The calmest, most caring brown eyes this side of the Missouri

The calmest, most caring brown eyes this side of the Missouri MyStoryYourStory By Paula Damon Dear Diary, Very little if any of the story of my surgery, which occurred on Monday, Jan. 19 at 9 a.m., is about me. All I did was wonder a lot, wait a lot, worry a lot and not run off when it was my time to go under the knife. My role consisted of climbing onto that operating table and trembling silently, while others prepared to perform their works. If you want to know what it is to feel very vulnerable physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually, go get some surgery. There is nothing quite as disconcerting as being anesthetized and then cut open so that your doctor can take a look at whatâ�?�?s going on inside. However, as I said, this is not a story about me. Instead, itâ�?�?s a story about all the people who made it possible for me to be sitting right here, right now. Take Theresa, for example. Envision the calmest, most deliberate, caring brown eyes this side of the Missouri River. And her confident voice â�?�? a sweet serenade of soothing sentences, not the least of which were, "We are going to take very good care of you, Paula. We are going to take very, very good care of you." I listened carefully to that promise she chimed so softly. I wondered if Theresa was such a balm to everyone who lay before her on this altar of sorts. Or, did she see me quivering nervously under my faded, drab hospital gown. Anxious over leaving my day-to-day routine, I was unsure about my unknown post-op state and my future. No, the story of my surgery is not about me; it is about Cindy â�?�? another surgical nurse on my other side preparing a cocktail of sleepy-time drugs before the anesthesiologist arrived. If Cindyâ�?�?s voice and persona had arms and legs, they would gently sweep you into a floating parade of seamless attention, never leaving your side or faltering, affixed on your wellbeing at all times. Sending me off into oblivion was her poetic suggestion, "Nowâ�?�?s the time to dream your happiest dreams, Paula. Nowâ�?�?s the time to dream your happiestâ�?¦" The story of my surgery is not about me; it is about Pastor Tess, who drove 90 miles from Sioux City to Sioux Falls and was waiting for me at the hospital at 7:40 a.m. Before such a ministry can be understood, itâ�?�?s important to know the difference between a calling and a career. Pastor Tess truly is called to the ministry. "You are in the exact place where God wants you to be at this very moment in time," Pastor Tess reassured me seconds before taking a very deep breath and walking arm-in-arm with Cindy into the operating room. The story about my surgery is not about me; it is about Doctor Cynthia Davis, her genius insight, encyclopedic intellect, ability to diagnose clinically with gold medal precision and tireless patience while answering all of my many questions. The story of my surgery is not about me; it is about my husband, Brian, whose reaffirming presence gave me the courage not to deny the symptoms that were making me feel lousy for so many months prior and proceed with what the doctor had recommended. The story of my surgery is not about me; it is about Nurse Theresa, Nurse Cindy, Pastor Tess, Dr. Davis and my husband, Brian. Copyright Paula Damon A resident of Southeast South Dakota for more than 30 years, Paula Damon is a popular columnist, keynote speaker and freelance writer. Her columns have won first-place in Iowa Press Women and National Federation of Press Women competitions. Paulaâ�?�?s columns took second place statewide in the South Dakota Press Women 2007 and 2008 Communications Contests. To schedule prose readings by Paula Damon for your next event or fundraiser, email 2009�?©

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