In The Fugitive, Harrison Ford, at least in camera tricks, jumped off the Cheoah dam on the Eastern side of The Dragon, successfully surviving another dangerous escape. The dam is at the start of an extremely treacherous 11 mile stretch of Highway 129 in the most epically beautiful region of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Look up “the tail of the dragon” “highway 129” and you’ll see what I mean. This was part of my epic “Day Off, again.” I live in the most beautiful parish in the world.
Having to go once again up to General Surgery at the teaching hospital of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, I was very happy to once again to slay The Dragon, twice, there and back, with brand new hug-the-road Yokahama tires on Sassy the Subaru. I have waaaay too much fun. Unlike the Cooper tires, the Yokahamas don’t sing, drifting on the curves, at all. They’re like glue on the tarmacadam.
At about mile 3.5 on The Dragon, there’s a warning sign that says “DIP”. Ain’t no lie, that. In about 25 feet it drops about 6 feet on a super-sharp curve. If you straighten the curve from outside to inside you’ll go airborne, pretty much no matter how slow you go. But don’t ever straighten any curves, especially on this road. Waaay tooo many people die because of that.
Right after this on another super-sharp curve there were two police SUVs and a wrecker, and one uninjured motorcyclist standing around, looking bewildered. Obviously, he did the right thing and jumped off his cycle as the cycle went over a cliff and down, and down, and down. Clearly, he knew how to fall when having fun, and had no fear to take the fall instead of death. That’s the first skill you have to learn, how to fall. The good thing about The Dragon is that there are zero guard-rails, or “slicers” as I call them. That’s actually to save the lives of those who fall and slide off the road while their cycles go flying.
Meanwhile, a safe arrival at the hospital parking ramp. I always take a mnemonic picture of where I am:
This is such a great hospital. Getting a tag at the front door took only seconds:
Then the registration was just a few minutes all told:
Up I went: receptionist, initial interview, then into the examination room, strip down a bit, all to have the internal and external scarring progress checked. I must say, truly, this was a great experience. Happy, happy. I’ve had a lot of bad experiences elsewhere, but everyone here was in a great mood, very respectful, all good. That speaks to great management, great teaching, great learning. Very professional. Kudos to everyone at the hospital.
Thanks for your prayers:
- I’ve been behaving myself quite well regarding not lifting anything heavy as per doctor’s orders. I’m to keep doing that for quite a while, even months. “There’s only one good chance to heal,” she said. “If another chance is necessary, it won’t necessarily be a good chance,” she said. “Behave yourself,” she said. “Yes, ma’am! I said. :-)
- But I had a question: “Why is there deep weirdness, like a couple of inches deep, into the lower-inside right-thigh quadriceps (opposite side of the surgery), kind’a like an onset of paralysis above the knee?” No comment on that, especially because the surgery was left-side abdomen. I get why there was no answer. If it has to do with the epidural between L-3 and L-4, that’s a completely different medical group, nothing to do with the surgeons. I get that. All good. So, that’s a wait and see how it goes event.
- I was told to expect, coming up, the possibility of very sharp bolts of pain from the abdomen down into the left leg, down to the knee. I’m happy to be forewarned of a mere possibility. I thrive on too much instead of not enough knowledge, and I was humored. Happy-happy.
- Along those lines, she gave me the reasoning for the opportunistic rampage of the trauma of the surgery on neighboring organs. She gave me excellent advice on how to deal with this rampage of the trauma. Perfect. But this is another wait and see how it goes event. This might bring on other surgeries. Last night was… how to say?… difficult. But we’ll see. She invited me to make another appointment and just cancel if necessary, but I didn’t take that opportunity, wanting to be optimistic.
- Finally, as long as I was already cut open (and this is a benefit of open surgery vs laparoscopic), two tumors, one fibrous and the other insanely cell-multiplying, quite a bit larger than what might otherwise be seen, were successfully excised. I love that altogether. Go in for one thing and have others, unknown to have existed, now already fixed. Can’t get better than that. I’m so happy to have opted for the epidural over against general anesthesia.
Thanks to all doctors, nurses, office staff. As I say, they were all happy, respectful, professional, great attitudes, are actually interested in the patient. That goes a long way with me. An epic “Day Off”.
And then, the best part of all, was the nice lady who takes $3.00 for the parking ramp on the way out. She asked how I was. I said I was really doing well, that at my post-op visit just now I was told that two tumors no one knew were there were taken out successfully, besides the surgery I had gone in for also being successful. She was so happy for me, saying that that made here day, and that therefore the $3.00 fee was on her. I thanked her also for that wonderful moment of shared joy. That was a perfect gift for my journey back to slay The Dragon one more time. Happy happy.