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Feb 26, 2022


The morning of the most extensive surgery my wife's ever faced, we both felt (understandably) a bit nervous. Sitting in the pre-op area, I observed a flurry of medical staff work efficiently to prepare Gracie for what would be a 9-hour surgery – and her 82nd operation (that I can count).

When the neurosurgeon arrived, I noticed a tangible enthusiasm about him. Clapping his hands together, he brightly looked at us while stating, "You ready to get this thing done!"

For maybe the first time in my 35 years as a caregiver, I felt a calmness and sense of safety with this man. As the surgeon exuded such self-confidence, I felt our anxiety melt away. He knew his job and shared his excitement, "I love doing this procedure- it helps so many people!"

Looking at me, he said, 'This will be a long day. Go rest in your hotel room and wait for my call. You don't need to hang out in the waiting room and stress yourself out. We've got this!"

Following his orders, I rested and waited for his call.

The surgery went well, and while slow, the recovery remains steady. Along the way, I learned to trust a bit more – and rest in the competence of others.

"You must trust and believe in people or life becomes impossible." -  Anton Chekov