Today, my baby cousin Junior Edelti was born at Lutheran General Hospital at exactly eight p.m. What makes little baby Eli extra special is that he was born with cleft lip. According to the doctors, cleft lip can be surgically corrected in a two-part surgery. The first part is the external surgery, where the nose and the lip are rearranged to look normal. The second of the two surgeries is the more complicated one, in which the doctors move around certain tissues and fibers throughout the nose and mouth. When you think about it, hospitals are actually the weirdest place. People take their last breaths in hospitals. People are welcomed into the world and take their first breaths in hospitals, as well. On one floor, a dad is anxiously waiting to meet his new baby daughter. On the floor below, a dad is saying his last goodbye. Happiness and sadness: both prevalent under one roof. A mere wall separating the two extremes. Cries of happiness and cries of sorrow prevail throughout the walls of the hospital tickling your skin. The intercom system paging in doctors to the control center and announcing visiting hours are almost over. The smell of an air freshener trying to cancel out the intoxicating smell of rubbing alcohol and blood.
It is for all these reasons that when I grow up I really want to work in a hospital. I want to be a doctor like my mom. Where my mom works is really crazy. Cook Country Hospital is constantly on the hustle. The doctors, the nurses, and all the hospital staff never sleep. Their waiting room is constantly booked. Working in downtown Chicago, my mom sees the worst of the worst. From gun shoots, to stab wounds, to helping out escaped convicts, my mom’s stories never cease to impress me. I hope that one day, just like my mom, I will be able to have stories of my own to share with my kids.