A Nurse's Comforting Words

I was a nervous wreck as I awaited surgery on my ruptured disk.

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A smiling nurse with a name tag that reads "Alice"

Although I had endured intense pain in my leg for months, I’d put off going to the doctor. I was terrified he’d tell me I needed an operation.

“I can’t believe you waited so long,” he chided me when I finally went. “Your leg is bothering you because a disk in your back is pressing on a nerve ending. We’ll schedule surgery for next week.”

Even after he explained every detail of the procedure to my husband, Dave, and me, I was still a nervous wreck. I prayed for comfort all the way into the operating room, until the anesthesia took effect.

When I came to in the recovery room afterward, I didn’t know where I was or why a nurse hovered over me. My vision was so foggy I could barely make out “Alice” on the nurse’s name tag, and her face was a blur. But her voice comforted me. “Did everything go okay?” I asked weakly. Alice took my hand, saying, “Your operation was successful. The ruptured disk has been removed. I spoke to your husband, and he’ll be up in a minute.”

She smiled as she stroked my hand and I drifted off to sleep, soothed and relieved. When I awoke, Dave was sitting on the edge of my hospital bed. I was so glad to see him! After I repeated everything Alice had told me, I noticed his puzzled expression.

Suddenly it dawned on me that I had understood everything she’d said, down to the last detail. You see, I’m deaf and, although I lip read, with my vision blurred, there was no way I could have made out anything my nurse uttered. And yet I’d heard every word, getting just the comfort I needed.

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