No matter how old you are, there’s nothing that brings a sense of calm quite like the tight squeeze of a soft plush creature. On the day of my eye operation, a little green stuffed friend was ready to greet me with a little pink U-shaped grin that I still remember. The best part about it was that I’d be free to hold and squeeze him as tightly as I needed to during the fast-approaching operation.
Don’t get me wrong—the cordial staff persons, assistants, and doctor were all very kind and reassuring. The fact that I knew these people were certain in what they were doing brought me much peace. And all the literature I’d read up on for the treatment I was about to receive (Wavefront M Lasek) gave me the personal confidence I needed to face my hour of surgery with a brave face. Plus, God was on my side—I knew He’d never let anything go wrong. But still, a tiny part in the back of my mind reminded me that I was about to get S-U-R-G-E-R-Y. Something I’d never had done in my whole life! Not even for stitches!!
So as my face was sterilized by a nurse’s gentle hands (twice, because I accidentally scratched my nose after the first time), I breathed in and out heavily. The time was finally here, and there would be no turning back now. My eyes were amply anesthetized; slowly, I was led into the operation room. The equipment was powered on and everyone in the room, with their surgical masks and caps and latex-gloved hands, was prepped and ready for me. But was I, at last, ready?
And then a voice asked me, “Would you like to hold this?”
I drowsily turned in the direction of the voice. There was the assistant, holding out a little green stuffed creature for me to take. Without thinking twice, my arms lunged for the welcoming and oddly familiar sight, and I hugged it tightly. And with that little extra bit of reassurance, I knew I was ready.
The operation was quick, painless, and seamless (I guess both literally and figuratively), and what awaited me afterwards in the tranquil, dimly lit resting room was another bonus—an awesome steady stream of K-pop (yeah, you get to choose what music genre you want to listen to post-op ^^).
In my opinion, no one can ever be too grown up to want a stuffed creature nearby during a time of need. It’s kind of like when Piglet, from A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh books, turned to his best friend one day and, quietly taking Pooh’s hand, said, “I just wanted to be sure of you.”
Thanks, Dream Eye Center, for remembering that.