A nursing station was in the centre of the ICU area. Around the perimeter of the room were 18 curtained areas, each containing an ICU bed, a patient, and numerous beeping monitors.
These cubicles were numbered. Number one was to my left. A nurse emerged from one of the rooms and I asked her where my husband was. She thought for a minute, then said, "Room 10."
I walked around to Room 10 and peeked inside. A man is lying under a sheet, moaning and snoring. He looked awful. The shape under the sheet seemed to be about the same height and girth as my husband's. His head was covered with a turban of bandages. His beard had been roughly shaven. I had never seen my husband without a beard. I had never seen anyone immediately after brain surgery.
I was ready to love this ragged, shipwrecked man. I took his hand and stroked it. He'd been through a horrible ordeal.
I held his hand, said soothing words, and waited... and waited. He didn't wake up.
Hadn't the surgeon said that he was awake and asking for me? I noticed a clipboard at the foot of the bed. I delicately placed the hand back on the bed, and went to read the name on the clipboard. Damn, I'd been holding the hand of some other guy.
I peeked in the adjoining rooms and found Ron in #12. Except for the 50 staples in his head, he was his same handsome, bearded self. "What took you so long?" he said.
**********Whose hand are you holding?
Could you be holding the wrong hand?