A surgical epiphany

I understand that most of you, my readers, would rather see a hacking article or an epic kissing story than a personal blob, but this is too cool to pass out.  So, bear with me, because I think I am having an epiphany… O yes, here it is: I can hear the music.  The angelic choir in my head is performing an a Capella song of ever unmatched beauty.  A hypnotizing spotlight is shinning on me, while everything else turns dark, leading me to believe that this thought must be important. There is nobody here but me, a computer and one of those flashbacks disguised as one of my frequent daydreams….

I was ready to leave the basement of the hospital and be on my way back to the office.  After three hectic hours of receiving computer products three levels below ground, I needed to either get enough caffeine to push that beef & chili burrito through my veins, or run to the parking lot with little consideration to traffic, ice and a possible asthma attack.  Lucky for me, JR showed up at that very moment and mentioned he was going to fix a tablet PC in an operating room (OR).  “An OR?” I thought.  “That must be awesome! All the high tech medical equipment, cool computers, and variety of lifesaving devices must be really cool.”  That’s when he said, “Wanna come along?” “Are you serious?” I asked in excitement.  “Yeah, let’s go,” he said like it was no big deal to him.  And well, he was probably used to it by now, since he’s been doing desktop support for almost a year since he transferred out of my team.  As we were walking out to the door and towards the only elevator that goes this far down, he mentioned I had to wear scrubs…. “Just so you know. :)”  I didn’t think much of it — I was too thrilled to see an operating room (while still awake for a chance)!

When we got there, to my surprise, I did have to wear the whole protective gear — from head to toes, quite literally.  The mask was, I thought, a bit too much, until we walked into the first OR and I realized there was a patient sleeping there.  JR started switching the tablet with a good one that he brought along.  That’s when I decided to peek, and oh my goodness!  There was a lady in the operating table with her stomach wide open!  The doctors were very focused, performing their job with such passion that would inspire trust to just about any unbeliever in modern medical science.  JR, too, was quick to get the computer up and running, test it, and finally reassure the doctors telling them they could use it now. We walked in and out in less than a minute.  That one minute was more than enough to make me realize that my work here matters.  What I do impacts the work of those doctors and nurses in the OR, which in turn impacts people like the patient I saw so defenselessly depending on our medical staff.  And besides, it was way cool!  I saw all the equipment running, doctors operating on a patient, a nurse passing on sanitized instruments… Oh man, it was just so awesome!!!

We then visited several other ORs, some with patients and some that were just being cleaned up.  In one of the last ORs that we entered, a nurse was trying to ask the patient in Spanish to open his mouth.  When he finally did, she said something resembling gracias (thanks in Spanish), just not quite.  I laughed a little inside, and said gracias” correctly out loud.  They all started laughing.  I thought I would be in trouble, but the doctors and nurses appreciated my help.  We fixed a tablet there as they took the Spanish-speaking patient out to recovery.

I came out of the ORs with so much adrenaline that anyone could swear I had just ran in front of a train.  It was great.  No, it was more than great — it was divine.  Yes, it was the experience of my life, something that could have only happened because God wanted it to happen.  I was thankful.  I was thoughtful.  I was, just like now, having an epiphany.  This, I thought, is what I should be doing.  I should be helping people, and helping others help people.  Although building massive databases and writing complex code from a cubicle has been fun, I am meant to do other things, perhaps greater things.  I am meant to dedicate my life to others, just like those doctors, nurses and even computer technicians like JR do in the operating rooms every day of their lives.  I should be getting my thrills from these situations, and not from personal pride in breaking or making secure computer systems.  I can’t help but want to help, as I sit by my computer with an imaginary spotlight on my face and a fantastic, angelic choir reverberating in the delusive emptiness that surrounds me.

About Gabriel Mongefranco

Gabriel Mongefranco is your software developer for all things data: extraction, integration, analytics and security. He is also a blogger, a poet, a proud father and a faithful Christian. He is always eager to contract with faith-based nonprofits! Learn more.