A total knee replacement was not as painful as I was led to believe by others. Within two days after surgery I was cruising around the hospital room on the surgical floor with a walker. So, off to Acute Rehab, 7th floor, I went, and there I met the enemy: NURSE.
Each Nurse sang the same old tune–call for backup. The walker and I were not allowed to walk without assistance. Such a nuisance it was. Naturally, I ignored them.
Soon after arriving at Acute Rehab, I awoke in the wee hours of the morning as a Tech was installing an alarm to my bed. I was outraged: “what simpleton ordered this?” I shouted at the indifferent Tech. There stood the one who so blatantly insinuated her rules on a paying customer. The Ogre Nurse, while bathed in the light of the vanity sink, radiated cocky satisfaction as she reminded me of her earlier warnings. I was labeled “difficult”, “stubborn”. It was not my first rodeo.
No one was sympathetic nor shared my contempt for the effrontery of the Ogre Nurse. Not the Techs, Therapists, Doctors or other Nurses. I worked hard in physical therapy–pushing myself beyond human limits. I was the “shining star” of the 7th floor. Still, the Ogre would not relent. The walker and I were still sneaking around the room. I used my powers of persuasion and a Tech released me from the alarm only to be quickly discovered by the Ogre. Shouting and castigation ensued. I took the blame, of course. Later that night I was nauseated by too much chocolate pudding. The Ogre checked on me. Suddenly, projectile vomiting flew from my churning stomach–traveling through space and time–only to bombard Ogre Nurse–head on. It was glorious. There was applause from my elderly roommate who had sunken into a hole in her bed.
The day of my release was upon me. Then it happened. My lengthy, stitched wound was bleeding. The fluids emitted were swabbed and sent to the lab. In no time there were preliminary results: STAPH infection. Almost immediately Ogre Nurse had my roommate removed to another room. A sign was on the door of my room and gowns and gloves provided for those who would enter. I was in ISOLATION and I couldn’t go home. I unpacked. Ogre had the alarm put back on my bed.
Luckily, the next set of lab results showed it wasn’t MRSA (long phrase for staph bacteria resistant to antibiotics). The antibiotic I was on was doing the trick–so far. Ogre Nurse removed the bed alarm and the next day Physical Therapy presented me with the green wristband, indicating that I could walk around my room with the assistance of only my walker. Big freaking deal–I was scheduled to be discharged the next day.
What have I learned from my stay in the antiseptic halls of the “gulag”?
There’s something wrong about pudding that does not require refrigeration….