So far, I have been blessed with having a minimum of surgical procedures. Two come to mind: getting my tonsils out at age six, as an inpatient and then at age 12 having a deformed toe nail removed as an outpatient procedure.
Both experiences I could have done without.
However, the first surgical experience was better.
My tonsils needed to be removed. I was hospitalized at Bess Kaiser Hospital in Portland, Or . I remember vividly being escorted down the hallway on the hospital gurney to the operating room. I looked up and I saw all of these right overhead lamps and the smiling faces of doctors and nurses in surgical gowns, caps and masks. For a six year old boy, this was quite a frightening experience.
Then I remember the rubber breathing cup was placed over my nose and I was asked to count backwards. The room started to swirl somewhat and then I was out.
Sometime later I woke up in my hospital bed not feeling too bad. I remember my throat was a little sore.
But then came the best part. The hospital orderly brought me a big bowl of strawberry ice cream. Boy, did that make my throat feel better. The cold ice cream chilled the areas of my throat that were wearing off from the anesthesia . The ice cream was the perfect prescription for a six year old who recovered from this procedure.
All of these years later, I’m thinking that a lot of people are currently feeling numb. So much is happening all at once: global medical pandemic that is unpredictable in terms of who gets effected, alarming rates of hospitalization and deaths, economic dislocation on a scale not seen since the 1930’s., protests and demonstrations against systemic racism and police brutality.
Most of us are still working, a lot of us from home. Going out has been an operation in itself, masks, sanitizers, gloves, wiping down the steering wheel, gear shift and other interior of the car. Venturing out either to the store, the doctor, the Post Office, the pharmacy and praying that you don’t get sick.
What is of concern is not knowing when all of this will end. What also is of concern if not hearing or witnessing any unified national government policy as to how we will recover from this pandemic plague.
It’s like the rubber cup has been placed over all of our noses and we are being told to count backwards. The anesthesia takes effect we got to sleep and these conditions continue. But at some point what will happen when we wake up from all of this ?
Will there be strawberry ice cream for all of us ?
Forever, what I have been taught is that good leadership always advocates telling the truth, giving consistent information to people, making clear what is known and what is not known and accepting responsibility for mistakes and striving to make sure that in the future that mistakes will not be repeated.
Those are hallmark indicators of great and effective leadership.
I wish right now for all of us that we could realize this phenomena.
I’m concerned that when we wake up from the anesthesia, that there will be no cold delicious soothing ice cream.
I’m hoping I’m wrong.
As a country, we do not need any more undue suffering.
I hope we can all wake up and be well.
I’m looking forward to another bowl of ice cream for all of us.
May it be so.