The Autobiography Project

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Audrey Barnes's Autobiography (submitted 6/4/06)

When I was dropped off at the hospital door by my mother that day, I thought it was another "routine" surgery, if surgery can be routine. Little did I know I would cheat death. Usually, my family was with me when they took me in for any previous surgery but my mother had to do payroll that day and couldn't be there for me. I had had this surgery before and thought it would be the usual forty-five-minute to one-hour surgery. True, my previous one had been kind of dicey because I lost a lot of blood and needed transfusions but I survived intact. I always remembered the counting backward and never getting past 98. For some reason, this time, all I remember is being wheeled down on a gurney and that is it. When I awoke, it was between 7-9 hours later. I have tried to blank out that part. All I remember was blackness, then light kind of like when your eyes are closed but you know the lights have been turned on. I heard these words, "she's fighting the machine!" The machine was a ventilator, it was the most horrible feeling in the world, kind of like a balloon blowing air back in your lungs after you've blown it up except over and over aqain. I was in intensive care overnight. I had lost almost 80% of my blood and they had to bring in a second doctor to save my life and reconstruct my intestines.

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