Melody looked at the tense man on the sliding table and sighed.
This is gonna take a miracle. He’s wound up as tight as a coil.
She grabbed a rolling stool and sat down next to the sliding table. Taking Jon’s right hand she gently massaged it.
“Jon, for this to work, I need you to close your eyes, relax and listen to my voice. I promise I’ll stay with you and talk you through this.”
He eyed her wearily and nodded.
“OK, tell me what is one place that makes you feel happy, relaxed, completely at peace and safe?”
He thought for a moment “The beach I guess”
Melody took the gauze square and placed it on Jon’s chest. Jon sniffed it and looked at her.
“This smells like a deodorant!”
“Yes, I told you, this is lavender oil. It will help you to relax. Now, I need you to take a deep breath, close your eyes and exhale slowly.”
Watching him as he followed her instructions, she smiled and went on.
“Good, continue to take slow deep breaths.”
She watched his chest rise and fall.
“Now imagine your self on the beach. The sun is shining and there are small fluffy white clouds floating above you. You are laying on warm golden sand and enjoying the beautiful day. Your wife is next to you, reading a book. Your kids are playing peacefully nearby, building a sand castle. No one is bothering you, and there are no cameras to be seen.”
She watched the man on the table visibly relax, a small gentle smile gracing his lips.
“You may feel the sand shift and move at times, but it does not bother you because you’re enjoying the sun and the gentle breeze that’s keeping you comfortable and relaxed. Just concentrate on your breathing and keep your arms above your head.”
Jon promptly followed her instruction and raised his hands to rest above his head on the pillow. Melody adjusted his IV tubing and continued to hold his right hand.
“Good, just keep on taking those slow deep breaths and enjoy the sun, the breeze and the sound of waves as they gently hit the shore.”
Seeing him completely relaxed, Melody waved to Jim in the control room to re start the scan. As the table slid into the magnet scanner, she slid her stool along and kept a gentle hold on his hand. Jon’s body disappeared completely into the scanner leaving only his head and hands outside. Melody continued to talk to him, gently stroking his hand. A short time later, as the table slid out of the machine, she looked up and saw grinning Jim with two thumbs up.
She leaned closer to her patient. “OK Jon, I’m going to count backwards form five. When I get to one, you will take another deep breath and open your eyes. Five, Four, Three, Two, One. Take a deep breath Jon and open your eyes!”
Jon exhaled slowly and opened his eyes and looked expectantly at Mel.
She smiled at him and gave his hand a final squeeze before moving away.
“You did great Jon! We are all done. Just hang in there for few more moments and I’ll take you back to the ER.”
Jim entered the room and helped Mel roll the sliding table out to the waiting area of the suite where Fred was waiting with the stretcher.
Jon slid over onto the stretcher with a sigh.
Melody couldn’t hold back a chuckle at his futile attempt to keep his flimsy gown from riding up again as she covered him with a sheet.
“See something you like Darlin’?” he gave her a lazy grin.
Just as she opened her mouth to reply, Jim walked out of his control room.
“Mel, forgetting something are ya?” he held up her bra.
Melody felt herself blush from the tips of her pedicured toes to the roots of her hair as she snatched the pink lacy garment from Jim and disappeared behind the door marked “dressing room” followed by a chorus of male laughter and offers to help.
She was still blushing when she reappeared few minutes later. Giving the three men a defiant stare, Melody grabbed the plastic bag with the rest of her stuff from Jim and steered Jon’s stretcher towards the exit.