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Hip Replacement Surgery Tip #124: Who Are You? What Am I Doing Here? What To Expect When Waking Up After Surgery. And… A Discovery.

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So… What’s It Like Waking Up From Surgery After A Hip Replacement?

At first, there’s nothing I sense.

There is nothing I am aware of.

I wasn’t dreaming.

I hear something in the black void.

There is nothing I can do. Nothing.

I am vaguely reminded of a long-forgotten song… “Can you hear me, (Major Tom)? Can you hear me, (Major Tom)?”

As I was trying to place the song, a megaphone voice started to startle my empty world, “Wake up!”

“Wake Up. Wake Up! WAKE UP!!” The voice that was once a distant siren calling me, comforting me, teasing me, was now transforming. The sound was distant and I wasn’t sure, at first, what it was saying. Sorta’ like the first time I heard a Ricola commercial.

The orignial soft, untraceable, soothing sound had been replaced. It continued to grow and transform… much like hearing a jet plane in the distance, slowly getting closer and closer.

It now sounded like it was being barked out by a woman with all the charm of a chain-smoking, Catholic school nun who relied frequently, without impunity, on the teaching power of hard, wood ruler. I may have been spaced-out (even a bit more than my normal state), but her inflection and the monotone delivery of her voice had all the warmth and compassion of a 25 year veteran DMV receptionist. A receptionist who despised only one thing worse than her job… and that was her customers.

Her impersonal grunts would make the synthesized voice of Stephen Hawking sound like Sinatra. Her lack of tonal sincerity confirmed there had been hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of others she had welcomed back, rudely, into the waking world.

I think I liked the world before the ‘wake up’ better, much better.

Imagine Discovering ‘Mercenary Nurses’ For The First Time – As I ‘came-to,’ I started to, minimally, understand that I had, apparently, just successfully completed my hip transplant. I foggily surmised everything was ‘OK.”

The bellowing nurse, now that I was awake and no longer a problem, had ceased her incessant roarings. I could now start to think a bit more clearly. I thought about the nurse and it caused me to think I had discovered a new type of medical care professional… The ‘Mercenary Nurse.’

After grad school, I started developing medical care facilities around the country. I was very familiar with most of nursing permutations: medical assistants, licensed vocational nurses, licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, nurse practitioners and those with similar skills. But I had never encountered a nurse like the ‘Mercenary Nurse.’

Just What Is A ‘Mercenary Nurse’? A mercenary nurse is a person who takes part in the medical care delivery system, not as a caring, invested individual, but as a party to create conflict and tension, all the while enjoying the employment solely by the desire for private financial gain.

Even though I was still drifting in and out of a coherent state, I felt like Darwin. I tried to move a little bit on the stretcher and said to my new friend, Major Tom, “Wow! I have discovered a new species. I have discovered the ‘Mercenary Nurse!'” And with that, Major Tom left me.

Nurse Ratched

Nurse Ratched

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