A Life Changing Experience

Emily - Gold Canyon, Arizona
Entered on May 3, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

Everyone has his or her own fears, apprehensions, and strengths. It is easy to find yourself judging others on those fears and apprehensions, but before you do that, take a moment and reconsider. I believe that everyone’s reservations and strengths are all relative to their own experiences.

Have you ever looked down upon someone or called them a coward because they are afraid of going to the doctors or because they refuse to speak in public? It is completely normal to jump to conclusions, but everyone has had their own experiences. Life situations are what shape people and add character.

Four years ago I had a spinal fusion that changed who I am today. This was an eight-hour invasive surgery to fix my severe scoliosis. I had never broken a bone in my life or had any form of surgery. At the time this was a very big deal. I have danced for eleven years of my life and when I found out I needed surgery I was also told I could not dance for a whole year. These words devastated me. I thought how could this happen to me? I was going into my freshman year of high school and on top of that I had to go through a major back surgery.

I was in the hospital for one week at Boston Children’s Hospital and then I returned home where I was out of school for three weeks. The surgery was in no way easy. My mobility was severely limited and I went through a lot of pain. Now when I look back on this I sometimes cannot even believe that I actually went through that.

Whenever a challenge comes my way I look at the situation completely different than I did four years ago. I had always been bothered by hospitals and doctor visits, but now it can hardly phase me. In a month, my mother is having a knee replacement and I will have to take care of her. This is quite frightening, but past experience will help me get through this as well.

I always get questions about the eighteen-inch scar down by back and I always reply with confidence, eager to tell my story. Whenever people explain to me a surgery they had or why they have a scar on their arm, I find myself comparing it to my surgery or judging them if it was not as terrifying or strenuous as my own. Making judgments like that is completely ridiculous though, because everyone’s experiences are all comparative. My friend has been sharing her fears with me over getting her wisdom teeth removed and while I want to say it is no big deal, for her it is. She has never experienced anything like that so she is scared and her fears are valid.

The way you feel about something is always based on life situations. Judgments should not be over something you have no knowledge or concept of. I believe that everyone’s reservations and strengths are all relative to their own experiences.