Hi everyone! My name is Mishel Zabala. I actually had a really tough time picking a topic to talk about. I'm not a big "me" person and I don't really like to talk about myself. But I guess an interesting thing about me would be that I have a really crazy addiction to books. And I think it all started with me having heart surgery.
The summer before I turned 19 I noticed that my heart was always beating abnormally fast and with a weird rhythm. You could actually see it beating through my skin and it would make my shirts jump with each beat. My mom and I both found it odd but didn't think much of it because every time I went to a doctor they were never alarmed by it.
I did however have a lot of trouble sleeping and moving in general. I had to actually sleep sitting up which was really annoying. So one night I actually couldn't sleep at all and stayed up. My mom found me when she got up for work early the next morning and wanted to take me to the ER.
It was there after an EKG that it got really scary. To make a long story short I was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure which was caused by a "leaky valve" in my heart. A cardiologist later told me that my mitral valve was pumping blood backwards. All that backed up flued was causing me to swell in almost every part of my body and it made it hard for me to sleep because when I would lie down it would press up against my lungs and I couldn't breathe.
So after many, many tests and trips to the hospital I finally had open heart surgery in April 2007 at the ripe age of 19. I was constantly reminded of my age because every doctor or nurse I met wasn't used to seeing a patient so young with my condition. I remember the morning of, around 5AM getting ready in the pre-op room and just thinking "God, I hope I wake up." I was terrified that I wouln't wake up from the anesthesia.
Obviously I woke up and the surgery went okay. I spent about a week in the hospital. They were able to repair my valve with a small plastic ring inserted into the opening. However the repair will give out and I'll eventually have to have another surgery to replace it with either a mechanical or tissue valve. I thinking finding that out along with other health related issues going on and just the fact that I was in pain made me really depressed. My family was already burdened enough with having to take care of me so I hid it pretty well.
But since I couldn't do much after having my chest split open, I asked my mom to take me to the book store one day since I was bored. Now I don't know if it was that particular book that drew me in or just the fact that I needed to get my mind off things, but I instantly felt better while reading. It was escapism at its best. Better than movies and video games which I love. After I finished the book I just wanted to keep reading to keep my mind off things.
Now, more than two years later, I have such a strong passion for reading. I rarely go anywhere without a book attached to me. It drives my mom nuts that I have books all over my room. Every time I receive a book in the mail or buy a bunch of books at the store she looks at me weird and shakes her head. I just shrug and say "Hey, at least it's not drugs." I personally think it's a healthy addiction. Granted, it does hurt my bank account and even my school work but it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make. Books are always there for me and they keep my mind off the things I don't want to think about. They are like a really good friend that you always want to be around because they just make you feel better.
So that's it =) The speech had a time constraint of 2-5 minutes. Every time I practiced it I kept going over 5 minutes. Luckily my time was 4:35 when I did it. I ended up with an A =) My second speech is coming up tomorrow night. I haven't finished it yet. It's an informative speech. Ugh, I hate speeches lol