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  • Clarke Wallace

A DAY IN SURGERY

It happens out of the blue, if it happens at all. I noticed a small bump to the left of my groin. I let it be.


I was coming out of the shower when I found Roe staring at me. “How long have you had that?” my wife asked about the bulge. I shrugged, saying not long.


“That’ s a hernia," she said. "Does it hurt?” That, from the nurse in her. I shook my head. “Oh yeah? Day surgery. I’ll set it up.”


It took a while, hospitals having enough troubles these days. The night before I, and surely others facing the same thing, have to wonder what happens if I’m told ‘we’re going to have to keep you overnight…’


There I was the next day in Day Surgery of the Etobicoke General Hospital stripping down. A hand came through the closed divided curtains holding a handful of hospital clothes. Two in fact. I heard a quiet voice say, "Strip everything off, and put these on. It came as an command, not a request.


The first piece was a short thing that you put on with the ties on the back? Hmm. Then came another with sleeves that once on reached my ankles.


A hand drew back the curtains. There was Emma, ignoring the embarrassment of me struggling to get out of my jeans. She had this warm, ensuring smile.


A series of nurses and the surgeons came by asking questions, and writing them down: Name in full, age, height. Any allergies? Confirm your date of birth. God knows how many others asked the same questions at each stop along the way. To make sure I was the one on their info sheet.


The nursing staff and doctors are really something. Helpful, not hurried as I went through the various steps before the operation; Emma was beside me all the way, her quiet, assuring demeanor came with smiles that told me all would be well.


Author’s comment: I woke up some time later in Recovery with Emma looking down on me. “You did fine, Mister Wallace. You’ll have to rest for a while. I’ll have your clothes ready.” Why all that worry? When I was in such good hands.

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