Saturday, March 12, 2011


The recent surgery of a dear friend brought to mind a similar time of my own.

Mine came following what was the most difficult decision-making time in my life: that being admitting my aging mother to the care of a nursing home. In the few weeks she had been there, it had already been a rough time. I was dealing with emotional and physical pain. Necessity caused the physical pain to win out.

It was approaching Thanksgiving. My personal care physician ordered a sonogram that showed gallstones necessitating immediate surgery. My pain had already told me something had to be done soon. I went for the requisite pre-surgical procedures only to learn there was concern regarding my heart. What? I was too young to have heart issues. The medical staff assured me it was probably nothing but a precautionary extra step. Still, with no warning, my dad had died from a massive heart attack just prior to his fifty-seventh birthday. I was assured the surgeon would do his utmost to swiftly get me in for those tests and the surgery.

My husband and I waited for the expected phone call but none came, so we knew we would be held up past the Thanksgiving weekend. More pain and no tasty, filling meal of turkey and gravy for me, that was obvious. Friday morning following Thanksgiving, our phone rang. It was the surgeon. He explained he had been unsuccessful in several tries to reach us, but our line was continually busy. Apparently after a phone call with one of our family members, we inadvertently left it off balance. He explained he had made arrangements for the heart doctor to meet us at the hospital ER, to do the necessary tests on me if we could be there before noon that day. If everything checked out okay, he would do the surgery first thing the following Monday. Relief was in sight!

We scurried to the hospital. I successfully passed the tests and was cleared for upcoming surgery. With orders in hand, I looked forward to Monday morning. Surgery was swift and successful. Pain was gone, except as my friend has said, a new pain was temporarily in its place.

After I was once again on the road to good health, it was with much pleasure I wrote a thank-you note to the surgeon. He had been so thoughtful in taking time out of his holiday to see to it that I got good care as soon as possible. Having learned he had a son following in his footsteps, I also commended him for the exemplary lifestyle he was setting for future generations. Imagine my surprise when almost in return mail, I received a thank you for my thank-you! He explained that it was infrequent that he heard such, that it was more often he heard the other side, and he was so pleased that I was happy with his care.

How could I not be? After all, even though he was a human being, Dr. Gabriel (really his name) was to me an angel wearing a doctor’s coat.

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 3-12-2011

1 comment:

  1. More of us should take the time to say thank you! It would be a happier world!