Been in and out of hospital for the past two days, undergoing a battery of tests (electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, chest x-rays, blood tests), finishing off with a biopsy. Haven’t had one in three years and, since I’m getting to the point in time where organs begin to fail, the past few months have had a cloud of nervousness hanging over them. Happily for me, nothing has deteriorated, so I guess I’ll be kicking at the can for a few more years.
I will say, however, that this past biopsy was particularly, um, unpleasant. In the first few months after my operation, I was having a biopsy on average every two-three weeks: they lay you down, freeze your neck, cut through the jugular, insert a biothem into the jugular and pluck out pieces of the heart. It’s pretty straightforward. Unfortunately, that area of my neck is now full of minute scar tissue. For the major check-ups, on the other hand, they go through your femoral artery, in wha’ts called a catheterisation. So, you’ve got to shave everything, everything, from your knees to your belly button. (Yep, you have the joy of dealing with the itchiness in the following weeks.) They make a cut in the vein next to the artery, insert a tube, and spend the next 15-30 minutes shooting iodine into your blood stream, to make sure the circulation is still good. Bonus, I’m allergic to iodine, so I have to take all these pills beforehand to avert any reactions. Once they’re done with this, they insert a probe into the artery, sending it all the way into the atrium, pushing against the valve, at which point they shove the probe down into the ventricle and pinch out pieces of the heart, so it’s a bit like a horsefly pulling out pieces of flesh. Bonus: nerves that were previously cut have regenerated, so this was the first time that I could feel them tugging and, hey, it hurts. Because I’ve had this procedure before, there’s also scar tissue on the vein and artery on my thigh, so the doc had to struggle to get the probe through that also. Ouchy.
So now, I have what amounts to vampire bites on my thigh, I can’t bike, ski or climb for the next while, and I can relax for the next 3 years, at which point it will be even more painful. But, hey, the alternative is even more unpleasant.
As predicted by a certain geeky Bill, scored major boyfriend points over the weekend. Headed to Ste-Adèle on Sat’day morning with the milliner, arriving at a secluded post-and-beam B&B in the woods. The owners have two huge dogs, a Saint-Bernard and a Malamute. I was happy. Cute room, done in sailing motif, with a dormer window overlooking a river, frozen.
We dump our stuff, don the fleece, and head over to “Le petit train du nord” for a couple hours of cross-country skiing. There was a side-trail that wandered off into the woods, which we took. Didn’t go as fast, but much more scenic. Head back to B&B, take a nap, wake up and head down for cocktails. Then hit some fancy-shmancy resto for a souper gourmand. Totally forgot that, on certain occasions, restaurants have “menus fixes.” Regardless, the food was good, my cholesterol went through the roof, and me with a biopsy on Wednesday.
Yesterday, after a surprisingly excellent breakfast, we packed up and headed to Ofuro, for a day of thermotherapy and massage. Basically, spend some time in a sauna and then jump into a cold bath. Relax. Go to the hot tub. Jump out and into the river. Repeat. Um, no. I figured, with the sweat pouring down me, just standing outside in -20C weather was good enough. Funny, there are all these warnings about folks with heart disease should abstain. The way I figure, I don’t have heart disease anymore since they cut mine out. Heh. Then, on to a deep-tissue massage. I saw god in all her pagan glory. Finished off with, get this, a facial. Goodbye dead skin cells.
The worst part was driving back to town.
Marco Pantani, that bald-headed, big-ear specialist of hill climbing in the Tour de France, was found d dead on Saturday in a hotel room. That’s sad, I always liked him.
French in decline?
Seen at the entrance of a bank last week: “Investir chez Desjardins, c’est visé juste.” I don’t know, but somehow the idea of investing whatever little money I have in our “national” bank, one that can’t even conjugate simple verbs in its own language, doesn’t instill much confidence.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: if, for some fucked-up, inexplicable reason, you’ve decided to buy that $5 bottle of piss-water perfume at your corner drugstore, do not, DO NOT!, spray yourself copiously with it while at the office. I don’t stink up your cubie with my beer farts, so please extend the same courtesy, mmkay?
Okay, I’m really upset by this, and I’m sure I’m not alone. I was watching the Super Bowl on the weekend, and there it was, on TV, in front of an audience of about 90 million: Mike Ditka shilling for Levitra! C’mon! At the end of the commercial, my nephew asks, “Unky, why did Mike throw a football through a tire? And why do you always make me sit on your lap?”
So, of course, Levitra, and CBS, put me in that godless position of having to explain to my nephew that Mike Ditka is no longer capable of achieving an erection on his own, but that, with the help of a drug, he could now have sex. “You see, the football represents a penis. The tire represents a vagina.” I sent him off to ask his mommy for further explanations, putting her in an uncomfortable position, for which I again blame Mike Ditka.
Honestly, how pathetic can Mike Ditka get? I don’t think that those of us uncomfortable with the idea of human sexuality should have been put in this situation.
So, it turns out that there’s starting to be a groundswell of criticism following Don Cherry’s (Canada’s version of Rush Limbaugh) rant on the Jan. 24 edition of Coach’s Corner, where he took another potshot at Europeans and “French guys,” suggesting these two are gutless wonders as apparently they’re the ones who predominantly wear visors. I remember watching it and chuckling, thinking, “well, I guess Don has had just one more drink too many. Again.” However, it’s no longer just folks in Quebec who are bothered, but organisations in western Canada as well.
Now, as it turns out, the CBC has deleted all e-mails critical of Don Cherry or Ron MacLean (who was quoted as saying that French immersion doesn’t work, “because [their] heads are never held under long enough”), posting the following.
Yup, your tax dollars at work.
Missed Janet Jackson’s now infamous nip shot during the half-time show of the Super Bowl, because I was busy watching the NBC Queer Eye for the Straight Guy marathon. But, thanks to the joy of the internet, it’s possible to view over-inflated popstars’ breasts over, and over, and over. Such a strange family.
Feeling strangely unmoved.