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My Miracle

As told to Chaya Stein

This was my third gastroenterologist in six years, and I doubted this random hospital pediatrician would find a cure for me when the others couldn’t

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

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U ch, was the first thought that crossed my mind as I entered the waiting room of my new gastroenterologist. Why am I here? The walls of the room were some sort of cheerful, babyish color, and I seemed to be double the age of every other patient in the room. Frankly, I felt dumb. This was my third gastroenterologist in six years, and I doubted that this random hospital pediatrician would be able to find a cure for me when the others couldn’t.

When I finally got called into the examining room, though, my tune changed. Unlike the others, this doctor was a frum Jew. He understood me. He knew my way of life, the life of a typical Bais Yaakov girl. He spoke to me as an adult, and he even told me to go enjoy all of the foods I had been forbidden to eat ever since sixth grade, as long as I take my medicine every day. He did tell me, though, that I had to schedule a colonoscopy, something the doctors had been trying to avoid until then.

So I scheduled the colonoscopy for a week after Pesach. I would have to miss two days of school for it, but I didn’t mind. As much as I loved school and being with friends, a break was always appreciated. And I was glad that I would finally find out what was wrong with my body.

Little did I know what I would really find out.

At some point over Pesach, a new idea occurred to me; I should say Asher Yatzar every time I exit the bathroom. I had heard countless times that it’s a segulah for good health, and I was finally going to try it for myself. I had always admired the girls in school who did this, but I had never been one of them. I didn’t have that kind of patience. Now, I would acquire the patience, as a zechus for my own refuah.

The two days of school that we had between Pesach and my colonoscopy were days of intense gratitude to Hashem for making me a normal girl in a normal school doing normal things. I’d had a taste of illness and hospitals, and it was like an alternate universe. I’ve learned my lesson of gratitude, I naively thought. Now it’s time to get better.

 

When I went to the hospital for the colonoscopy, I acted very cheerful. While waiting, I made friends with the nurses, enemies with the IV in my arm, and I studied chemistry in the hospital bed. I also read a few pages of an inspirational book I had brought along. It was my way of coping, but inside I was scared. Petrified, really.

The guy in the bed next to mine was a few years my senior, and he had gone through multiple brain surgeries. Hearing about his life through the flimsy curtain that separated us made me appreciate my life so much more. After a period of time that seemed endless, I was finally wheeled into the operating room. It was a cool room, I decided. The technician introduced himself as Carlos, the same name as my school janitor. 

The anesthesiologist introduced herself, too, and I asked her how long it would take for the anesthesia to knock me out. She said it would be just a few seconds, and she said that I would remain groggy, if not sleeping, for about an hour after the procedure. I told her, “You don’t know me. I’ll be up soon.” (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 677)

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