Our Words Are Our O.R., Part III of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.
In response to my words and to my father’s words about my “listening”, Ms. D.O.N. then said, “I still don’t like the look on her face,” and left the room.
I thought about Frazier Crane’s, “I’m listening, Seattle…” and watched her backside exit the doorway as each person counted down, in unison.
Together, the professionals raised all equipment and my father.
They called to me, and I followed their brisk steps.
In realtime, my eyebrows are permanently raised; my breath controlled as I seek to avoid upsetting my father (as I continue to do with Mom’s dire health issues).
Later, in ER, as I hunted for water and pudding (any food), Dad weakly asked, “What are you thinking about?”
I shrugged, “Maybe an article.”
He giggled, “I thought so. You have my permission. I need to rest now.” His head immediately slumped to his chest.
When I returned with crackers and peanut butter on two plastic spoons, Dad said, “This is not your playground.” Then he smiled.
I put a cracker and some peanut butter into my mouth and chewing I said, “Sure it is. I can’t make lemonade here, now can I? I’m doing the best I can right now. And I still can listen while chewing this stale food. This ‘is’ awful.” Again, he smiled.
The ER doctor entered the room, read the lab results, and confirmed “we are in dangerous territory right now.”
Within 48 hours, we were back in O.R. for the second attempt to surgically place the feeding tube.
(Dad was too weak for the first attempt. The anesthesiologist pulled him from the O.R. table after he had been cleared by all the other doctors.)
After hours of waiting, I stood in another small area.
A blanket was draped over my shoulders. I was proofing work from a multi-event CART, Communication Access Realtime Translation, job.
Standing, I was rubbing my back on the wall to warm my body as I held work in my hands, head down, proofing.
Another surgeon came in the room and began to speak as he opened the door.
I said, “Here, let me put this down.”
Yet again, I saw that look and yet again heard a sigh.
He exhaled, sat down, and (I swear) said, “Okay, I’ll wait for you then.”
I pursed my lips, did not engage, and asked, “How is my father?”
The surgeon sat there and (I swear) asked if I was ready to listen to him.
I thought, “Oh, for the love of God. Just one calm moment. Just one helpful person, please.”
Instead, I smiled at the dude, kept the blanket around my shoulders, sat in a chair, and listened to his words and (dire) medical terms.
I maintained the court reporter posture that we all know – expressionless.
Yes, I realtimed his conversation in my head, with punctuation, to avoid having a response other than as a court reporter.
I focused the way I used to when a full jury was listening to a witness or the judge.
We do not have reactions in court or during litigation.
My focus was to display the expressionless posture and features from the moment he began to rattle on — oh, at approximately 260 words per minute.
(Yes, we do that, too.
We think about the speed of the words, known as ‘words per minute’, to us, as in a speed test.)
When he finished, I walked to my car, placed my forehead on my blistering hot steering wheel – inside my hot car that felt oh so good.
I kept my sweater on under the surgical blanket as I warmed my body in my car. I also focused on focusing.
I focused on the bigger picture at that moment.
The bigger picture was not me crying, banging the steering wheel, or venting my frustrations and grief for what I have been witnessing. I focused on focus.
The focus was simple as I sat remembering to breathe in, then breathe out. Then repeat.
Why am I writing this?
Nurses and staff have again (it happened with Mom in ICU multiple times, too) made additional comments, which I have not included here.
I am deliberately focused on staying in the moment.
I have not kicked any walls or thrown anything. I have not whined.
I have not sniffled.
I have listened.
I am not willing to discuss what others (perhaps the word is “outsiders”) think about our court reporting work and our working with my work while a parent -or two- is in ER, ICU, O.R., or within any hospital setting.
Now when individuals meet me, as the RN today, she approached saying, “Yes, I’ve heard about you…”
Now a generation of family members under me narrow their eyes, pursing their lips as they look to me and to the person who voiced those words. Listening, they frown more now.
When you read this essay, it may be 103 degrees. Time will tell where I think my family is headed.
I believe that I will still be listening and proofing my articles.
I will still proof my CART work and ensuring (technical events) my clients receive customized results for their unique requests.
I will continue to proof work as I update the “NCRA RPR, CSR, CBC, CCP Written Knowledge Test” textbook, workbook, and companion study guide.
This is my passion. This is my work.
This is why we are keepers of the records, yes?
My opinion is we become disciplined with our listening skills – as it should be.
I hope no one travels my path for the past four years.
I wish you all great health and wonderful adventures.
I know we will continue to be ‘the’ listeners in each group.
This is what I have learned. Words are our O.R.
Part I of III is posted May 2, 2014, Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com
Part II of III is posted May 14, 2014, Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com
Part III of III is posted May 29, 2014, Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com
Monette, the Court Reporting Whisperer, may be reached: Monette@ARTCS.com and Monette@CRRbooks.com
Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal
Tutor, Motivational Management & Career Coach,
Multiple-Title Author of Books & Test Prep for the Court Reporting and CART Captioning Industry
Realtime Court Reporter, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist
Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com
Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com
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About Monette Benoit:
As a 25+ year court reporter, CART Captioner, author of NCRA test prep material, and an instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and the 225 homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands the challenges many adults now face in our industry and schooling.
Monette Benoit has worked with thousands of professionals, court reporters, CART Captioners, students, and instructors.
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