Is this the right time for this?
I had a stroke, went down for a few seconds finding I had lost the feeling in my left arm and fingers. Went to local emergency where they did a MRI and sent me to Methodist downtown, one of the top neuro hospitals in the world. As I was able to walk my wife drove me to the check in at Methodist. The checkin was behind a long wall of glass. As I was filling things out at the counter suddenly the Men in Black appeared coming toward the glass door followed by the grey haired enforcer. They horsed me off to the side while Barbara took command of the counter. I was a few feet from her and waited thinking what with W’s numbers in the 20’s I should at least say, “Hey, about your boy.” But my wife could see it coming and kicked me hard.
Soon I was down in the pre op basement in one of those curtained off rooms in a paper gown open in the back. I was signing stuff on a clipboard and needed my reading glasses which my wife handed me from her purse. Chance of death was up at 30% rather than the standard 15%. This was going to be an experimental operation by two special neurosurgeons from somewhere in slavic Europe. It was the first time anyone went down so deep into the brain.
Soon The Men in Black appeared outside my open room, they leaned against walls playing with their smart phones. Mrs Bush was in the room next to me. Soon she appeared out in the corridor in a wheel chair just sitting. After I signed the documents the nurse told me to go take a leak before the operation. I tipped the glasses to the top of my head and walked out, nodded to Barb, turned away and about 15 away jerked my glasses off my head, and bent over to pick them off and went on my way. When I returned she was still in place and as I turned into my room she game me a little head shake and a wry smile of anoyance. I did it and she knew it.
I woke in ICU to one of the surgeons telling me the words you want most to hear, BEST POSSIBLE OUTCOME. Cleared and no stent needed. Coming to I made endless jokes about I SEE YOU! DO YOU SEE ME? They shut me up when they pulled that long endless tube out of my we-we. I can’t say it hurt, but OMG it was like having a slithering wet snake pulled out of your craw causing a whole body shutter.
A few weeks later I went back for a followup with Dr Chang who was head of neurosurgery for both Methodist and Baylor.
I told him that I had been Googling and to find I only have 2 years to live. He laughed. He said if I take my Crestor, Hyzaar and Plavix every day for the rest of my life I will live just as long as anyone else. That the statistics were flawed because our healthcare system means a good share of stroke patients do not take their meds because they cannot afford it.
That from perhaps the smartest man in the world. So I take my meds everyday and have had no issues since. With my wife’s insurance and now Medicare with Cigna Healthspring HMO I pay about $40 for 90 days for all three. Without insurance it would be about $1000 a month.
Residual issue is a small area of no feelings on the inside of my left forearm. Which I use for nothing. Good spot for a tattoo hey? Wife’s insurance paid 100% of the $300,000 bill.