We’ve Got This!

The morning of the most extensive surgery my wife has ever faced, we both felt (understandably) a bit nervous. Sitting in the pre-op area, I observed a flurry of medical staff work efficiently to prepare Gracie for a nine-hour surgery—and her 82nd operation.

When the neurosurgeon arrived, I noticed a tangible enthusiasm about him. Clapping his hands together, he brightly looked at us while stating, “You ready to get this thing done!”

For maybe the first time in my decades as a caregiver, I felt a calmness and sense of safety with this man. As the surgeon exuded such self-confidence, our anxiety seemed to dissipate. He knew his job and shared his excitement, “I love doing this procedure—it helps so many people!”

Looking at me, he said, ‘This will be a long day. Go rest in your hotel room and wait for my call. You don’t need to hang out in the waiting room and stress yourself out. We’ve got this!”

Following his orders, I rested, watched a movie, and waited for his call without worrying about reprisal or condemnation from “pearl clutching” bystanders—a far cry from my first surgery with Gracie when I was judged harshly.

The surgery went well, and while slow, the recovery remains steady. Along the way, I learned to trust a bit more—and rest in the competence of others.

You must trust and believe in people, or life becomes impossible. —Anton Chekov

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