The boy and the rollercoaster

A light blue ribbon is the symbol for prostate...

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I was in my performance review when the boy tried to call me. I was in my boss’ office. My phone was in my purse, at my desk. I came out post-review, checked the phone. No messages, one missed call.

When I called him back, his voice was thick with tension. The doctor had come out a little more than an hour before to tell him his dad was out of surgery, and it had gone well, and that he should start coming out of the anesthesia within the hour.

The hour had now come and gone, and his dad wasn’t awake.

What I’ve since learned is that this moment of anxiety was just one part of the horror of the day. Apparently their hospital keeps a monitor board up to show patient statuses. What a great idea! Except, it’s not exactly user-friendly. Probably for privacy reasons, the patients are up there by reference number, not name. Privacy is good. But… they don’t tell anyone who’s who. Even if it’s your spouse, you don’t get told which one to be watching. All morning long, every single person waiting for a patient had to ask a thousand questions to try to decipher the board – sort of defeating the purpose

Only their genders – and the fact that only 2 men were on the board – helped the boy narrow down which one was his dad. Next to each patient is a little symbol to indicate where the patient is in the process.

So all morning the boy watched the “evil” board (as he put it) as different symbols appeared and disappeared and periodically changed colors. All morning long every single person waiting for a patient watched the board in confusion and secretly wondered what symbol would appear if their loved one didn’t make it.

So while the boy was pacing and watching the board, the statuses for his dad would stall in stages that should have been long over. They seemed to be moving backwards in places. Once it seemed to indicate that after all that time had passed, the surgery may have been canceled.

And then at one point the symbol had turned red.

And he’d really thought terrible things.

And then, a moment later, the surgeon came out…

And he thought he was about to hear the worst.

But the news was good. His dad was out of surgery.

The board never updated to show it.

And then, after all that… by the time I called back, his dad was not waking up.

It was, in short, a stressful, rollercoaster of a day in the boy’s world.

But I called after my next meeting, and there was something very like joy in the boy’s voice. Because his dad had been awake for a while, and although he was still groggy they’d been able to talk to him.

I will say it even if he won’t: Praise be to God.


About aka gringita
Flotsam generator. Amateur photographer. Avid traveler. Christ follower.

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