I know that generally, Saturdays are the posts for The Less Desirables Movie of the Week (brought to you by a/perture Cinema). But, Dear Reader, today is an important day for me. Today is my 3rd Second Birthday. What, pray tell, is a Second Birthday? Well, I will tell you.
It was on April 18, 2012 that I underwent triple bypass heart surgery. I don’t remember much about the day, truthfully. I’ll recap what I do remember but it won’t be much. I remember having to get up and be at the hospital at 5:30. I was allowed to shower but had to use regular soap, no body washes or cologne (which is not hard for me because I’m allergic anyway), had to trim down my goatee the night before and had to take off my black O-rings (the bracelets that I always wear) and take my earrings out – I haven’t worn them since and I miss them terribly – and I had to take my Scorpio necklace off. The BCPF wore that necklace until I was sufficiently healed to wear it again.
My fiance (The BCPF), my mother, my father, my sister and my brother-in-law were all there, as was my future mother-in-law. They all huddled around my temp bed until a gentleman came in to usher them all out, except for The BCPF, so that he could shave me. They shaved everything from the neck down. I mean everything, front and back. Even the hairs on my toes were shaved off. “That’s a lot of hair!” said the man in an actual exclamation. It was, too. Locks of Love could have formed it together to make a wig, I think. Then the Fam came back in and we talked for a bit before they came to get me to take me back. I got kisses and touches and such as they all told me they loved me.
They wheeled me into the OR and started chatting me up, in an attempt to calm me, I understand. I didn’t really need calming. I was good. I knew I was in the best hands. Dr. Bret Borchelt was top doc at Forsyth Memorial and that hospital had just been voted #1 in the country, so I had the absolute best of the best. Besides, if I didn’t have the surgery done I’d probably have died not far after that anyway. Not being morbid, just being truthful. So, the worst that could happen was probably inevitable otherwise, this had to be OK. They put the IV in me and things started getting fuzzy. It was just a lot to take in, calm or not. They told me to count backward from 100 and I think I remember 100. I was out quick.
I then faintly remember some more stuff from that day. I remember coming to in recovery. I was quite groggy, obviously. I also couldn’t talk because there was a tube down my throat, I think, because my lungs had been collapsed to make room to do the surgery. I’ve always had a hard relationship with my lungs, I grew up asthmatic and breathing has always been difficult for me. Anyway, I felt to my chest and could tell there was stuff on it. I also had a catheter and, no it wasn’t fun, but really wasn’t too bad. I had a nurse, whom I want to call “Nancy,” taking great care of me. She asked if it was OK that my family came in. I nodded yes. I can’t really remember who was in there. I don’t know if I ever knew. I do know that The BCPF was and I know my mère was in there because the next part of the story has to do with her.
So, I’ve always been the comedian in the family, at least the good one. Ma mère et père both try to be funny and kind of are, in their own way. My sister, well, she tries, too. Anywhat! Mom reached over and patted me on the shoulder and said, “see baby, you really do have a heart.” And that brought laughter about the room. I motioned to “Nancy” with slow gestures for a writing utensil and a piece of paper. She brought it to me and in a stupor, I wrote on the paper, in probably very crappy handwriting, “leave the comedy to me.” Which brought more laughter. After a bit with me, and with me fading in and out of sleep, they ushered the Fam out.
I awoke several more times and they were finally able to take the tube from my throat; I was breathing well enough on my own. “Nancy” was shocked that I knew her name. She said no one ever remembers her name. I told her that I pay attention to everything going on around me, at least the best I can. I had heard her tell someone her name in my in- and out-fades. She was getting off duty and I thanked her for taking such good care of me. Another nurse, a male I can’t remember much of, took her place and was able to remove the catheter. I’ll tell you, it wasn’t uncomfortable. Go figure.
Now, this whole time, I was in ICU. The BCPF tells me that it was all day and all night. They kept me in there over night. I didn’t wake up the first time until much after the surgery and the events that I described happened very sporadically and wasn’t in a small window. The next day I finally was well enough that they were putting me in my room, where I’d stay until April 22. Even that was in the afternoon (so you can see how long I was out) because 3B was out of school and he didn’t get out of school until 2:40p. He saw me being wheeled down the hall and I was so happy to see him. They had me get up and move into a chair where I took the picture I included above. I think I look surprisingly well, all things considered.
I’m going to save details about the rest of the hospital stay because it’s mostly boring. It involves The BCPF sleeping in the hospital bed because I couldn’t, she and I having our first real fight (it was my fault, I admit it), lots of people coming to see me and a lot of hobbling along the halls trying to get my laps in. I’m glad they finally allowed The BCPF to bring me some underwear. I’m not afraid to show off my junk, but that’s when I want to show it, not just always hanging out. All in all, though, I have to really thank my family and friends. They saw me in the hospital, they came to take care of me at home – my sister, mother and mother-in-law rotated, my friends brought me healthy foods and good wishes. 3B did anything asked of him and that’s hard for a boy of 9, seeing his dad go through this. Brian and Eugene did The Less Desirables the night of my surgery and did a fine job. I know it was hard on them, it’s not an easy task to produce that show when you’re really not sure what you’re doing.
But, the most credit has to go to The BCPF. She really, really, really stepped up and did more than I could ever ask of her. She was hard on me but so good to me. She loved (and still loves) me more than almost anyone has ever shown. I truly owe her my life as it’s because of her that I still have one. She’s my rock, my ship on the water and my cloud in the sky; all three at once. I love her. Plain and simple.
So in conclusion of what was only meant to be a joke about my 3rd Second Birthday, I thank all of you for all your support being a friend, acquaintance, partner or just reading my blog and listening to my podcasts. If I’ve ever known you, I cherish that. I said at the beginning it wouldn’t be much but now, 1,450 words later, it was a good bit, I guess. Thanks for reading it. Now, let’s go to Record Store Day and see Led Zeppelin performed by the Winston-Salem Symphony.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“We love life, not because we are used to living but because we are used to loving.” – Frederich Nietzsche