Six Degrees

I remember her biting wit, her intelligence, her brisk kindness. I hadn’t seen her in over twenty-five years. The other day, I heard her voice and saw her face from the end of the operating table. She was about to be anaesthetised for surgery. I was the surgical assistant.

I tried not to stare but her eyes kept scanning my face, despite the staff who were busying around her. I think she sensed I was someone she’d once known, but couldn’t place me. She was being given sedation and I knew she wouldn’t recall any conversation from that point onwards. It wasn’t the time to speak of the past – she had enough to deal with in the present. Within minutes, she was given the thick white liquid that sent her into oblivion.

I told the surgeon of my long-ago link with the patient, and although she knew some of her patient’s life story, I filled in a few more details. Mostly, how much her patient was respected and admired. She had sass, she had smarts and I thought she was the ants pants.

Wish I could have told her so.

3 thoughts on “Six Degrees

  1. Fiona, I seem to remember that as my GP you had plenty of your own sass, oodles of smarts & were widely respected by your adoring patients. I’ll pass on the ants pants as I have some reality issues with that metaphor!.
    …so glad that your writing career is blossoming…well done.
    Caroline Hooper

      • Hi Fi! Great to hear from you too. I am shrinking myself prior to spinal surgery next year, so all good vibes are most appreciated.
        Your family must be so proud of you…..enjoy the perils & the pleasures of the process.
        Caroline H

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