Update from the Heart of Hess:
You all know that I hate to admit failure or even a hint of defeat, right??? Hate it. Right up there with how much I despise Doodie Chowser, M.D., who will never, ever, ever get off my shit list for all of eternity. Ever. What a first-class (insert favorite euphemism for male baby maker)!
I stayed overnight on the cardiac unit, waiting up for the ungodly-early hour of the surgeon’s rounds because—in a normal situation—I’m hard to wake up since I am deaf, and no amount of noise can rouse me from a slumber; but, going on a handful of hours of sleep over the past three days, I knew if I went home and dared the sleep gods, they’d be rolling around in the ether, laughing their asses off until I snapped out of bed around September unless someone broke in the house and threw some coffee and light on me.
Sooo. I wrapped up in some 13-thread-count hospital sheets in the walk-in freezer of the cardiac waiting room all night long and worked on grading graduate-level creative writing assignments, some of which baffled me with passages like, “…the author’s syntax flowed freely because it was in the pattern of normal speech (iambic pentameter).” It could’ve been just the lack of sleep, the bone-numbing cold, the dearth of coffee, the anxiety over how best to inflict my ninja-like attack on Doodie Chowser, M.D., near sun-up. But you tell me. Does that passage say, “I’m a graduate-level writing student about to earn an ‘A’ for my astute grasp of the English language” to you? I don’t know.
The shithead breezed in close to 6 AM and breezed out close to 6:01 AM.
He glanced at me with a contempt-sneer I haven’t seen since Leona Helmsley, and answered Hess’s question, “How much danger am I in that I didn’t have the other two bypasses?” with what can best be approximated by the image of a squatting dog and something steamy and pile-y. His retreating reply: “You’ll have to ask the other doctor who diagnosed all the blockages.” Next! Ca-ching!
Anyway, all that staying up and not even finishing the stupid grading (<–There’s that defeat I hate admitting. Sigh.) FOR NOTHING.
Poor Hess is groggy and listless and just plain wiped out. We were too dazzled by the reports from so many people that this surgery is such a positive thing (not that it won’t turn out to be as I’m sure it will, and, honestly, what alternative was there?? Duh.). But, the laparoscopic bladder-snatching last year really was an easy recovery, and we just thought this would go the same way. Not prepared at all.
This procedure? NOT minimally invasive. His chest has been gutted like a fish; his ribs and shoulder-blades were separated; his left arm has been sliced open from wrist to elbow to harvest the radial artery; there is some other vein-harvest wound I haven’t even found; and he has really low oxygen, which (along with the chest wounds) makes it hard for him to get a good breath. Plus, the nurse yesterday mentioned that Hess would experience a kind of “male menopause” with this surgery: hot flashes, cold flashes, up-and-down mood swings. All of the things that make for a splendid day. That nurse wasn’t kidding either. You’d think I’d married a middle-aged woman who hasn’t seen estrogen since the first Bush administration. There are moments when regular Hess pops up, so I know he’s going to be all better. I miss my curmudgeon.