A Visit to the Chop Shop

A recent visit to the doctor set me up for some unpleasant tests and procedures that I was in no mood to go through. I don't know how doctors do it but it’s like one of those women who always discover projects urgently needed at the start of hunting or fishing season.

Perhaps it was a left-wing conspiracy to keep me from hunting or something like that.

But no matter, I ended up on a treadmill walking fast to no known destination. Little did I know that the 11 minute walk I embarked on would take me 250 miles to Denver. Now that's some kind of walking.

The treadmill was fine but my doctor found what he called a glitch on the electrocardiogram (EKG) and wanted to take a look. Now taking a look doesn't sound all that bad but little did I know that meant running a wire from my leg to my heart and dosing me with enough x-rays that I’ll never need a flashlight again.

Lying on the cold table naked in a room full of strangers reminded me of the first day in a nudist colony but with everyone else dressed. They all say “Relax, we are used to this.” That’s easy to say when they are the ones dressed head to toe and masks on their faces. I think the masks prevent the gag reflex from viewing the average American naked as a jaybird.

I told the nice nurse to 'knock me out” and she explained that they only give Benadryl to relax a person. What kind of sick mind is that? If I were going to have something done and be subjected to abject humility I wanted some high dollar drugs to take me to the land of rhythm and pleasure. I didn’t have a runny nose here people, I needed meds.

So I got to watch the entire thing on the television and it was reminiscent of a Carl Sagan special about the Milky Way or some other far off galaxy. A tiny wire was inserted in my leg --- and, might I add, a little too close to the family jewels for comfort.

Spurts of dye were added to see the arteries and veins and the doctor skillfully guided a wire to the problem area. Sure enough, there was a blockage there but it looked a lot like all the other pictures I have ever seen about blocked arteries in other people. I asked them if they use the same video on everyone or it’s actually me I am seeing. That would be a great scam wouldn’t it?

At that juncture, he nodded at the nurse and she got want she wanted: me to be quiet. And, I got what I wanted: more drugs. Soon I was drifting in La La land where is exactly where I wanted to be all along.

There is a tremendous amount of trust involved to let anyone put a wire up your leg to your heart and I am not that trusting a soul. I recall the first time I flew in a jet I asked the pilot if he had ever done this before because I sure hadn't. He told me it was his first solo flight. So much for easing the mind of a smart-aleck passenger.

Trixie's mom went in for knee surgery and asked the doctor what he had done the night before. He said he was at home watching TV. “Good,” she replied, “Because if you had been out partying you wouldn’t be operating on me this morning.” Now there is a lady who knew her own mind.

My procedure took place at St. Luke’s Presbyterian Hospital and I have to tell you it is a first class operation. Upon checking into my room post-procedure, I was handed a menu and could order whatever I wanted via phone. Never in my life have I seen steak available in a hospital but I quickly sized up the choices and they took my order and brought me my food. It was a tasty as it looked. The nurses were superb, friendly, young and beautiful and saw to my every need.

I am thinking of sending Trixie up there for some training.

The room was private with my own television, a view of the mountains, private shower facilities and no one bothered me with constant blood pressure checks like at most hospitals.

Now Ol' Dutch knows a good thing when he sees it and he quickly made reservations there for my next vacation. Not often do you find that kind of service with a health improvement at the same time.