KUNG TUTUUSIN (in the final analysis), my lifesaver wasn’t the ONLY one, although he spotted my problems, gave me my options (or lack of same), and in the end, gave me the likeliest scenarios (not pleasant). The OTHER lifesaver was the one in Christchurch two and a quarter hours away, who proceeded from the first one’s analysis, fixed me up and gave me my health back. With his hands he literally saved my life, but without the guidance and planning of the first, I wouldn’t have been saveable in the first place.
Of course, in the first, I’m referring to my cardiologist, and to the heart surgeon who mended me in the second. At the time of this post, I haven’t met the surgeon since my surgery, but I’m meeting the cardiologist, 76 days after the fact.
***** ***** *****
I don’t care much if there’s a trainee cardio with him, the nurse and the rest of my family.
Hello Doc and thank you for saving my life, (Noel’s words in italics) I say as soon as I enter his office.
With an almost imperceptible nod as if to discount the magnitude of his work, he barely acknowledges our generous greeting, says You were lucky, being in the right place at the right time. (Doc’s words in boldface) Motions me to a seat next to the examining stretcher, and I sit.
If I recall, you said I was in the sh*t, but still OK to work?? I ask him half-jokingly.
Yes you were, well enough to work, but concerning enough to monitor your breathlessness, tiredness and capacity to cope with work and physical activity, says Doc, who at the last moment figured out that something else was bothering me, an infection that was aggravating my already compromised heart.
Remember I said you were lucky? Well you actually had another problem that put you in double sh*t, that’s lotto-level lucky.
Yes I remember, I remember! Related to my dodgy heart functions, an embolism had formed somewhere else in my body, which if untreated would’ve brought me even closer to Heaven (or the other place), so that I was actually in the perfect place to be saved at the time I needed saving.
Blunt and spare in words, but my cardiologist was 101% on the money, accurately predicting when my cherry would pop, correctly assuming I was a walking time bomb, and sending me to the cardiothoracic operating theater in Christchurch (the only one within 2 hours by car) with minutes to spare. I would take his sticks and stones all day and all night, 24/7, for what he did for me.
***** ***** *****
He consumed my medical file and read me like a book in half a minute, but to complete pleasantries, asked me about my post-surgery physio rehab (I was on sked), my meds (which I took religiously) and present and future stresses that I would need to deal with inevitably. Ho-hum.
Time to cut the tension.
Doc, you probably get this all the time, but when can I actually start having boom-boom? is the elephant in the room I manage to squeeze in, immediately feeling the heat from Mahal’s flushed cheeks.
Doc immediately rolls his eyes and makes a fist telling Mahal, because I’m the doctor I can’t hurt him, but will you punch him for me? to which Mahal nods yes.
But Doc I protested, next time I want to visit you with a new baby (gesturing to our toddler daughter).
Doc makes double fists this time. Your wife will have something to say about that. Besides, you’ll be busy looking after your heart.
His voice was stern, but I could see the beginnings of a smile forming near the corners of his mouth. He approves.
Thanks for giving me a second chance Doc!