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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

For those two or three among you who still pass the port to the left ’round here, you may be interested to know that ol’ Robbo came through his endoscopy without any problems this morning.  He’s now spending a lazy afternoon at home, mostly asleep.

As it turns out, I do not have a peptic ulcer.  Instead, the docs inform me that I have something called a hiatal hernia.  This is a fancy way of saying that the blast door in the diaphragm between my tummy and my chest won’t close all the way, allowing stomach acid to splash up into the ol’ esophagus, thus causing Self a certain amount of discomfort.   There does not seem to be much to do about it, other than treating the symptoms as (as they say) needed.  (One of the recommendations is to give up wine and coffee.  All I can say is damn that.)

So there we are.

However, since this was the very first time ol’ Robbo had ever had anything at all like a genuine medical procedure, a few hospital-linked observations:

♦   I know I’m in the minority when I say this, but having a large teevee blasting CNN at me  in the waiting room is no more calming or comforting than is receiving such treatment in an airport lounge.   At what point did it become mandatory to place a boob tube in every single place people might be expected are required to sit for a while? 

♦  My intake nurse was a very nice older lady of some kind of Eastern European background.  While she was generally eager to comfort me, there nonetheless arose a protracted debate between us when she misread the note on my paperwork that said I exercise on an elliptical as reporting that I was subject to some kind of epilepsy.  It required quite a bit of reassurance on my part in order to straighten things out.

♦   The only moment I felt the least twinge of anxiety was not when they wired me up, IV’d me and put oxygen tubes in my nose (or, for that matter, when they put the somewhat kinky round thingy in my mouth to keep it open), but when they made me take off my glasses.  How can I fight off the saber-toothed tiger if I can’t even see it?

♦  The high point, so to speak, was the anesthesia.  Ah, sweet, sweet, drug-induced sleep!  I never even heard anyone give a warning:  One second I was rolling over onto my side as directed, the next it was bye-bye time.  I do recall dreaming at one point of driving down a tree-lined road.  The next minute, I was in the recovery room feeling at great peace with the world.

♦  I thought it was ridiculous that an elderly lady should have to wheel-chair me all the way down to the parking lot when I was perfectly capable of getting there under my own steam, but the old dear got a bit huffy after my first couple of attempts to suggest this.  Regulations, I suppose.  The Mothe does this kind of volunteer work at her local hospital: Had she been pushing the chair, I’d not have hesitated to make a run for it.

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