Imagine seeing your young, scared child driving himself down the hall to surgery? What a brilliant idea. Hospitals are getting wise. At Doctors Medical Center in Modesto CA small children have the choice of riding a gurney to the operating room or driving a mini car. Kind of no-brainer there.

It’s heart wrenching when your child is scared, and you’d do just about anything to make it all better. Just picture your child’s face when you tell her she gets to drive a cool little car down the hall. First a pause in the tears, then “Really?“ Bling… fear gone. And when she calms down, parents breathe a sigh of relief. This sight might even make me laugh, and that makes everything better. (wish I had an image to show) The one-seater cars at this hospital — choice of pink Beetle or black Mercedes — have stereo, doors that open, seat belts, horn, and working headlights. Apparently, fun overpowers fear. Positively brilliant!

Surgery can be terrifying at any age, and my first operation proves it. Of course I knew surgery was common, everyone knows that. No big deal. Check-in and prep were smooth, but then… they wheeled me into the “holding cell”, where others were waiting their turn in the OR. Sedation must have kicked in, because when I raised my head and saw what appeared to be dead bodies lying on gurneys by the wall, fear took hold. Surgery was new to me then. Suddenly this grown woman in her 30’s was crying like a baby. Fear quickly gave way to embarrassment as that sainted lady in white who was standing by my side took my hand and told me it was natural to be scared.

A spin down the hall in a Mercedes would have fixed me right up! I guess Modesto’s not THAT far away.