The surgery is over. My leg hurts, and it’s no wonder. While I was sleeping, someone shoved a hunk of titanium into my knee and now it is painful and swollen.
But this article is not about that. It is about the nurses.
This was my first major surgery since leaving the military, and I will admit to certain assumptions regarding the staff at the civilian hospital where I was treated. I thought they would be kinder and more empathetic compared to the the military medical people I used to know.
I was wrong. Either they all go to the same schools, or my nurses were all veterans.
One called me a wimp when I said, “Ouch.”
One laughed at me when I grimaced in pain after my foot hit the ground.
One told me that the “safety plan” if I stumbled would be to “let me fall” because I was too big for her to support.
I appreciated their honesty. It reminded me of the military.
I did manage to tell a completely inappropriate joke to one of the nurses (I was in a drug induced state – it’s not my fault).
She laughed so hard that she had tears running down her face and had to turn away.
That reminded me of the military too.
Of course, I work with young veterans who have been wounded or injured in the line of duty, and their injuries put my little knee thing to shame. The military doctors who worked on them were miracle workers. Their patients have faced their “new normal” with stoicism and grace. I haven’t exactly risen to that level.
They say pain is weakness leaving the body. No pain, no gain.
I think that only applies to warriors and nurses.
I’ll stick with being a wimp.
[For the record, the staff at the hospital was superb.]