Stroking

  5:30 pm. Now I know what it feels like lying on the operating table. I’m a surgeon and I just had an emergency operation on my abdomen. They said I would be okay, but lying in this cold operating room, I felt hot and shivered, and it didn’t seem to hurt me all my life.
  I understand the anxiety and a little fear in the eyes of my patients, and why some of them instinctively reach out and hold my hand. However, touching strangers or touching strangers always makes me feel uncomfortable. Only when the patient is asleep, can I focus on a bone or a blood vessel and concentrate on the operation without having to care about that person. Touching the patient is one of the daily routines. I do it as I learned in school: professional, without any emotional color, and the action is as short and clear as possible. What I feel now is this touch.
  7:20 pm. They take good care of me, and everyone has a sense of effectiveness and efficiency.
  How many times have I stood by the patient’s bed, my chin was shaved, I was clean, and I was in control, ordering others instead of accepting orders, looking down instead of up.
  But tonight, in this lemon-yellow ward full of the smell of disinfectant, I am not a doctor, just an ordinary person: I am married, I have 3 children, I usually play tennis, and my favorite season is autumn. Pain was never my partner. Now my goal in life is not to rely on others to bathe myself.
  I was scared and tired of taking care of myself.
  Late at 2:15. Another dark ward came to my mind: At that time I was young, a doctor in the inpatient department, facing my first dying patient. She had thinned a bone, pale and unconscious. What impressed me the most was that she shouted softly, continuously, with the sound of rescue equipment. That night I did everything the doctor should do, but it didn’t work.

  6:22 am. For the last few hours in the dark, they kept moving and examining me. Now comes the morning nurse. She is old and looks like a lovely cabbage. She opened the curtains, changed my sheets, checked my pulse, and walked to the door after doing her work step by step. Then she turned around, walked to the sink, moistened a clean towel, gently wiped my unshaved face, and said, “This must be hard to boil.”
  Tears poured onto my always indifferent, restrained Doctor’s eyes. She stopped to experience my feelings, and shared my pain with such an accurate and simple sentence: “It must be hard.”
  She didn’t just check her pulse or change the sheets, she really touched me. For a moment, her hand became the hand of God.
  ”What you do to my insignificant brother is what you do to me.” When I made up my mind not to “touch” a body, but to “touch” a person, this phrase in the Bible It sounded in my ear.