One of our ER docs is a woman who is relatively new to our hospital. She is, in a word, a dream. Never gets flustered, always respectful of those around her, thorough, conscientious, smart...the list goes on. She's a born teacher, sharing her thought processes out loud with us so that every time I have one of her patients I learn something I didn't know before. A native of our neighboring "rival" state of Missouri, she wears her home colors proudly and was even known, once or twice, to roll her eyes during our recent sports successes- just a little. Not being a native Kansan, this is a rivalry I tend to stay out of (don't get me started on USC/UCLA or Michigan/Ohio State, though), but I had to respect the way she held her ground - in spite of considerable provocation. She looks like a cream puff. My gut tells me this is a facade.
Her husband is also a doctor. They've been married a while, with three kids and probably ten or twelve years under their belts. I don't know a lot about him, but on the surface he appears to be yin to her yang. He seems like a nice guy, don't get me wrong, but he's intense, doesn't talk a lot more than he needs to, looks to be more an action oriented type. (He is a surgeon, so this is no big surprise). He's only on our unit to consult or take patients to the OR, so when we see him it tends to be higher pressure situations where time is a real factor. They share the same focus. They are both amazingly good with the people they are caring for. They just go about it in very different ways.
I remember perfectly the first time I saw them together. She was racing around taking care of her patients. He was running to consult on a possible surgical candidate. And as their paths collided right in front of the unit secretary's desk, they stopped. I could feel the connection from across the room. He touched her on the arm, she looked him in the eye. They had a fast, private conversation that no one overheard, but when they quickly continued on with their tasks, both were smiling. They had touched base. Connection was made.
I've watched them do this several times, watched with a longing that gets stronger each time I see it. This is not a first stirrings of infatuation situation, it's a real, live adult relationship. And I want that. I want to have that feeling of connectedness, want to have that feeling of wanting to see my other half during the day. I want those stolen moments of perfect propriety that let you see afresh this person you share a life with. Because I don't know when the last time I had that was, or (frighteningly) if I've ever really had it at all. It seems like such a waste to go through life and never experience that feeling.
I want it with all my heart. Could we just change the surgeon part?