He wore his scrubs as though they were a black tie and tails. One would think that he was born with a gold chain instead of an umbilical cord.
Wherever and however you find Dr. Christian Paquet, he has an air of the surgeon to whom you can say that “life is a gift from God.”
Inside the operating room, as the stillness settles into the surgeon’s heart, silence and dignity envelope his being. Laid beneath great lamps, his patient lies down in complete trust and surrender, yielding to him in an unbearable anxiety as echoes of rigorous training, rich experience and solid values season the every movement of Dr. Paquet’s delicate hands.
Gowned and hooded, masked and gloved, his weapons are steel cutlery of unimaginable versatility. Among them is his scalpel, handled with excruciating skill that continues to knock (even his peers) sideways with admiration and affection reserved for impeccable surgeons.
One must be careful with the use of the word impeccable, but Dr. Christian Paquet is impeccable. There is no place you can put him where he gets less—be it at the confines of the USC Medical Center or among his collegaues, sharing their expertise, or simply batting the breeze with friends or residents.
He continues his health endeavors with quiet dignity, among the downtrodden patients. No one could doubt his intentions, his ability, and his almost ferocious sense of humanity, which is always for the good cause, the right reason. He is always ready to serve the community. He is embodied in hard work, self sacrifice and decency, laden with acuteness.
He doesn’t like any form of publicity and doesn’t grant interviews. It will cost you some effort not to keep looking at him. He has a powerful personage, not to be analized coldly or surgically. His attitude is quiet and cordial, but his smile is carefree. It has been so, from the moment he came and shook my hand, asking if things were all right with me. Since intelligence combined with courtesy, is the best instrument for seduction, it was inevitable not to listen to him, that him relaying the procedural protocol was a pleasure should be taken as a gift.
The operating room could be likened to a theater: the surgeon, like a poet, all the scars he has made on countless bodies are little verses into fashioning of which he had poured out his soul. It is here where bodies are stoked and penetrated. And for all its pageantry, no love is made because this room is never allowed to grow dark, always glaring with a grotesque brightness like a full moon when it illumintes the world with its whiteness.
I was once a patient who was brought to the operating table in a stretcher, having been washed and purged and dressed in a white gown. Fluid drips from a bottle into my arm, diluting me and leaching my body of its personal brine.
I can hear from behind the closed doors, the angry clang of steel upon steel—like some battle was being waged. I could hear the watery sound of strange machinery, the tiny beeping that is the transmitted heartbeat: mine.
And all the while, the dreadful knowledge that I’ll soon be taken, lay beneath great lamps which will reveal the linings of my body. In the very act of lying down, I had made a declaration of surrender to my surgeon.
I’d lie down gladly for sleep, or love and to give over one’s body and will for surgery—to lie down for it is a yielding of unbearable anxiety, more than we could bear.
An injection was given, and as the silence of anesthesia falls discourteously across my brain, I watched my soul drift away.
The surgeon stands over that table of one—gowned, hooded and masked. He curbed in order to create what was the special congress which, the surgeon and I entered into. My senses were deadened. I became am blind, in compatible offering, and I yield.
Later, in the Recovery Room, I awaken and graze through the thickness of drug, at world returning. At first dimly, then surely, realizing that I have not died.
Then the surgeon’s scalpel rests—and waits for his hands again.
Thank you, Dr. Christian Paquet!