Tuesday, October 17, 2006

yar, yar, yar

So it looks like I'm getting another heart cath next week. Tuesday, to be precise about it. Don't everybody jump up at once. It's no big deal. It's just a tremendous annoyance to moi.

(no, I don't have CHF. I just like the explanation of a cath on this site.)

I sat in the cardiologist's office at 9:30 this morning flipping through a July issue of OK magazine reading about the 16 guys Lindsay Lohan's dated so far this year. Softly on the PA system Elton John was singing a song I hadn't heard in years:

No I don't wanna go on with you like that.
One more set of boots on your welcome mat.

Funny thing about hearing songs you haven't heard in a decade or more. The other night, giving the youngest son a bath, I started singing along with a song I could swear I've not heard since fifth or sixth grade:

Pilot of the airwaves
Here is my re-quest
You don't have to play it but I hope you'll do your best
I've been listening to your show on the ra-dio
And you seem like a friend to me.

Couldn't tell you who sang the song, or when, but I still remember every word of it now (and I sang it, in harmony, while shampooing the kid's hair). Why my brain recorded that and not the first eight digits of pi* (which I used to have committed to memory) is beyond me.

The nurse called me back (interrupting my reverie) and I dutifully submitted to the checkup. Breathe in. Deep breath. Again. Hold your breath. Breathe again. Any new swelling you've noticed?

Only in my brain; does that count?

Then (fast forward) after a question-and-answer session, and I'm sitting in another office agreeing to another heart catheterization. They suggested Thursday and I picked next Tuesday, because Thursday is my first-grader's birthday and I can't go having a heart cath on my kid's seventh birthday. Timing is everything.

I've had a cath before. I know the drill. There are less invasive ways to get a leg wax, but it's the way I like to live.

If I asked for anything for the procedure, it would be the kind thought in my regard that the first IV next Tuesday morning be a gentle one. I'd fail miserably at heroin addiction: I've never met a needle I particularly liked. Every time the nurse comes at me I have to confess (weakly) that I don't like getting stuck. And every time they nod understandingly, almost as if they expect it, and say, "You don't say," or "I get that a lot," or "Good, because I don't like sticking you, either" (that one makes me a little uneasy, somehow. I do want a phlebotomist with some enthusiasm for the job).

But it's sort of a rite of passage. I have to say it, and then I have to say, "I'm going to just close my eyes and not look," and then they sort of slap my clenched fist and urge, "Relax your hand now, relax, relax," and then they either slide the needle in the vein and start drawing, or they miss completely and blow a perfect bubble in my arm that pops and aches like a sonuva. The odds are fifty-fifty for a hit. Maybe less than.

It's been a long day, and one (I'm aware) in which I really didn't communicate very much to anybody. I didn't even tell my family until after dinner, hours and hours and hours after the fact.

I'm sorry about that. Tomorrow will be better.

*the first eight digits of pi are: 3.1415926