Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Doctor/Nurse (11/02/06)
The surgery was brutal. The enormous mass of tumors clinging possessively to the kidney was a selfishly surreal monster. He, Karl Mayer, was THE famous surgeon with million dollar hands…steady, sure and confident. It involved tedious work. Tightrope slicing. The parasite removed; success within the surgeon’s grasp. Stitches began to close the opening of the body. But then, the monitors rang in alarm. Code Blue! Code Blue! Life was draining from the patient. Choreographed chaos commenced and orders shouted.
Clear! A deadly current of energy was released into the patient.
Nothing, only an annoying monotone sound ebbed from the machine.
How many times would he relive the scene, feel the hopelessness, anger, frustration, failure? He lost a patient. She died under his knife. This was personal. It bothered him. He lost. Why? What did he do wrong? Why did he loose? His fist slammed against the table with a loud crack; the bottle fell over.
“Oh, you scared me,” said a voice at the doorway. A young lady stood in the doorway. “Are you ok, Dr. Mayer?” She walked in and stood beside him. He looked up and remembered her, remembered her eyes.
His mind flashed back to the surgery. These eyes meet his when the decision was made to cease all heroic efforts. These were the eyes that looked at him and shared the sorrow. These eyes transmitted across that operating table, a deeper feeling, that these eyes were connected to a higher power.
He would never admit it but those eyes in that moment took him back to his home church where the love of Jesus flowed from every corner of the church and every heart of the people. He was that small boy in a starched white shirt, skinny tie that chocked him and brown pants that were an inch too short. Mustering all the courage a thirteen-year-old boy had, he walked to the front of the church. The feel of the preacher’s leathery hands grasping his, the smell of soap and sweat, the music from the choir all came to him. The words of acceptance were spoken, allowing Jesus into his life.
“Be born again, baptized with water, renounce the devil.” He did.
Why did he remember that today, when those eyes gazed at him today?
“Dr. Mayer, are you ok?” She touched him and he recoiled as if she had poured coals in his lap.
“Yeah, I’m…fine, Go on, leave me alone,” he mumbled, not wanting to talk or share space with anyone at the moment. She didn’t leave.
“It’s rough, isn’t it? We all want to save lives, be heroes. We all do.”
All he could do was nod a yes, not trusting his voice. He liked her voice, soothing.
“You’re one of the best. God gave you a gift, Dr. Mayer.”
He looked at her. A gift? God? Gruffly he said, “What are you talking about? If God gave me a gift, I’d not lost that lady today.”
She sat down in a chair next to him and took his hands. He watched as she examined his fingers. “If I had hands like yours, I’d be thanking the Lord everyday. I would feel so honored and blessed.”
Pausing, she looked at him, those liquid brown eyes calming the core of his being. “You did the best you could. You always do. But then…you have to leave the rest to a higher power, doctor. “
The church music of long ago seeped back into his mind. How did he get so far away? At that moment he felt those emotions of that day, of doing the right thing, of making Jesus his personal savoir. He looked at his hands and nodded.
“Thank you,” he said. But the room was empty.
He didn’t even know her name.
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