“Oh no, not 5 AM, and I’m getting called in again?” This was a dream fragment that woke me a few days ago. I don’t typically hold on to dreams, but this was traumatic – as was the surgery I was getting called in to scrub on. One of the nasty aspects of working in the Operating room was on-call duty. On-call duty rotated among the nurses and technicians in as fair a manner as could be arranged. But it was at the mercy of circumstance; how many people were on vacation, sick, or otherwise unable to take the on-call duty.

The particular night that I was dreaming about happened in a Boston area hospital. A new Operating room Supervisor had alienated, fired, or caused to quit many staff people. I had been on call for a solid week straight and had helped wrap up a gunshot case at eleven PM. It had not been one of my more memorable OR experiences. There had been a steady barrage of trauma cases in the evenings and routine cases in the morning that I was scrubbing on first thing each day. 

I was beginning to feel like a crepuscular animal- active in the early hours of the evening or morning. But then I also had to overdose on caffeine to prepare for a regular daily routine.

So when this dream woke me, I was relieved to find that I could go back to sleep. But, of course, I know why I had the dream. It resulted from spending two hours watching old MASH episodes with my wife. My wife is a night shift nurse, and sometimes watching TV with her is the most time together we have. Unfortunately, we are on near opposite schedules. 

Now I regret that I’m a spoilsport and sometimes ruin her experience. We are watching the show for the comedy, but sitting in the back of my mind is the old OR hand that picks up faulty equipment, technique, or terminology. 

My wife is a loving, sweet individual who pats my knee and says, “It’s ok honey, it’s only TV.” This after some dolt has handed Hawkeye a Kelly clamp rather than a snap. A Kelly rather than a snap!!!! Who trained that dolt anyway!!!!!

No more MASH for a while, my dear wife says…calm down.

9 Replies to “Hawkeye”

    1. I knew the author’s scrub nurse, we worked together for a while, and I met the author once. He and I preferred the movie to the series. It had the real bite of actual trauma surgery. I too was always a Trapper John fan.

      1. Trapper John was a surgeon – a character in the movie and the series MASH here in the states. Although the strictly “safe for the kiddies” series didn’t mention it he for his nickname from a sexual adventure in a bathroom on a railroad passenger car when he was caught having sex with a young lady. She promptly accused him of having “trapped” her. Thereafter friends called him Trapper John. The book was raunchy, the movie moderately so, and the TV series about as milquetoast as you’d expect any American TV series to be.

      2. Thanks Lou. I thought he had to be in Mash but I couldn’t bring him to mind. Funny how a books story can be changed to suit a different audience on the screen isn’t it.

      3. I’m never usually a fan when they change out the characters. And I did not know how Trapper got his name! Thanks for that tidbit, Lou.

  1. I never really watched MASH. I remember it being on when I was a kid and the “funny stuff” they said just wasn’t funny…I thought the same about Johnny Carson. Now, as an adult I have seen some Johnny Carson and he was funny. I would probably look at MASH differently as an adult.

  2. Love this, Lou. I’m a relatively young one but Mash is still a good show I like to watch. I can see what it would create adventurous dreams!

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