A Real Cut-Up


I was in the shop yesterday, for a little repair work. Hernia surgery, so matter-of-fact that I might as well have been in for a brake job. I slept through most of it. Between the time that the nurse got me prepped, had me change into my gown and footies, and the time that the procedure was actually done, I dozed.

My surgeon is related by marriage to a famous quarterback. She is extremely efficient and goes the extra mile for her patients. My family had been sitting in the lobby-she had them located and brought into the room with me.

That had the effect of stopping my dozing, as my wife and I and Faith chatted brightly for a time, while hospital personnel arrived and left and came back bearing things to sign, bore them away…at length the anaesthesiologist came. He had a mien not unlike Vonnegut, an avuncular persona. I dubbed him Gasso, as we were discussing the Marx Brothers when he came in.

I once lived in a home the brothers owned, but that’s another story.

My belly hurts, though I have good meds and plenty of them. I refuse to let that stop me and am getting up and doing as much as I can. This is after all a culmination of an thirty-six year journey–I first suffered the hernia in 1977, from pushing my big piece of Detroit Iron home from the K-Mart parking lot where it has stalled.

Couldn’t afford a tow truck, you see. The young can do stuff like that.

We old people cam merely gawp, and suffer the consequences of such rash action. I walked around with a couple of wonky loops for ages until I aggravated them by moving boxes a couple of months ago. They grew and grew, and affected my bowel functions, and were sometimes painfully tender, therefore becoming a soft landing pad for cats.

I told jokes and kept myself relaxed and the whole thing went well. I slept through the procedure and didn’t wake up until my family was gathered around again. We chatted for a while and then headed for home. I was so beat that I almost fell out the moment we arrived…opting instead for a long-overdue bite to eat and a handful of pills.

Peter Boyle, in his role as Frank (Everybody Loves Raymond) is one of my heroes. I am an unashamed misanthropist. He was of course also the Frankenstein monster in Mel Brooks’ delicious parody, a parallel no doubt intentional on the part of the writers of the show.

My wife says he would have been out patrolling the halls of the place in his bluish gown, his cheeks flapping in the breeze.

I’m sorry, Frank. You’re a better man than I.

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One response to “A Real Cut-Up

  1. Glad you’re through that and out the other side, man. It’s inspiring the calmness with which you approach heavy life issues like surgery, and I thank you for that. I suppose after your whole ‘abed’ challenge, it’s not so serious getting a hernia taken care of. Heal quickly!

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