Author: Judd, Brooks

Ten Items or Fewer

Item 1: Cataract surgery: It is amazing what modern medicine is capable of accomplishing. It is 5:55 a.m.and Sheila is driving me the one mile to our local surgical center in Turlock for my 6 a.m. appt.I sign in. At 6:30, I am having my blood pressure, pulse, and temperature taken. At 6:45, I am undressed,and begin to don a pale blue surgical gown.A few minutes later the smiling friendly nurse enters the room and hands me a warm blanket to cover me and at 7 a.m. she carefully inserts an IV into the back of my hand.She then marks an X with two strips of tape above my left eye as a safety measure so the doctor doesn’t operate on the wrong eye. “You can’t be too careful,” she assures me.

By 7:10, A smiling, Dr. Ash confidently makes his way into the cubicle, says hello and asks me what eye “we” are having surgery on? (I couldn’t help replying, “You’re the doctor, don’t you know?”} and he asks me to verify my name and date of birth.I answer both questions correctly and then slyly point to the X marked above my left eye. He smiles at me and says,“Let’s go.”
In a couple of minutes I feel the icy cold Versed oozing through the IV and the next thing I know it is 8:00.I am talking to Sheila in the recovery room and preparing to go home. My left eye that was at 20/85(with glasses) vision before surgery is now 20/25(without glasses). Next week I will have the right eye done and glasses (except for reading) will no longer be needed.

Modern medicine. My father had cataract surgery done in the early 80’s and I believe he was in the hospital for two days or more. I was in the surgical center for 2 1/2 hours.

Item 2: My eyesight has always been poor. Without my glasses I am unable to see the Big E on the eye chart let alone the eye chart itself. Because of very poor uncorrected eyesight I don’t think I have ever taken a shower and been able to read the name on the bar of soap I was using.

In high school every teen’s nightmare became a reality when we all had to take that dreaded first shower after PE. It wasn’t so bad for me because I truly felt that since I was unable to see myself let alone anyone else it made some sort of weird 15 year old logic that no one could see me.That worked just fine. As for my fellow students who were blessed with better eyesight than me I do apologize for what you may have thought was some mystical reincarnation of Mr. Magoo desperately looking around the steam shrouded shower stalls trying to locate his locker.

Item 3: Speaking of all kinds of doctors and nurses. A few years back I had minor surgery done on my foot and I was instructed that I needed to make a trip to Kaiser in Modesto to meet with the anesthesiologist.I signed in at the desk and in a few minutes my name was called.I was led to a small room. A few minutes later the anesthesiologist came in holding the ever present clip board.He sat down, flipped through a few pages on his clipboard and without making eye contact said in a monotone drone, “John, besides being quite obese do you have any questions for me?” “Yes.How long have you been a complete and utter tactless ^#%@^@%?”

Item 4: Not to belabor this issue because I have had excellent luck in all the many procedures I have had at the local hospitals over the past years, there have been times when I wondered where the nurses or doctors might have received their bedside manner training.

Having a cancerous prostate removed was a painful procedure especially with the two large IV tubes painfully poking out from my stomach after surgery. At times the pain became quite unbearable.I called for the nurse and explained to her how uncomfortable I was, that my stomach was on fire and I needed some relief. She patted my arm and in her best Nurse Ratched voice said, “We gave you your pain shot two hours ago.You have to wait four more hours before you can have your next injection.” I looked at her and pleaded my case. “It hurts like hell!” She smiled and said. “That’s why they call it pain.” I realized she did not intend to help me so I asked her if she could roust up a couple of bullets for me to grind down on.

Item 5: Basketball. My beloved Uncle John Sr.from Tracy (father of Asst. DA John Goulart,Jr.) celebrated his 91first birthday a couple of months ago.I love the man and he has an interesting take on basketball games. He opines, “Give each team 100 points and then set the clock for the final two minutes of the game.” If you have ever witnessed the final two minutes of a basketball game you know those two minutes can stretch to 20 minutes or more. I think Uncle John is on to something.

Item 6: Spring.The wait is over and the blossoms are blooming.”Play Ball!” Those wondrous words ring out and all is right with the world.Mr.Cub,Hall of Fame great Mr.Ernie Banks looked up at an aqua blue spring sky to see white wispy clouds being nudged by a warm zephyr like breeze and painted his famous verbal masterpiece, “It’s a great day for a ball game. Let’s play two.” Thank you Mr. Cub.

Item 6: Hockey.Here’s an idea.Use two pucks.

Item 7: Happy Glorious Easter to all of you.

Until May: Read a book, hug a child,pet a dog,stroke a cat, and eat a bar of chocolate.The Golden Rule? It’s golden for a reason.Try it out.The rewards can be amazing.
Posted:  4/4/2014

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