As I walked into the operating room at Mt. Sinai two weeks ago I politely deferred musical choices on Pandora to the collective preferences of those in the room. I climbed up onto the OR table and got strapped down as the anesthesiologist began the first IV in my left hand and administered a dose of calming meds.
I tried to laugh more than cry and did my level best to sincerely talk and connect with each profoundly skilled medical professional scurrying around the OR. I avoided looking back at the growing pile of metal sterile surgical boxes containing tools soon to be unpacked and arranged and called for once my case began.
I tried to laugh so tears wouldn’t come and before they gently held the mask with a calming pace of instructions to breath deeply; there was a hug to be given, shared and reflected upon.
There are few words that can accurately summarize the trust, bond, respect and friendship that has formed between patient, family and surgeon since 2008. I’ve openly acknowledged with tears that dialing my number to confirm my recurrence was likely as gutting for Costas as it was for me to answer the call.
Paul and I are grateful for the friendship and mutual respect we collectively share and count our blessings Costas has chosen to be present and vested in our lives.
When you’re willing to accept and share in the vulnerability of another, there is little need or room for words. Not much else matters when you’re actively present and let’s be honest… Hugs matter.