You see, I have spasms in my coronary arteries, and those can cause death. Does that sound funny to you?
How about the six times I have had my groin opened and catheters run up into my ticker? After four times, you would have thought they’d have just installed a snap closure and saved us all the trouble. Can that be amusing?
I attempt to be entertaining, as I have trained hundreds of doctors and nurses at three major medical centers. There is nothing more fun than lying in bed, half-dressed, with a dozen wide-eyed young people wanting to hear about your obscure illness.
When they make their rounds, I dramatize a bit. There is the statistic that what I have only happens in two out of 1 million patients, and how that disappoints me. I figure I’m one in a million.
Then there are those hospital gowns. There was a time when I was modest. There was a time when I might have resented the hospital staff telling stories about what I did or said while they lunch in the cafeteria.
Alas, speaking of the cafeteria, I have grown to like hospital food. The dietitians are really trying to do better. I’m only joking a little.
With my surgeries — there have now been a dozen — I have learned that it is not bad having parts of your body other than your chin shaved. It is the growing back of the hair that is bothersome. But considering the alternative, the re-growth of hair is not bad.
There are many things to complain about regarding hospitals, but most of them are nothing more than wishing you were home in your own bed and still 22.
Nurses in general are very kind. They do not make cheap wisecracks about my age, weight, or skin condition. They are smart enough to know that people like me are job security.
You also will not hear me complain about the amount of money that my doctors charge to repair, replace, probe and patch me up. I don’t complain about my plumber’s bill or grumble about my barber. I cannot fix a drain, cut hair or give myself an angioplasty.
I only rarely hear them complain about my columns or speeches. Then again, these are free.
The unsung heroine in all of this is my wife. She drives me, covers me, apologizes for my behavior and listens to me whine.
She is the one to whom my heart belongs.
• Mike McLellan can be contacted by calling and leaving a message at 830-4231 or e-mailing him at DrMikeM@sbcglobal.net.