My Heart Runs On Batteries And Once I Forgot To Charge It
- Published: 30 November 2019
- Hello, guys. My name is Ruby. Now I am seventeen, though recently I didn't even have hope that I'd live to be sixteen. We all tend to believe bad things can happen to anyone, but not us. And when they happen to you, there is only one question you have on your mind: 'Why me?'
It all struck me when I was going through one of the most important periods of my life. I lived with my mom. My father had left us many years ago for another woman. So modern! That was a heavy blow for both my mother and for me, but we got over it. I was finishing school that year, so I was bogged down with my studies. I was absolutely exhausted every single minute. Sometimes I didn't have enough energy to have breakfast or to take a shower in the morning. But neither my mom nor I paid much attention to it. I prepared for my exams day and night. Who wouldn't be tired? But it was not that easy.
One night, I went downstairs to get some water. But suddenly everything went dark and when I opened my eyes I saw my mom's worried face. I realized I was lying on the floor in the middle of the kitchen. My poor mother got so scared she even called an ambulance.
Even though I knew I was at risk of having genetic heart problems on my mother's side, I wasn't worried about it. The doctor examined me and said it would be better to have a more careful examination. I spent two days in the hospital, but for some reason doctors kept asking me to go through another test or examination again and again. When I tried to convince them it was all about my school and exams, they were very evasive and didn't answer eagerly. But I have to admit, I didn't really feel well. I had more than enough rest procrastinating in my hospital bed, but I was still so exhausted it was hard for me to move.
Finally, doctors gave me the answer to why this was happening to me. I was diagnosed with a very rare heart condition. To cut the story short, my heart was not able to function normally anymore, and I needed a heart transplant as soon as possible. But that was not the worst thing. It had gotten so bad, I didn't have any time to wait for a donor. It all came right out of the blue, but before I was able to process the whole thing, my cardiologist suggested that I undergo a risky surgery, which was the only way to prolong my life. I had to have my heart removed and replaced with a totally artificial heart, made of biocompatible plastic. I knew what that meant. I would have to spend endless days, bedridden and waiting for a donor. And of course I was not the first person on the transplant list. But since my tears of sorrow were not helping at all, I agreed.
The surgery was successful, but it was so weird to wake up, having two tubes coming out of my stomach, attached to the pump. And I remember that I thought: 'That's it. Game over.' But the good news was that I actually didn't have to stay in bed all the time. Doctors said that I would even be able to go home after I got used to living with my new heart. So, I did my best to recover as soon as possible and I was ready to go home a month later, which was a great victory for me. My mom and my friends were so loving and supportive, that I almost felt happy again. I was given a smaller pump, that I could fit in my bag and even go outside with for a while, but I always had to make sure that the batteries were charged. My friends called me 'iRuby' as a joke, because when we went out together, I always had to be near a plug.
Step-by-step I was making my way back to my normal life. I was determined to get back to my studies, but since I couldn't go to school anymore, my mom offered to homeschool me. Things were getting better, but one day changed everything.
I was sitting at home waiting for my math tutor when I got a call. When I picked the phone, I heard a familiar voice, which I hadn't heard for at least seven years. It was my father. I hadn't talked to him or seen him since he had left us many years ago. I just froze with the phone in my hand. But before I was able to say something, he told me the worst news ever. He said he had gotten a call from the hospital. My mom got sick at work and possibly had a stroke. My father suggested meeting on the subway and going to the hospital together.
My stomach just dropped. I was about to rush out the door when I remembered I hadn't charged my batteries yet. I had only one hour! But I could not leave my mom out there! I counted, one hour had to be enough, so I grabbed my backpack with a pump and headed to the subway all alone. My father didn't know what had happened to me, otherwise he would never have let me do it...
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