Friday, June 1, 2012

I Used to Get Laid a Lot...

It seems like I haven't written anything in over a month. I just verified it. It's not because I haven't been occupied with things. I think that one of my last posts talked about how I went to the hospital with a case of Diverticulitis. While in the hospital, every doctor that listened to my chest, was somewhat shocked to hear my rather aggressive murmur and almost without exception suggested I get it listened to by my cardiologist. It was only when Dr. Harvey listened to it that I actually did what they all suggested and made an appointment with my heart dude. He ordered an echo-cardiogram and that disclosed a vegetation on my heart that indicated either an infection on my aortic valve or a piece of plaque that was in a precarious place. Immediate heart surgery was discussed, but I declined. I was ordered to go directly to the hospital for treatment.

I went home, grabbed a few things and headed to Good Samaritan Hospital to check in. It's odd to go to a hospital when you're feeling fine, but I just did what I was told. I believe that this is where the merry-go-round began.

I don't expect to be able to complete the entire story in one sitting, so get comfortable, possibly get something to drink and climb aboard the merry-go-round with me.

I arrived at Good Samaritan Hospital about 8 PM, only to find my son Brad and Dr. Harvey had both arrived prior to me. Brad was sitting and waiting, doing some work on his laptop and Dr. Harvey gotten tired of waiting and gone home. A sweet young thing with a good sense of humor checked me in asking way too many personal questions, like, "Are you moving your bowels"? I looked at her for a couple of seconds and replied, yes, but not right now"! Her already reddened face took on a special glow with that one and she couldn't hold back her laughter. After a long time of waiting for a bell hop (or attendant) to escort me to my ready room, my young friend took the job and escorted Brad and I upstairs to room 524-1 the cardiac floor. Much chaos took place as my portion of the room did not have a bed. Call me fussy, but I insisted on one. Also, my new roommate was to be a Black man and I was pretty excited about that and I mean it in a good way. I could see from a distance that he and his wife or woman as it turned out, were getting him settled in and the lucky SOB had a bed! Pretty soon they wheeled a big bed into my room and called for my attendance. I feared it may still be warm from the corpse they had just removed from it, but no, all was cool with fresh linens.

Let me explain why I was so excited about having an African-American Roomie. Being from Chicago, I was raised to dislike anything and everything that wasn't just like me and the Black man was our arch enemy. The news at 5, 6, and 10 was riddled with Black violence and mayhem. Our dinner table conversation consisted of the evil of our times created solely by the Black man with a few Puerto Ricans tossed in.

Then I moved away from the Midwest and Chicago area to sunny Arizona and suddenly, without ever noticing it, the hatred and animosity was gone, due primarily by the media. Our Black population was much lower percentage wise and we would just have to look for another whipping boy. Voila, the Mexicans! The obvious impact that this new way of life had on me was to bring to my attention, why in the world did I ever buy into this hatred of a people that had really never hurt me personally? That's enough about my revelation, time to move on.

I was stripped of my street clothes and handed a gown that kind of resembled something my 85 year old grandmother would wear. I was not pleased with their fashion sense and remained under the covers as much as possible for fear that the fashion police might just ticket me. My roommates name was Fred and we were introduced by voice only as there was a dividing curtain separating us. You know the type. I think it was my first trip to our community bathroom that floored me, when I got a look at Fred for the first time, close up and personal. My Fred looked more like Redd Foxx (Fred Sanford, from Sanford and son) than the original! He even had his voice! I kept hearing the jingle from their show, every time I looked in his direction too.

Fred was 72 and was suffering from heart failure and had no experience or patience with being sick. Fred and I got to know one another pretty well and I learned that the Black man and the White man have a great deal in common. In the morning, Fred would yell over the curtain, "Mel, you got any bacon"? I'd laugh and yell back, "Nope, not here in the cardiac section, they won't give us bacon." He'd reply, "why not, I ordered it!!!" Then it would be time for my silent laugh...

Fred would refer to people by their ethnic heritage when he was talking to his girlfriend of 50 years. He'd say things like, "I think that White girl took my shoes"! Or, "I just saw that good Black doctor." Fred was planning a trip to Tucson as soon as he got out of the hospital to see his son that he's not seen for over a year, as he's "carcerated" there. I asked what he was incarcerated for and he told me that his son was in prison for 4 years for a DWI. I said, wow, that's along time for a DWI and Fred said they found out when they pulled him over that he had a warrant for murder too. I didn't ask any other questions.

Back to my health issues: The reason that I'm locked up this time is to have a special test that will define the type of vegetation I have on my Aorta. They do a test called a TEE. They put me to sleep and ran a camera down my throat to photograph my heart at work. Although it was not conclusive that it is an infection, there appears to be an abscess on my Aortic Valve that will possible go away with medications. If not, a second heart surgery will be necessary and I'm not looking forward to that. I had a heart surgeon come in and talk to me and he didn't pull any punches. He told me flat out that any heart surgery is dangerous and a second surgery, as in my case is ever more dangerous. That's when my blood pressure jumped to 200/100, no shit! That was the most scared I'd been since the 4th grade when Robbie Golden said he was gonna beat me up!

So after 4 Days in stir, I had yet another surgery. One to install a port into my Carotid artery for delivering antibiotics directly into my heart. Oh joy! (To be continued)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sorry for your recent health ills! Glad you are getting good help though. Sounds like you have a PICC line? Purple Power PICC perhaps? TEE is actually less invasive than other things they could have thrown at you so, for that, I'm taking this as a good clue for your continued recovery. Glad you are writing again, you were missed! NMS