Saturday, July 10, 2010

Monday Attitude Adjustment Story #149

Cardiac Abolition
Okay, okay…I know I said I was going to write Miscellaneous Catch up Stories #3 today, but Friday I had my Catheter Ablation outpatient procedure and there was just too much material not to write a MAAS story about it and if I wait too long, at my age, I will forget too many of the juicy details. Now as you may notice I entitled this story as “Cardiac Abolition” which is not the same as the real procedure “Catheter Ablation” but it does have the same initials “CA” so if I want to refer to it in this esoteric representation you will not realize what I am really talking about.

Well, this story starts off, for those of you old enough to remember Robert Mitchum movies, like the final action scene of Thunder Road…you know where the car flips over crashing into the power station exploding into a ball of fire. Well, that may be a slight exaggeration, but Sylvia was driving you know. Anyway, we got to the right entrance on the first attempt (I will be applying to either the Guinness Book of World Records or Ripley’s Believe it or Not as it was the first time [with Sylvia driving] this has ever happened) and there was a line of cars backed up. Apparently Old Age has taken a toll on Sylvia; it just doesn’t show on her like it does on me. I must digress long enough to express an observation concerning male and female aging. As the years accumulate on us I have noticed that as I grow fatter, balder and uglier, Sylvia, on the other hand, seems to be growing slimmer, more shapely and even sexier. Oh, she’s constantly reminding me that without the copious amount of dye applied to her lustrous locks, she would never dare to stand holding a broom for fear of being penalized by the FAA for flying without a pilot’s license. Of course she is always whispering this fact into my left ear, which she knows is practically useless, so I question her affirmation. She also tells me that my eyesight must be failing, but always respond that I can see she has the same hourglass figure that she had when we married…of course if I just wouldn’t add that part about holding a lot more sand, I wouldn’t have to keep telling the doctor that I am falling down (walking into doors is a woman’s story).

Enough digression for now…so we pulled into the queue of cars and Sylvia went inside to get a wheelchair for me because it is so far to go to get to the operating, not to mention the distance to the Hospital entrance. I mention this because it proves that all further surgeries or appointments I must insist be made, I repeat must be made no earlier than 10:00 AM to allow her time to fully wake up. Why do I say this; because she taught me that Hospital wheelchairs come in convenient, not just for obese adults but also in small, children’s sizes. Oh, did I mention that we were in the Valet Parking line? You know the place where you can ask the attendant, no matter how long of a line you are in, to provide a wheelchair for the patient? Thank God, there was an attendant who took control and wheeled me us to the waiting room because Sylvia drives wheelchairs even worse than cars and I had just about had enough crashing and burning for one day. All the way to the elevator I kept my shaking head down, to avoid disclosing my identity, and had to listen to the guy complaining “…this wheelchair is terrible.” I had to agree when he started steering me out of the elevator and the damn thing stuck in the door tracks and I had to grab the door to keep from being unceremoniously dumped onto my face. Once we got to the waiting room he suggested I sit in a chair and he said he was going to get a better chair. Not only was he trembling with laughter on his way out but everyone he paused in front of on his way out broke into uproarious laughter. When Sylvia was not looking, I motioned towards he and mouthed “…it was her!” I think I’ll skip the narrative about walking to the prep room as it is too painful to recall…not the journey but the giggling, snickers and outright laughter I had to endure along the way.

I got to the prep room and was told that I had to strip off everything and put on the Hospital gown. Must have been the look I gave her because she proceeded to explain the “You have to be shaved for the operation”. Once I finished disrobing she and another nurse, hooked me up to every monitoring machine known to man plus the obligatory IV. Imagine my surprise when the same nurse entered my room with shaving paraphernalia and announced she was going to shave me now…I was expecting a male nurse. As she peeked under my robe at my boyhood (since entering my 2nd childhood I do not refer to it as my manhood…and besides, it seems to have shrunk in old age and manhood just doesn’t seem to apply any more). When she started actually shaving, after taking about 20 minutes to apply the shaving cream (which she seemed to enjoy a little too much), I had to give her credit; she only left the room once to laugh (she claimed it was to get a new razor but I knew better). I did ask her not to shave me too close as Mr. Happy is small enough as is. Funny thing is after she finished saving and covering my groin with that anti-bacterial orange crap, she announced that she should probably shave the other side because sometimes they use both sides. I told her Okay but if Pvt. Dick stands at attention to receive his field promotion to Major General Richard the Lion-Hearted; United States Military Academy at West Point, New York; class of ‘69, not to worry as it was nothing personal. When she finished, I told her it was too bad you couldn't smoke any more in hospitals. She gave me a puzzled look saying, "But I thought you said you quit smoking?" I told her that indeed, I no longer smoked but that after her last activities, I sure could use a cigarette. When Sylvia came in to stay with me until the procedure (now I know why she wasn't allowed in earlier), she asked with a mischievous twinkle in her eye, "...So, did they shave you?" When I said yes, she didn't believe so I told her to look under the covers. "Oh my God it looks like a Hitler Elephant!" I thanked her for her kind words but corrected her by saying that I thought it looked more like Jimmy Durante as der Fuerher.

Later, when the laughter died done, the anesthesiologist came in to talk to me; she indicated they would be putting me into a “sleep mode” like they did under the Cardio version, but not quite so deep because the doctor may have to question me during the procedure. Funny thing is I heard the doctor talking but never remember him talking to me. I was introduced to another nurse, but never saw another man in the room. Every now and then, I could feel a hand fumbling around my groin and a sexy, female voice telling me not to worry as she was just taking my pulse. I told her Okay, but my heart is in my chest, not to mention that fact that I just swallowed my tongue. As I was being checked out and sitting in an Adult wheelchair (see Sylvia, I told you they had them) I was talking some of the nurse’s and told them that I was glad I could now really concentrate on getting back into shape and do some of the things I used to love but had given up. When one asked what that was I told her “swimming at the beach and laying in the sun. When they asked why I didn’t do it now, I replied that I was sick and tired of the hundreds of kids who would try to push me into the water as I was sun-bathing screaming “…save Shamu” or the snotty little brats (and not just my kids either) that would point at me in the water and scream “…thar she blows; Moby Dick the Great White Whale!”
There was more but that’s all I can remember…a true story, sort of.

Next week's 07-19-2010 (#150) title: Miscellaneous Catch up Stories #3

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