martes, 26 de febrero de 2013

Reporting LIVE from Glendale Memorial Hospital - Nine O’clock update

Morning comes early to the Cardiac Ward, as it does in hospitals everywhere.  And though yesterday’s Main Event was not without delays and complications, we’re still reporting LIVE from Six North here in Glendale.

And while our story was overshadowed on Sunday by the Oscar show, we weren’t able to make a broadcast last evening due to a clutter of tests and other impediments throughout the day, leaving our viewers plenty of time to ponder the expected questions during the last remnants of Oscar madness.

Monday’s schedule was taken up with various tests in advance of the Main Event, starting with a Resting Test early in the morning.  Viewers will remember that there was no breakfast yesterday, in preparation for the Stress Test – guess they want you running on a treadmill with a light head.  And while other patients were celebrating lunchtime turkey on wheat bread sandwiches (viewed longingly as we were wheeled down the hallway, riding in a wheelchair dressed like Gandhi) we had to content ourselves with passing that Stress Test with flying colors.

And ‘flying’ almost turned out to be no metaphor.  That Stress Test, instead of being cut short like the previous on was, ran the full length, as we were put on a treadmill that was then turned up in increments to about seventy miles an hour.  Hilarity ensued.

(Parts of the preceding description may be lacking in veracity.  But not the part about hilarity.)  And speaking of humor, how does the following rate for an exchange, taken in context?  Pierre, the ER intake nurse, says to me, “I figured you have some history.”  “Oh, yah – I got some history.”  Ok, maybe you had to be there – moving on.

At one point, then whole enterprise took on the aspect of a scene from I Love Lucy – the candy factory or the bakery production line, not the head-in-the-trophy episode – and we fully anticipated being flung off the treadmill into the surrounding lab equipment in the climactic pratfall.

And that trip to the basement, as the previous one, did not include a visit to the morgue – where’s Quincy M.E. when you need him?  But the staff who administered the test (Annoush the lightly anxious lab tech) were as expert and accommodating as the rest of the staff we’ve encountered here.

We were in the midst of prepping our notes for the evening report when we had a nice visit from Steve, a Nisei nutritionist who specialises in diet for a healthy heart.  We inadvertently embarrassed Nisei Steve with a question about the two empty piercings in his earlobe…  After some hesitation he said, “Misspent youth.”

Discussion about a healthy diet awakened hunger, since we hadn’t had anything to eat since the late-evening snack of the burrito the night before.  Crankiness and a mild headache was the logical result.  And, of course, the annoying anchor of the IV tower was present for the entire day until late in the evening, a constant reminder that one may hide but one can’t run.

And once again, all the staff here is cheerful and helpful, as well as professional in demeanor.  Very pleased with the human element.  Adding to the building list of great staff persons are Gonzalo, Jennie, Adrian, Edna, Donald, Anna, Douglas, Linda, Jay-jay, Doris, Robert, Skye, Maria, Eduardo and Melissa.

The Main Event itself was accompanied by family confusion and other issues, predominantly the worry of octogenarian parents.  While we were mostly bored with the entire run-up to the Main Event – having had so much experience in these areas after a lifetime record of nine surgeries and scores of ‘procedures’ – apparently others were concerned about various aspects, no matter how much they were reassured.  In fact, a state of expanding returns was reached at one point, as the reassurances seemed to actually *increase* feelings of doubt and uncertainty.

And of course the situation was not helped by certain scheduling uncertainties.  The doctor, described by the OR staff as “optimistic about time,” wound up being like two and half hours late.  Something about his previous surgery running long, making him rather tardy for our little procedure, leaving us fully prepped on the hard and punishing table.  But patients must be willing to have patience, so we tolerated the discomfort as long as we could before telling the nurse that it was time to go walkabout.

And of course that didn’t happen, but we were transferred back to a more comfortable situation for the duration of the wait.  Finally the doc showed up and we had a nice conversation about heist movies – and confidence game movies.  And then the morphine kicked in, which removed from the brain the title of a great heist movie that he recommended.

We came out of the chemical haze in good fettle, and pretty soon after that the crazy parents showed up with a taco and some of Mom’s home-made chili.  Yum.

Everything a success:  the ablation didn’t take too long and it was all in all much like having a tooth pulled.

This will be our final LIVE report from Six North of Glendale Memorial Hospital, and thanks to all for following this not-too-exciting story!

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oh, PS:  For anyone who thought that 'Argo' really deserved a Best Pic Oscar, I'll point out that it merely joins the long list of falsely-elevated films that exploited Hollywood politics tugged heartstrings that were louder than common sense, among which these injustices stand out:

1941 - How Green Was My Valley over Citizen Kane
1948 - Hamlet over Treasure of the Sierra Madre
1976 - Rocky over Taxi Driver, Network, *and* All the President's Men?
1979 - Kramer vs Kramer over All That Jazz and Apocalypse Now?
1980 - Ordinary People over The Elephant Man and Raging Bull?

Really?  Argo over Lincoln?  Really?

And don't even bring up the Deer Hunter in 1978… please.