poured out before bed
She catches my hand as the resident exits the room, holding me back with her gaze. Her eyes are like pennies, a lovely copper color, shining with blinked-back tears as she searches my face.
“I want to be home with my baby,” she half whispers. “Please, can it be soon?”
I look into those priceless eyes, trying desperately not to let her see me focus on the purulent discharge mounded on the dressings the nurse is now removing, trying not to let her see me study the ragged edges of her dehisced incision, or the concerning readings on the monitors all about her.
“Just as soon as possible, Ms. Jones. I’m so sorry you’ve been with us for such a long while. But we’ve got to take care of you before we send you home to take care of your family. We’ll get you back to healthy just as soon as we can.”
The tears are flowing now. She covers her face with one palm, still clutching my hand to her chest. I pull a low stool under me with my free hand.
“It’s been a month,” she sobs quietly, her breaths made shallow by pain. “My baby is a month older and I haven’t been there.”
My resident pokes his head back in the room, looking a mixture of puzzled and frazzled as he searches for his med student charge. When he sees us, his face softens, and he nods at me, signalling with his hands to what room I should report just as soon as I’ve expressed the exudate from this mental dehiscence.
A Step 2 CS Throwback, from Surgery