Matters of my Heart…

English: A thoracic surgeon performs a mitral ...
English: A thoracic surgeon performs a mitral valve replacement at the Fitzsimons Army Medical Center. Slovenščina: Kirurgi med operacijo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s odd. I’ve been sitting here wondering about the bypass surgery and how they went about it. Oh I know what goes on I just don’t know the specifics. *And before you say anything, yes this will be the last time I write about the adventures of my heart…maybe*

After the surgery and before I was allowed to go home, we had a briefing from a lovely lady who was a cardiac specialist. She motioned for  me and my daughter to sit down and then after setting herself down  looked at us and smiled.

“Are you ready for your new life!”

She then went on to say that after the first few weeks, my diet did not have to change one iota. When I questioned this she smiled and said, “You are in recovery mode right now. You can eat whatever you want  and as much as you want. After that the ‘new rules’ will come into being, but we’ll talk about that a little closer to the time. Welcome to your life changing event.”

That  whole somewhat surreal conversation got me thinking then. All sorts of random thoughts swirling around in the  nooks and crannies of my doped up mind. The lady did ask us if we had any questions. I didn’t bother. I was high as a kite with all the ‘feel-good’ stuff they had me on and I knew  that I’d never remember any answers to anything I might ask.

It was only later that, in between pain medication doses, that I started wondering about the whole process and what it ultimately might mean. I know, for instance, that at one point in the procedure they stopped my heart and used a machine to breathe and pump blood for me while they worked on my heart.

Does that mean that, technically at least. I was dead? If I was ‘dead’ would I now be able to ‘see’ dead people? Or go on the road telling fortunes  like some sort of fairground gypsy?

Leaving the fanciful questions behind for a minute, how about when they ‘pulled’ my ribs apart? Did they use some sort of fancy gleaming chrome bolt cutter thing that would look more comfortable in a Slasher movie or something else. Staying with the ribs for a moment longer, how did they ‘wire’ them back up? Did they use some sort of super-glue, or did they use some sort of titanium wire?

When I look at my body I see a mass of stitches and swelling and different shades of bruises. I look like the survivor of a plane wreck or like a chap who went two seconds with Mike Tyson when he was on form.

Mike Tyson: Main Event
Mike Tyson: Main Event (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The whole time I was in hospital the staff kept telling me how great I looked and how wonderful my colour was. If that was true, why do I now look like a 95 year old anemic albino who is tottering slowly towards the gate to the afterlife. Were they exaggerating wildly so that I would check out early and let another customer in?

I can see them now waving at the car I was being driven away in, their other hand over their mouth and giggling uncontrollably. “Can you believe he fell for that!”

Apart from the more immediate events (surgery, re-hab, et al) I also wonder about the long term affects. For example, I had a friend who had his gall bladder removed. No real dramas here, but, ten years later after complaining of an internal pain that the doctors could not pinpoint at all. They opened my friend up for some explorative surgery. They found a set of forceps and a few sponges in his cavity. Not surprisingly,  the pains stopped soon after.

I once met a chap who swore that his grandfather had something similar happen to him. Back in the days when surgery was more of a ‘by-the-seat-of-your-pants practise than today, his grandpa had his appendix removed.

Now grandpa was a big fellow. Tall and big-boned he had worked for years as a circus strong man. His appendix was really causing him some pain, so surgeons quickly got him under knife and had the troublesome organ removed.  Everything was fine at first. Then Gramps began to get hot flashes, hear voices and feel little tremors in the area of his operation.

Doctors admitted that they were puzzled about what was causing these mysterious symptoms. Explorative surgery was quickly set up for the next day. The old circus strong man came in and got ‘prepped’ for surgery.

Surgeons had not even finished their first incision when a pair off hands shot out of the freshly made hole and started pulling the edges apart. The anesthesiologist and two nurses screamed and passed out. The surgeon watched in disbelief when a small medical technician came clambering out of grandpa.

It turns out the the technician had fallen in while over stretching him self to retrieve a clamp. Before he could raise anyone’s attention the surgeon had sewn the circus strongman back up. The hot flashes were from the small tech’s lighter. The sounds of voices had been him screaming for help and then talking to himself. The tremors were from the same technician who kept attempting to climb his way out.

Physically the man’s grandfather recovered well from the surgery. Mentally he did not make out so well. As he got older, the old man had developed the odd habit of screaming and cursing at his stomach if he got a touch of indigestion or heart burn.

So I’ll wait to see what, if anything, was left in my body after my operation. I haven’t got quite the girth of grandpa so I think that small medical staff don’t stand much chance of being trapped in me.  Although I do at times feel like I have a tray or something in my chest after the operation.  So I might have a medical tool tray in there.

Or nothing at all. Medicine has moved on after all.

From a B grade Slasher Film
From a B grade Slasher Film (Photo credit: n8k99)

Freshly Pressed, Hold the Wrinkles

Do you want a crease in that?

I will come right out and say it, “I love the Freshly Pressed section on WordPress.” But as much as I love their ‘picks’ of the day and the introduction to new or not so new bloggers, it also frustrates me just a little.

Some of the blogs picked are erudite, clever, and so perfectly put together it makes me shed a tear of envy. Others make me wonder whose biorhythms are shot when making that particular choice.

Seriously though I can usually see why they choose the ones they do. If not for content alone, the subject matter seems to be a major driver. Pictures also are a factor, although not a necessity, and if said pictures are taken by the owner of the post it’s even better.

I can well imagine that most, if not all, of the folks who contribute to the WordPress blogging community dream of getting their blog post exhibited on this prestigious wall.

I know I do.

It’s a bit of a silly thing to wish for. I only say that because I do not blog for praise or recognition or recompense (well, not yet anyway). I do love the immediacy of blogging. If someone ‘likes’ my post and hits the corresponding button I am happy. I have said this before in other blogs.

If I have more than ten people read a blog post (that is assuming that a ‘hit’ equates to a ‘read’) I am also very pleased. I have a very low expectation threshold.

I do, however, get annoyed when I try to leave a comment on a WordPress post that is ‘helping’ the community to adhere to certain practises or formats to help them to get Freshly Pressed and said comment never appears. These articles are very helpful actually. I had never put pictures in my earlier blogs on another site.

I can only think that my remarks, comments, or pithy observations are getting relegated to the spam bin. I’ve had problems with this before. One of my friends on another blog site, Tyson Carter from Head In A Vice told me that for some reason my remarks were getting posted to his spam folder. A problem I’ve encountered with other WP sites leaving comments on my channel.

So I must admit to a little frustration at the current situation. Not only am I waiting, not so patiently, for inclusion to this illustrious page, my comments aren’t even showing up. Comments, I might add, that are always congratulatory in nature.

So I will end this little diatribe with a thought that I wrote on the comment section of a WordPress post not too long ago.

Guys, I love your Freshly Pressed feature. I am however beginning to think that the only way I’m going to get one of my posts freshly pressed, is to take a steam iron to my laptop.

I think there might be a wrinkle here…

Designer Babies? What the Fudge??

Logo used from about 1963 until 2007 (January ...
Logo used from about 1963 until 2007 (January 2008 issue) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In this electronic day and age where newspapers and magazines are becoming passée I am still reading Readers Digest. I guess all those years of reading them at my Gran’s house and in waiting rooms around the globe has made the old RD a sort of comfy blanket. Comfortable as an old shoe and as reliable as Old Faithful.

It was in this month’s Readers Digest that I read about designer babies. I saw the article in the September issue (I know, it’s August. But that is the fun of monthly magazines, you always get them early) and it was discussing the advantages of using genetic screening to ‘design’ your foetus.

Quite frankly, I was horrified. Have we come this far? I know that what they are talking about is still illegal. But in a world where celebrities and wanna be celebrities have designer dogs, teeth, tits and whatever else you can think of, do we really want babies by design?

The very idea makes me think of Adolph Hitler‘s maniacal quest for breeding the perfect Aryan race.  I know that the folks who are suggesting that genetics  can help you ‘build’ the perfect child aren’t in Adolph’s class. But dammit, it’s scary!

I am not knowledgeable enough to argue against the idea. My understanding of science and biology doesn’t go much past the high school curriculum level. A  high school level that was attained back in the 70’s yet. So if you’re looking for an intelligent debate on the cons of the issue, I suggest you read something by Stephen Hawking, that is, if he even knows about it yet.

English: NASA StarChild image of Stephen Hawking.
English: NASA StarChild image of Stephen Hawking. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No my argument against the genetic building of babies is entirely from the parental point of view. And come to think of it, from the child’s as well. Amazingly I can still remember most, if not all, of my childhood. I know it was a long time ago, but I have been blessed (or cursed) with an excellent memory.

Can you imagine getting into an argument with your ‘specially’ crafted offspring and having them shout back at you, full of indignity, “I didn’t ask to be made this way!”

Or how about…

“Well you designed me! If I’m doing something wrong, it must be your fault!”

My mind is reeling from the very idea of all those issues that genetic enhancing will bring up. I remember yelling at my parents, years ago, the age old complaint from children across the world, “I didn’t ask to be born, you know!” Or the distant cousin of that statement, “I  didn’t ask for you to be my parents!”

But disregarding the above scenario altogether, just how is it that scientist’s or gene enhancer’s think that we know what the perfect mix of genes are?

We could get it completely and utterly wrong. Think about it. People right now are and have been raising children who believe that they are special. That they are entitled to everything because of that ‘specialness.’ And just look how the youth of today are turning out. Thankfully, so far at any rate, there are more ‘adjusted’ kids out there who realize that no matter how ‘special’ you are, you still have to work for a living.

But this gene enhancement or splicing or mojo, whatever you want to call it, is a recipe for disaster. What if experts tell us that we need children who can empathize with everyone and can also be sympathetic to their fellow man. The same child can have his aggression gene altered to keep his or her temper levels down. They can be ‘enhanced’ to allow them to be faithful, loyal, trusting, et al.

I am sure that the child who has those genes introduced into its body would grow up to be a gentle, caring, sharing mild mannered wuss. The world could be populated (for a time, at least until the enhancers realize what a boob they’ve made of humanity) literally by the meek. I think the end of mankind might be escalated a bit by a world full of those folks.

I am not saying that the entire idea is bad. I’m sure that it could be used to help stop deformities, disease, and other horrible things that we all pray our babies will not be born with. I am saying that we should be very careful in this, so far, illegal area of science and birth.

Let’s take a minute to think about what we are doing here. Do you really want to be the new Adolph Hitler or worse?

According to Bullock, Hitler was an opportunis...
According to Bullock, Hitler was an opportunistic adventurer devoid of principles, beliefs or scruples. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)