The worst part is the wait. Waiting for the weeks, the days, the hours, leading up to the surgery. Now there are only minutes before they bring him into the OR for this life-altering procedure. Dr.Pfeffer arrives smiling, wearing scrubs and a sports coat, an odd mix bridging the everyday academic with the skilled surgeon he is.
I know Dr. Pfeffer personally. He’s a brilliant surgeon, the best of the best, a perfectionist in every sense of the word. I would have chosen no one else for this delicate and complex procedure. But I found myself intensely examining Dr. Pfeffer for signs of fatigue, wakefulness, discomfort. “What did you do for Father’s Day?” I ask, hoping to hear that he did not drink too much wine or attend a big party the night before Yohan’s surgery. He reassured me that he had a relaxing day at home, reading articles about CMT. “About CMT foot surgery? ” I laugh uneasily. I think he ignored my last question. If I were him, I might have done the same. All this after last Friday’s email where I wrote, “Take it easy this weekend. We need you in tip top shape on Monday morning.” Seriously?
Whatever the age, I realize it is very difficult for me to trust even the best with Yohan’s care. A mom’s internal alarm system? Overly anxious? Public outcry constantly reminding the public, Do Not Trust your Doctor. Don’t believe me? Google “Trusting Doctors” and you’ll understand where I am coming from.
The longer he stayed with Yohan, looking over his charts, asking questions and engaging in conversation, the more we all relaxed. Bedside manner is everything! Dr. Pfeffer’s calm and reassuring voice infused us all with confidence and his steady hands examined Yohan’s left foot one last time. And just to make sure left does not become confused with right (haven’t you heard those horror stories?), he sharpied a big YES on the left ankle (and I did not even have to askJ.) Hugs and kisses were not sparse as Yohan was wheeled down the hall. Calmness reestablished.
So now we wait. After one hour, we received news that all was well. The surgery should last another hour and as the time passes, my heart races, beating faster and faster with each passing minute. Here we go again……time to breathe.