What I Learnt Over A Game of Operation

Ages 6 and up and 15 minutes to play. On a muggy morning at a summer camp laid a board game; Operation. If im being honest I never enjoyed the game as a kid, but Jess’s enthusiasm for it swayed me and we took a seat at a cleared table and opened the box.

We didn’t know each other.

As we placed cell phones in stomachs and frogs in throats the game began. The competitiveness took over and soon we weren’t stopping anytime soon.

Until this point I would have not wanted to play a game that reminded me of the woes of my health. I was having trouble walking into doctor’s offices because hearing that you have a significantly shortened life span was not what a newly 19-year-old wants to hear.

The bell in the head and the bird in the ear.

Through laughing and frustration, I learnt that operation is just like my medical journey. That sometimes there is an urgency to fix things in time, sometimes there is not, and sometimes there is nothing you can do. Sometimes the buzzer will sound when you are in trouble and sometimes it doesn’t even when you need help.

Sometimes you need to let people into that struggle and sometimes you need to power through on your own. Sometimes all someone can do is being present through the struggles and the triumphs. Looking past our highly competitive spirit we both wanted each other to succeed. The oppositions improvement only helped better ourselves. There was a comradery present in that moment.

It was a simple game on a simple day but the lasting effects of a twenty-dollar board game is one that will stay with me. I remembered what it means to fight. I remembered why it is important to. Most importantly, I learnt that I am never alone at the operating table.