25 July 2017

Nine Random Thoughts from an Aortic Valve Replacement Recovery

9. While Hartford Hospital is not a great place to get a good night's sleep, the surgery performed by Dr. Robert Hagberg and the care by the staff on the cardiac wing and ICU was phenomenal. (AND I recommend the all-you-can-eat sugar-free popsicles.)

8. Medical people really care about bowel movements.

7. When watching Rex Harrison in The Agony and the Ecstasy, I kept expecting him to break into one of those patter My Fair Lady-like songs, "Why Can't a Soldier be More Like a Pope?"

6.  To protect the incision on my chest, for a time I developed the habit of hunching my shoulders, which made me look like I was about to launch into some Bob Fosse choreography. (I wasn't.)

5. Better classic film voice: Ronald Colman or James Mason?
(I LOVE James Mason, but after Lost Horizon, The Prisoner of Zenda, A Tale of Two Cities, and especially Lucky Partners -- with GINGER ROGERS!--, I gotta go with Colman!)

4. Unlike Ms. Winehouse, I'm looking forward to rehab!

3. Felt a bit of the 18th-century aristocrat when I developed a little gout in my right foot. (Didn't like the intense pain at all, but admittedly, if shamefully, enjoyed the aristocrat-iness.)

2. Must finally admit I too attended that Russia meeting with everyone else last summer, but I wasn't collusional at all --- just a little Glasnost-y

1. With my new bovine tissue valve, I'm ready to run with the bulls. Not ahead of the bulls, WITH THE BULLS!

04 July 2017

Top 7 Things I Hope My Cardiac Surgeon Does...

...before, during, and after my aortic valve replacement surgery (Nota bene: a surgery to replace the worn-out valve that, in 2001, replaced the bad valve I was born with):

7. Learn, if he hasn't already, Nick Lowe's "My Heart Hurts;"

6. Enter operating room to Frank Sinatra and Tommy Dorsey's version of Irving Berlin's "Be Careful, It's My Heart:"
                           Be careful; it's my heart.
                           It's not my watch you're holding;
                           it's my heart.
                           It's not the note I sent you
                           that you quickly burned.
                           It's not the book I lent you
                           that you never returned

5. Marvel at the Nathaniel-Hawthorne-fan-boy scarlet A tattooed upon my chest;

4. Remind everyone in the operating room it's "Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosey;"

3. Well, THIS:

2. Stop suddenly mid-point in the operation and ask the others sotto voce, "Shhhhhhh. Does anyone else hear strings zinging?";

And the #1 thing I hope my cardiac surgeon does:

Upon finishing the operation, dramatically drop the scalpel, throw his hands up, turn quickly, and exit the room without a word.