Perk of residency
Thursday August 13th 2009, 8:34 pm
Filed under: "Wrapped in Comfort",Crohn's flare,Knit,Life

Thinking back to the first pre-op appointment: there was a parade of people, from a medical researcher hoping to sign up a new subject to a physician’s assistant to a younger woman who came in after the doctor with forms in hand, asking my permission to let her be a part of the surgical team as part of her training.

I liked her on the spot and told her yes.

When she greeted me just before the operation last Wednesday, I looked her in the eye, smiled, and told her in a tone that I think affirmed that I believed she would, “Do a good job.”

She stopped by often afterwards to check on me, and Sunday, from my hospital bed, I reminded her that I had said that. And then I told her: “When I was brought into the recovery room, I saw your face.  I knew that you knew you had.  And you were proud.”

I got to see her beaming proudly all over again.

I’ve been thinking for a few days, and it seems only one yarn will do.  There’s enough for a good scarf yet.  If you’ve read the story of the Bluejay shawl, shown above (with most of its fulness at the back of the chair), you understand why the leftover yarn I have from that project would be the perfect yarn for a young colorectal surgeon.  A beautiful outcome from a situation rather less so, and… Yeah. That one.  My way of saying thank you.

And, like every patient–and doctor or nurse for that matter–that skein of indigo baby alpaca, so unusually custom-dyed, is a one of a kind. As far as my dyepot adventures are concerned, having no desire to, say, scatter suet or peanuts or birdseed on my wet hanks and wait for the moment, there will never again be anything quite like it.

12 Comments so far
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So nice to have you home and enjoying your knitting again! No doubt about it, that young trainee will love her scarf, and I concur, the color choice is perfect.

Comment by Shelly H 08.14.09 @ 1:53 am

You are amazing. And it seems you have gotten your full mojo back. . .for the knitting and blessing at least. . .thanks for sharing!

Love and hugs to you guys!

Comment by Pam 08.14.09 @ 4:07 am

Beautiful post, Alison. Wonderful that you recognized that this new young surgeon wanted to do a really great job!!!

Comment by Joansie 08.14.09 @ 4:56 am

That resident will always remember you. What a wonderful experience you have already given! And yes, it has to be that yarn. Good choice!

Comment by Barbara-Kay 08.14.09 @ 4:58 am

On days when she doubts if she can do this or after a difficult surgical experience, I’m sure her scarf will manage to appear in her sight and she’ll smile, remembering the nice lady who believed in her, told her as much and thanked her for being dedicated.

This post made me smile, but not in an entertained way: it feels as though my heart is agreeing with you. Is it presumptuous to type that, though we have never met?

Hopefully, all this knitting and those positive vibes help you remain a good patient at home. 😉

Comment by Suzanne in Mtl 08.14.09 @ 5:41 am

What a special scarf that will be! I know you too are already basking in the glow of the start of a job well-done. (For me, settling on the right yarn is half the battle!)

Comment by Channon 08.14.09 @ 6:11 am

Absolutely perfect :-}

Comment by Diana Troldahl 08.14.09 @ 6:56 am

You is a good patient!

Comment by sherry in idaho 08.14.09 @ 7:15 am

What a wonderful moment for you both!

Comment by TripletMom 08.14.09 @ 7:53 am

I get such a kick out of embiggening your projects! Enchanting shawl.

Comment by LynnM 08.14.09 @ 9:27 am

Why do I get the impression that your mission in life is to make other people happy? I mean … Well, you do, you know.

Now if I can send a little happiness your way, here is a bit of humor:


A Michigan woman and her family were vacationing in a small New England town where Paul Newman and his family often visited. One Sunday morning, the woman got up early to take a long walk. After a brisk five-mile hike, she decided to treat herself to a double-dip chocolate ice cream cone. She hopped in the car, drove to the center of the village and went straight to the combination bakery/ice cream parlor. There was only one other patron in the store: Paul Newman, sitting at the counter having a doughnut and coffee. The woman’s heart skipped a beat as her eyes made contact with those famous baby-blue eyes. The actor nodded graciously and the star-struck woman smiled demurely. 

“Pull yourself together!” she chided herself. “You’re a happily married woman with three children; you’re forty-five years old, not a teenager!” 

The clerk filled her order and she took the double-dip chocolate ice cream cone in one hand and her change in the other. Then she went out the door, avoiding even a glance in Paul Newman’s direction. 

When she reached her car, she realized that she had a handful of change–but her other hand was empty. “Where’s my ice cream cone?” she asked herself. “Did I leave it in the store?” 

Back into the shop she went, expecting to see the cone still in the clerk’s hand…or in a holder on the counter…or something. But no ice cream cone was in sight. With that, she happened to look over at Paul Newman. His face broke into his familiar warm, friendly grin and he said to the woman, “You put it in your purse.”

Comment by Don Meyer 08.14.09 @ 10:52 am

I had emergency eye surgery far from home in Boston MA as a college student. I was, of course, afraid and my family hadn’t had time to get to me. I woke up after surgery to a young resident sitting with me. He was from my home town and hence felt a connection. He’d even been the one to call my parents with a status update. We were all very grateful to him.

Fast forward a couple years. This former student now had his own practice so I visited him for a checkup. He remembered me (and especially my retina!) and even whipped out the diagrams he’d had to draw during my very complex surgery.

I guess “making a connection” can go both ways between doctor and patient!

Comment by Deb 08.14.09 @ 6:59 pm

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