I recently had outpatient surgery and waking up in my groggy state in the Recovery Room I felt "out of it" because of the general anesthesia. It's such a strange feeling to be not fully aware of your faculties. I could hardly keep my eyes open but my ears didn't get a break from being "knocked out". They never get a break! Even in our sleep our ears are always working. There's no on/off switch. That's why they say "The hearing is the last to go."
However, for the guy next to me in recovery, let's call him Dwayne, his hearing, without a switch, completely turned off. Maybe the anesthesia went to his head AND his ears. Let me set the scene for you...IV tubes flowing, throat really aching, incision pain really hurting, lights really twinkling. Wait a minute--lights really twinkling? What's that all about? As I attempted to open my very heavy eyelids I saw these little, teeny tiny, twinkling lights mimicking a starry night. I wasn't in heaven because I know the hospital scene very well being a RN in my former pre-kid life. But what was up with these twinkling lights above me? I drift off again only to wake up to the sweet voice of a caring Recovery Room nurse. But it wasn't my nurse. It was Dwayne's. "Dwayne, You're not dead." "Mumble Mumble" says Dwayne. "No, Dwayne. You're OK. You are in the Recovery room." I drift off again thinking "Aw, poor Dwayne."
I don't know how long I slept until I hear it again "No, Dwayne you're not dead." she says calmly. "Murmur Murmur" says Dwayne. "Dwayne, you're OK. You are not dead. Your surgery is over and you're in the Recovery Room." Now I'm feeling empathy for this poor RN whose patient just doesn't seem to get that he's still alive. I turn my head and drift off only to be awaken again by, yes, you guessed it..."Dwayne, You Are Not Dead!" The nurse is adamant now trying to get her patient to understand the basics. "Dwayne, you are living and breathing. You are not dead. You are here in the Recovery Room after your surgery. You are OK." "Mutter Mutter." then more "Mumble Mumble" from Dwayne and then she says it again "Dwayne! You are not dead!" At this point I'm wondering either Dwayne didn't want to survive surgery or these twinkling lights that some hospital interior decorator thought were soothing are getting him all confused. Dwayne must be thinking he's at the pearly gates!
But I'm not thinking "Aw, poor Dwayne." anymore. Instead, in my befuddled and dopey state, that I'm steadily getting out of because of Dwayne and his nurse, I'm thinking "Dwayne! Enough Already! Let us poor people who are recovering recover." Then thankfully it's my time to leave the Recovery Room and get wheeled away hearing the nurse still trying to convince Dwayne he's not dead.
Since then I've thought more about Dwayne. How strange to have to be convinced that you are alive and not dead. Was he so fearful of surgery that he thought he would never wake up? Was he waking up this way because it's what he wanted deep down in his subconscious? We all have our bad days. And these bad days sometimes turn into months but nothing is bad enough that we can't hope for something-even a little something-positive. The sun always rises. So I must say...I hate to break it to you Dwayne but you've got to wake up & realize you're still alive! Today you get to breathe, move, eat, drink, hold your loved ones, pay your bills, watch the colorful leaves fall, see your friends, feel the crisp cool air. You get to enjoy all the beautiful things this earth has to offer. So wake up Dwayne! Believe you're alive and not dead. Louie Armstrong was right "It's a wonderful world" So wake up and go enjoy it Dwayne. Life is precious. We only have this moment. Who knows when it's time to go? But sorry Dwayne, it's not your time just yet.