Random Thoughts at the Hospital

Random thoughts while wandering the corridors of East Jefferson General Hospital Wednesday.

First, nothing to worry about. I’m fine. Fit as a fiddle. Don’t need good thoughts or healing energy or prayer warriors or anything. None of those things would be rejected if offered, mind you, but they’re not needed. I’m fine. It’s just that I hadn’t been to the doctor in a couple of years, so when I did go in to see him last month he drove the point home by calling for a bunch of tests and inflicting some healthcare on me. THAT will show me! Today was the last of them.

2 – The words “Nuclear Medicine” are scary. Maybe it’s just the age I grew up in, with the Cold War and nuclear drills and all that. There’s something “mushroom cloudy” about “nuclear medicine,” reminiscent of Commando Cody or Flash Gordon or Zaphod Beeblebrox with his Kill-O-Zap ray gun. Instead, they should call it “Magic Medicine.” That’d be MUCH more calming. You could imagine Madam Pomfrey, the Hogwarts school nurse, doing whatever she does behind the scenes while you have your tests, and there’d always be plenty of chocolate. I’m writing a letter to the hospital board immediately.

3 – There was nothing to read while I was sitting in the cardiology waiting room. Nothing, that is, accept many copies of a magazine sized, 24-page pamphlet on “Advanced Prostate Cancer.” Had nothing to do with what anyone in cardiology was waiting for, you’d think it would be in urology or oncology, and maybe it was, I didn’t check. But it was the only thing to read, so I read it. It was – eye opening. My favorite line was the inspirational story of the guy who said the first step in fighting his case was “Own your cancer.” Well, I never knew you could rent it, but apparently that’s not a good deal. So yeah, OWN it.

4 – Most of the afternoon was taken up by a chemical stress test – which tricks your heart into thinking you’re running a marathon while you’re sitting in a chair. Not comfortable, but I suppose it feels better than actually running a marathon. It was actually unpleasant. And they took before and after pics of my heart. Unasnwered question – Did I win?

5 – The last thing of the day was the best – an echocariogram. For obvious reasons (one of which is my tendency to free associate) I always think an echocardiogram will somehow involve using bats to check my heart. There were no bats, but it was really interesting. I could see my heart pumping away, valves opening and closing, ventricles and atria filling and emptying. There’s also a Doppler effect, the chambers flash red or blue like the cop lights in your rearview mirror to indicate which way the blood is flowing. According to the technician, having blood flow through your heart beats the alternative.

6 – Tori was with me all day, or as close as the hospital would let her. For a lot of it she had to sit in the waiting room reading (she brought a book, no “Prostate Cancer” for her) while this went on. She used the time to learn how to turn off the oxygen and other medical gasses throughout the east wing of the hospital if that ever becomes  necessary. But she got to see the echocardiogram and was fascinated. *Could* I have done it without her? Probably. It was just a matter of sitting there letting people scrubs do things to me. But I wouldn’t want to, not in a million years. She’s there to support me and I’m there to support her. And now when I say my heart belongs to her, she knows that’s not an empty promise. There’s really one there. And it’s hers.

Anyway, that’s it. Unless I hear otherwise in the next week or so, I”m going to assume I’m fine. I’ll see you all eventually.