happy anniversary, redux

god, i hate to keep doing this. just last month was the 3 yr anniversary of my first brain surgery and here we are today at the 3 yr anniversary of the second surgery.
to celebrate, please find a recounting of that day's events:

We wake up. I meditate for two minutes downstairs. I take a shower. We drive up the hill to OHSU and get in a fight because Margaret has made us late for my craniotomy. We check in. We discover my procedure is actually scheduled for 2:30PM. What?! Around 8:30 AM, We are shepherded downstairs to floor 5 for presurgery check in. We are immediately brought back to the pre-op room which I remember from SURGERY 1. A nurse tells me to disrobe. Another nurse tells me the reason for the time confusion is that I’m Dr Delashaw’s patient. He requests all his surgeries show up as early as possible, she says, because he likes to have options. He sometimes has several OR’s going at once.

I lay there for hours in a cold gown. Other patients come and go. Small talk. Crossword puzzles. I am asked my name. I am asked which side of the head. Other patients come and go. Small talk. Gallows humor. I am asked my name. I am asked which side of the head.

Around 2:15pm, the anesthesiologist finds me and says there’s been a backlog today. He says they want to be able to give me their full attention. I concur. It’s a craniotomy, I think. Take all the time you need.

They wheel me away around 4 PM. It is nine hours since we checked in.

I kiss Margaret goodbye and resign myself to my fate. I am a CAMERA, wheeled down a hallway on a gurney as EXTRAS lean into FRAME muttering semi-intelligible things through their masks. Jamie is the PA today. She is my age and seems like someone we’d be friends with if not for the circumstances. They call the elevator, bring me to the Surgery Floor, Floor 6. Down a long winding hallway to OR 14. Gurneys and equipment everywhere, like some forgotten archive of mechanica, like the VA hospital in “Jacob’s Ladder”. Into the OR , I am surprisingly wide awake. The sound of bleeping machines. People prepping. A man in scrubs washing his hands. Why does it feel so normal and ordinary? They shoot me with IV. I breathe deep but it isn’t taking. They shoot me with IV. My limbs are relaxing. Spreading. Floating.

I wake in Recovery.

I am being wheeled somewhere.

I have never been so thirsty.
I ask for water.
Can’t risk nausea in the CT Scan I’m told.

Bright flashes.

I am being wheeled somewhere.

Things begin to settle, take form around me. I must be in ICU. Ice chips, straw-sips of water. My family is around me. I am in and out of consciousness. Margaret is here. And then she is not. It is two in the morning and it is only me and Elaine, my nurse


vegan strippery

no combination is quite as satisfying as objectification and tempeh burgers. delicious!

actually, we've been to this establishment in its previous incarnation: pirate-themed vegan food. for real. (the current approach seems a better fit). glad to see it's getting some national press. there are lots of jokes to be made here but i won't make them. you can though...


memory lane

typing this w/ one hand. had surgery last wed. on my left thumb to remove a puffy cyst-like almond that appeared some months ago. currently hand is wrapped up tight and i feel fine. [nobody doctoral thinks the growth is anything worth worrying about, in case you were worried. films were shipped and scanned and reviewed by appropriate parties].

The procedure itself was a quick and unfun experience that due to general anasthetic brought sweet surgical recollections, like say intubation, back to the fore. what times!

on the other hand, i got to watch a lot of basketball and a lot of movies.


sweet lips

posting this as a corrective to last night's episode of law & order which featured a carved-up, misshapen, swollen, plastic, alien version of lara flynn boyle. it was frankly difficult to watch, not merely b/c you couldn't tell what emotion she was attempting to convey, but also b/c we have been busy watching twin peaks lately and the image of her unsullied, uncarved face was fresh in our minds. i'm all for some plastic surgeries, like pec implants or jaw implants (note: joke) but otherwise i'm pretty nauseated and horrified. And you did that willingly? couldn't you spend that money on other forms of self-improvement? Some night-classes maybe?


true v. false

the fake memoir is quick becoming the modern-age freeway chase, a stunt wherein the guilt carried by those involved is seemingly neutralized by the publicity generated. what other possible explanation could be laid at the feet of margaret jones? at some point she must have weighed the possibility of getting caught, right? if no, she's an amoral goon. if yes, and she proceeded anyway she's a self-serving, amoral goon.

this had some ripples at our house due to our memoir-in-progress. we think our experience is pretty verifiable (see below post) so we're not worried about that as much as the public conception of memoir in general. Once you begin to introduce the concept of malleability things start spiralling downward pretty quickly. We're not talking about creative license or some fuzzy artistic shortcut but wholesale manufacture. Not just the text of her memoir but her 'character', this phony gang-banger who rose from the ashes to turn things around. A person she played in multiple interviews and across several years of editing the book. Sheer putrefaction.

this was all addressed more deftly than i am able yesterday by daniel mendelsohn (a man i've always admired since his dismantling of jonathan franzen). take a gander...

m r i


super depressing tuesday

the texas/ohio bloodbath thing feels like a gajillion months ago, not just 3 days back. i found it all horribly depressing and was in a state tues night (aided in part by the officiating at the blazers/suns game earlier that evening. sweet jesus, what was that?). the house always wins, the game is rigged, insert paranoid statement here, but i was beside myself.

i'm not a clinton supporter for a variety of reasons but the dirty tricks thing is a stomach turner, the last-minute red-phone, skin-darkening, lapel-pin, nafta thing.
particularly that last one, as it's turning out to, in fact, be the exact opposite of the way it was presented:

also, after all the nattering and clenched fists about winning texas and regaining stride, comes this. don't know what it means yet. but it's interesting.