When I was twelve I got hit in the face by a baseball.  It hit dead centre of my nose.  I had a tremendous headache but still managed to play the whole game.  What no one realized, probably because I acted like I was healthy enough to play, was that it actually broke.  I guess it must have been a pretty clean break, since I never developed black eyes or any of the usual signs.  I hardly noticed a problem until I started developing massive sinus headaches.  It turned out that I had deviated my septum, effectively blocking a nasal passage and preventing it from draining properly.  And, just like when I was twelve and ignored pain to play baseball, I ignored the headaches for years.

            By the time I was in university I had wised up a little, and seen a nose specialist about the headaches.  He recommended surgery, and since it would take a few weeks to recover, I decided to wait until December when I was off school.  So, the day after coming home, I went to the hospital.

            I dressed in a gown, and followed a nurse to the operating room.  There I lay down on a table while someone attached an IV to my hand.  My doctor showed up sometime during these proceedings, wearing a mask and surgical gown.

            “All right Ethan, we’re all set.”  He said.  “I need you to count backwards from one hundred for me.”

            “Okay.  One hundred, ninety-nine, ninety-eight…”  I drifted off as the anaesthesia in the IV took effect.   Everything just slipped into darkness.

            I floated in a black oblivion for a long time.  I felt like I was swimming at the bottom of the ocean, and started pushing up for the surface.  I struggled, kicking upwards, sensing the light.  I swam on, faster now, eager.  For some reason, I was sure that I would see Faith on the other side.  I could feel her somehow.  I burst through the surface.

            Opening my eyes, I smiled.  Sunlight streamed in the nearby window.  I was in a hospital bed, alone in recovery.  I remembered going in for surgery.  I shook my head.  It was almost as if my mind had woken up before my body, and I had to swim back to consciousness.  It bothered me that, cut off from the world, my only thought was of Faith.

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