Friday, November 04, 2011

Can You Remember?

I recently underwent surgery, and my last clear memory was as I was being wheeled out of the pre-op holding area. The anesthesiologist had just injected something into my IV, and I said, "You just gave me some 'don't care' medicine didn't you?" She nodded, the double doors opened, and that's all I knew until I woke up in the recovery room. When I was on the other end of the scalpel, doing surgery (which I did for 36 years), I often told the anesthesiologist, "What I want the patient to experience is a lack of pain coupled with retrograde amnesia." In other words, I didn't want their time in the OR getting prepared for surgery to be a traumatic experience that would be the basis for bad memories.

Sometimes I think that a few established writers have had a dose of 'don't care' medicine, giving them retrograde amnesia for the time before they were published, the time when they received rejection after rejection, the time when it seemed as though they'd never make in their chosen field. Fortunately, this is rare. Most of the established writers I encounter work hard to help those still struggling to make their mark. But every once in a while, I'll find one who seems to have forgotten their own times of struggling.

Is there someone you know who's struggling to climb the same hill you have? Don't have retrograde amnesia about how hard it is. Reach out and give them a hand. You won't regret it.

5 comments:

Erica Vetsch said...

This is excellent. I know that I have had and still do have so many mentors along this journey. I love it when I have an opportunity to 'pay it forward' and help someone else out.

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks, Erica. Most of us do try to pay it forward--unfortunate that a rare few still don't.
Appreciate your comment.

Katie said...

On behalf of my fellow hill-climbers, thank you.

<>< Katie

Richard Mabry said...

Keep on climbing, Katie. I know you'll always be reaching out a hand to those who are behind you.

vvdenman.com said...

As a writer who is still looking forward to the OR experience, I'd appreciate a little anesthesia when the time comes. :)