Wednesday, January 9, 2008

surgery and haiku

ah, under the knife for the first time. quite an adventure. i feel more traumatized two days later than i did at the time.

it was sort of like reporting for duty at the coast guard, only these people were really kind. but again, to lay aside your clothes and wallet, to have a needle stuck in your vein, waiting to be moved into the operating room and reading haiku did make me feel i'd suddenly intruded on another civilization.

one thing learned, things can suddenly get very hectic. patients wheeled to and fro in different cubicles. a new voice suddenly coughing. a doctor talking with a nurse about the novels of john dos passos and the movie 'the african queen.' (this became time travel. those were part of my youth and college. alas, for most people no more.)

finally, it was my turn. three nurses and the anesthesiologist. the doctor. they all briefed me. zoom, i was in the operating room sliding onto another table. the knock-out drops entered my veins. i briefly woke with an asthma attack when they pushed a tube down my throat. but it seemed like it was all happening at a far distance. am i on tv?

things went well i'm told. my prostate now shrunken, a catheter hanging down my leg (another first. unfortunately, the next day when i pulled it out i'd forgotten some instructions. so a new one had to be put in and i'm sitting rather uncomfortably with it now. sorry, i know you don't want to know all the gory details.)

my body seems to be fighting off bronchitis, which i've all-too-often gotten this time of year. strong antibiotics seem to be holding it at bay.

a couple things: get everything you need to do pre- and post- written down. skip a step and you're in trouble. also, get up, if you can, and walk around. a visit downtown this afternoon made me feel more normal. though, i must say, as i looked at 'things' beautiful and otherwise in shopwindows, i thought, 'those are for people who have a future.'

no photographs from this experience, unfortunately. it looked too much like the movies. that said, go to for pictures of my former life. (hopefully, this is not a sex change.)
and many thanks to the doctor and all the others who helped!
surgery and haiku,
the poem that cuts
to the heart of things.