July 01, 2003


His name, the one who handed me back my will to live through the next two hours, the one who shocked my nervous system into submission with two different IV pain medications, the one who took away my pain, his name was Skip.

Three times a muffled "help" from me, and no one came, heads moving somehow relating to the voices of one another, that was what I saw, dizzying motion. "This is the busiest Saturday night we've had in recovery." "I think so." voices. everyone's but mine. Moaning from others like me. Why did theirs worked when mine didn't?

I saw him turn, see me, what was it, what my face must have looked like, afraid to move even my lips, afraid it could get worse, not imagining how it could, how anything could be.

He was the first one to come, to tell me to hang on, soon it would get better. Whatever he read in my eyes, since nothing else moved, was something. Tears. Yes. And me eyeing the baby bootie pinned to my gown, maybe.

I was in recovery two hours. After an hour, I could whisper loud enough to communicate. Skip the recovery room nurse (is that what they're called?) told me his name, that my blood pressure was still climbing some, they had to monitor it, and talking to his recovery room colleagues I heard him say, "It's probably the pain," and me, rigid, still wondering if I wanted to bother surviving. Still thinking maybe not.

But once my whisper came back, stronger, and once the first two layers of pain peeled away with the drugs, I choked to Skip over and over, "Thank you." "Thank you. "It's better than it was." "Thank you."

Skip told me jokes, none of which I remember. He also told me he would come see me while I was in the hospital. And he did. I didn't remember his face when he stopped by the room. But I remembered his voice. The voice that took my pain away, that brought me back from my six-hour near-death nap.

Skip, from Recovery at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, if you're out there somewhere, and if Google is kind enough, you may see this one day, and if you do, you can hear me say one more time: "Thank you."