day I stepped into that doctor’s office was the day I started my eight month journey to health. I went through doctor after doctor and got no answers. I went to a dermatologist office where every doctor and I mean every single doctor in that building looked over my body in search for answers. I was put on drug after drug after drug and each one helped in no way at all. Picture of my skin where sent to Navel dermatologists and other doctors all over the country. But still no answer, no sound.

It was April and my parents were slowly losing hope, many doctors had decided that I needed more help than they could offer. My parents along with the many doctors looking after me had decided that they were going to send me to The Disease Control Center in Washington. If it had not been for Dr. Brown, I would have gone. I was sitting in Children’s Hospital when Dr. Brown came in and on his face he had an actual smile filled with joy and bright white teeth.

And that’s when I heard it, the sound of something more, the sound of music and kids and life. Although it was true, Dr. Brown had figured out what I had, my journey was still far from over. The treatment was extremely dangerous for children and while taking it I would still be coming to the doctor regularly to make sure my liver was still functioning and my muscles were working. But as I was sitting there looking at Dr. Brown’s incredibly genuine smile, I realized had if I had just listened a little bit harder to the nothingness I would have hard the laughing and the music and the living.

I believe that no matter how unbelievably hard life is there is always living. I believe in the smiles.