As they rolled Cid past us and he settled back on to the gurney, his uncle and I turned and looked at each other with our mouths open. How could he have had such a huge turn-around and be able to talk so soon after surgery?
Like excited children, we gathered our belongings and followed the gurney. We watched anxiously as they lifted Cid into what would be his bed for the next little while. Nurses hovered, checking vitals and talking to Cid while he smiled and gave me a wave before nodding to his uncle. My emotions were almost out of control and I thought I might break down and weep with my gratitude at seeing him looking so healthy and so – alive.
As I stood in the doorway trying to marshal my emotions, I heard the distinctive sound of slippered feet and I turned to see a doctor dressed in surgical greens approaching. Tapping Cid’s uncle on the shoulder, we both stepped aside as the doctor swept into the room and went to Cid’s bedside. He checked the surgery site and probed gently with his fingers, and then he shone a flashlight into Cid’s eyes and spoke to him for a bit. He checked the charts the nurses were working on and gave some orders before he seemed satisfied with everything. At last he turned to us and asked us if we had any questions.
Cid’s uncle looked tongue-tied so I stepped forward and asked, “How could Cid have been unable to speak English and not recognize us before the surgery, and now seem so normal – and so quickly after the surgery?”
The doctor smiled and spread his hands and looked skyward before he answered.
“Sometimes we get lucky. It’s as simple as that. Cid’s tumor was encased and pressing on the part of the brain that manages speech function and other things. We managed to remove it all and we doubt very much if it will come back again. However – Cid’s current state? Let’s put it down to he’s an amazing person – and that I’m an exceptional surgeon. Does that help?”
It was all the answer I needed and I turned to look at Cid’s uncle to see if he had any more questions. He had a big white hankie and was wiping his eyes with it before he blew so loudly into it that everyone in the room laughed. The surgeon took one more look at Cid before he patted us on the shoulder and left the room.
We stood in the door for a while longer until the nurses were finished with their charting and seemed satisfied that Cid was comfortable and didn’t need anything more. Once they left, his uncle and I took up our positions on either side of the bed and beamed down at the patient. I took Cid’s hand and felt his reassuring squeeze, then bent over and kissed him softly.
“I love you.” Cid’s words seeped into my brain and calmed me instantly. I looked up to see his uncle smiling at both of us as I told Cid the same thing.