• leaflet

    . . .a thin triangular flap of a heart valve. . . a small book usually having a paper cover . . . a medical lit-art e-journal from The Permanente Press
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Vol 6: Iss 2, Prose

I have fun at school. I have a lot of friends, and we play around at recess. My teachers are awesome too. I have had the same teacher for the past 2 years. Sometimes when I’m sick she even comes to visit me at my house to bring my homework or to go over assignments. She lets me have extra time to catch up if I have missed days of school.   I’m in middle school.  People say kids are mean in middle school. Maybe that’s true because sometimes those girls do tease people, but at least it’s not me. My friends and I make friendship bracelets and text each other on Instagram.

I am very close to my family. I have 2 big brothers who are grown up now but one of them still lives in our house. He works at a restaurant and sometimes he brings us home delicious food.  He teases me but he also looks out for me. When I was little, and my mom would take me to the doctor, he would always go with us so he could speak in English to the doctor for my mom because she doesn’t speak English. I was too shy to talk to my doctor. It wasn’t because I couldn’t speak English like my mom—it was just because I was shy. My doctor is pretty nice but when we have to go to see her, my mom gets a little worried beforehand, even though the doctor always says everything is fine and that my heart is strong. This time she even told me that I need to exercise more and told my mom not to baby me or keep me from being active.  She told my mom that our whole family should exercise more.  We live near the ocean and she told my mom that we should all walk to the beach and back a few times a week. That’s my favorite thing the doctor has ever told me in my whole life—to go to the beach more. Maybe now my mom won’t worry quite so much.

I worry about my heart too sometimes. Usually it is just as I am going to bed at night—not every night, but a few nights a week. I worry that my heart is going to stop.  I have heard my parents and my doctor talking about a miracle that happened to me. When I was a tiny newborn baby, just after my first operation, my heart stopped. The doctors and nurses were right there though, and they got my heart back pumping and put me on a machine while my heart was weak. My heart recovered in about a week. The doctor and my mom always celebrate what a miracle it is that my heart works well and that now I’m in 6th grade and playing with my girlfriends like everyone else. They both look very proud of me. But sometimes I worry that my heart will just stop again. And that it will be while I’m asleep and there are no doctors or nurses around. I never tell my mom or anybody that I think about this. I want them to be proud of me and not to worry about me.