“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.