By staff writer John Marcher
June 24, 2007
I was recently diagnosed with a thoracic aortic aneurysm. For those of you who don’t take in a healthy dose of ER on a weekly basis (ER is still on television?), that means my aorta is bulging and about to explode. I’ll spare you the despondent nature of my reaction and subsequent behavior after learning about this, and get right to the fun stuff! I have to go in for open-heart surgery this week, and while immersed in the seemingly endless bullshit involved in prepping for something like this, I have come across some common themes I wanted to share with everyone.
First of all, everything they do to you in a hospital can kill you. They usually try and lay this out for you in the subtlest mannerpossible, leaving it at the end of a long list of other, more creative shit that can happen to you.
“Mr. Marine, today you’re going to need a CT scan of your chest. During this procedure we are going to have to inject iodine into your blood for imaging purposes. This means there is a slight chance of infection, swelling, nausea, fainting, blood poisoning, rickets, pubic lice and death.”
“Your hands will be gently restrained to remind you not to punch one of the nurses in the fucking mouth.”
What pisses me off about this particular method of disclosing information is that it closely mimics the inept manner in which I used to try and tell my parents that I did something wrong.
“Joj, how was school today?”
“Oh, It was great, dad! It was group picture day for the yearbook, so in band I got to play Magic The Gathering® and then for lunch today they had sloppy joe’s, and then in gym I played basketball with the guys, and then (pace of talking steadily increasing and then trailing off) I found out I failed math….”
“What!?!? You failed math again??!? Are you fucking kidding me?!! You can consider Skinamax and HBO canceled as of this instant!
“Nooooooo! Not Shannon Tweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed!”
But the more important thing I wanted to share with all of you is this lovely little packet they gave me entitled “Everything You Need To Know About Heart Surgery.” The mind-boggling thing about this little booklet is the manner in which they try and relay the information to you. It’s written at about a fourth grade reading level, and the stick figure drawings they include throughout the book look like a first grader did them. Is it asking too much that the information they pass along before a major surgery be presented in a professional manner? Apparently so.
The book starts off talking about the anatomy of the heart and the different conditions that can lead to needing heart surgery. There are sections on the different types of surgeries, and then there is a section on what to do the day of the operation. It walks you through all the prep work, medications, and pre-operative procedures that you will undergo.
Then a funny thing happens: it skips right to a section called After Surgery. That’s right, not a fucking word about the 3-4 hours you’ll spend with your sternum sawed in half and your chest pried open like a fucking clamshell. No talk about the fact you’ll be breathing using a machine, or that they will have to, at one point, cool down your body to 83 degrees Fahrenheit and stop your blood flow for a few minutes while they make the repairs. No talk about the fact that your aortic valve will then be replaced by a pig’s, or that you might technically be dead for a period of 10-12 minutes. It skips right to talking about how you’ll be in the intensive care unit when you wake up—and oh, you might be groggy, and in excruciating pain. But it’s cool, there’s enough cookies and juice for everyone!
Then it goes into all the shit you’ll be going through while you’re in the hospital. It talks about how you’ll have a breathing tube down your nose and you won’t be able to talk to your family. You’ll have to let them know how you feel by blinking, gently nodding, or writing notes. That’s pretty sweet; I’m hoping that after doing this for a while I’ll be able to dominate in my weekly charades game. It talks about how two tubes will be inserted into your chest to prevent fluid from accumulating in the chest cavity. Then it says, “The chest tube(s) will be gently squeezed or milked to ensure adequate drainage.” Excuse me, did you just say milked? I can’t wait for some motherfucker to try and milk me. I dare anyone reading this to come up to me at any time, day or night, unprovoked, and try and milk my fucking ass. That is a bad career move no matter how you look at it. I’m not even in any pain right now and I’m pissed off just thinking about it. Wait ‘til I’ve been cut up like a fine piece of filet, then see what happens to the first person who tries to milk me. You have got a better chance of squeezing your daily supplement of Vitamin D out of a mountain gorilla’s teet.
It also says, and I quote, “Your hands will be gently restrained to remind you not to pull the tube out.” Oh really? What it should say is, “Your hands will be gently restrained to remind you not to punch one of the nurses in the fucking mouth.” And God help the sonofabitch who tries to jip me out of some pain meds. It’s cool though, I’ll just strangle the fucker with my flaccid cock, so as to “gently remind them” I’m not to be fucked with.
Speaking of flaccid cocks, the meds they put me on have made me impotent. Not permanently mind you (Court’s mom should be so lucky), but at least until I have this fucking operation. What a cherry to put on top of this huge shit sundae. Let me tell you something else too: being sterile is some shit. We aren’t talking about “not in the mood right now” can’t get hard. Or, I just watched some cheerleader porn and had a fervent beat off fest flaccid either. We’re talking “can’t get hard, don’t even have the urge to get hard, I have so much mental energy leftover that I’ve cleaned my whole condo, organized my socks by color, and figured out an exit strategy for Iraq” can’t get hard.
This is such an in-depth mindfuck I can’t even begin to comprehend the consequences. I once masturbated 23 times in one day. Now I can’t even pop a woody. I wake up in the morning and there’s nothing. No gentle reminder of my once vigorous nature. Just a semi-large, spongy, veiny piss hose. It could be worse though I suppose. They could be trying to milk my prostate.
THINGS THAT PISS ME OFF:
People who come up with shticks for their columns, use them inconsistently, and then get rid of them altogether.