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(The Doors reference)

“I told you so!”  08/01/08 (Part 1):

I was required, requested, ordered, whatever the proper word is, I am not sure: let us agree that I was invited back to the Advanced Imaging joint in the morning, as mentioned above, for a PVL. And because Mama Bear was there, I made it on time. I limped into the Advanced Imaging joint and gave them the paperwork from the night before and, as mentioned previously, knowing that my case was not serious, just knew that I would be there all day …in the waiting room.

Surprisingly, they called me back pretty quickly.

The nurse was young and blonde and pretty (I was in love.)

And I was getting the PVL, whatever that was. I knew that it meant they would be doing an ultrasound, but I did not realize that they, meaning my new love, would be doing my entire leg. And so I wore the black boxers with the little red devils on them with the red pitchforks and the repeated phrasing of “I’m a little Devil” in red all over the place. Hey! They brought me luck the last time I was in the hospital, when they were presented to me as a Valentine’s Day gift by my wife, and I thought they might do the same on this day.

Some of my sports upbringing, the superstitious part, I guess, remains intact.

She said I could get undressed, which surprised me, too, since I assumed they (meaning my new found love) would be looking just at the lower half of my leg, where the swelling and the pain were (insert Viagra jokes here, if you must, although it distracts from the narrative :)). But I am compliant when it comes to women telling me to undress, and that is what I did, although I must admit, I started to pull down the trou, (that’s cool talk for trousers … or used to be, hard for me to keep up :)) and when she didn’t leave the room, I hesitated, and this went on for a time or two, until she finally left, and I dropped trou and rolled my socks down (did take off shoes, but not shirt) and got into that everlasting fucking robe.

And jumped under the sheet, modest guy that I am when I am away from my computer.

Now, I submit that all of that is pretty strange, re the clothing and the modesty. No matter what cancer you are surviving, there is a good chance that before you are done with it, half of the population of your country is going to see you naked or talk about seeing you naked. It is a rule. Sort of the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, you know, except it’s not his ass but yours?

Why the modesty, in other words, I do not know. Why the modesty, especially when some young lady is there and you should be proud of yourself, if you will. And I AM, trust me, I AM. (A little bit :)) But there it was.

Under the sheets, all alone, my wife out in the waiting room, apparently knowing more about this than I did, and not wanting to watch what happened next, or perhaps not allowed to? I hadn’t considered that before just now. Hmmm.

You see, my new love pulled the sheet away (and therefore saw my red devil undies, for starters, and then placed a towel gently over my genital area (I would like to say she had to call someone for a larger one, but no, the one she had, dish towel-sized, seemed to be adequate, alas!) and then she pushed it up to the very edge of my crotch and curled it underneath the edge of my underwear).

I was nervous at first, of course. I have never taken those enhancement sorts of drugs, for instance, and was not sure if I would be able to represent myself well, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your viewpoint, and I remain ambivalent, although leaning toward unfortunately as time goes by, she stopped at the crease of my leg and my crotch, and then started rubbing gel on me, from top of leg to bottom.

If I was not in love before, that indecision was behind me. Thankfully, not all love leads to immediate erotic displays. That’s all I have to say on the subject. Okay, this, too: once, I had to get massage therapy and, well, I was a bit overactive for that one, let’s just leave it at that.

My new love rolls some gel device down my leg and then starts at the top again (whew, I’m exhausted just thinking about it :)), and starts rolling a wand over the gel, occasionally pushing it inward, which is all good with me.

But when she is done, she says, “We have to take pictures now. Turns out you DO have a blood clot. So I have to do this again and take pictures. Shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes.”

She doesn’t seem as sexy any more :).

And you know how I am about time.

But I am not really worried about time at this point. I’m not. Really. I am worried about escaping through a window rather than going out and facing my wife who said I had a blood clot from 200 miles away. I am looking for avenues of escape, but keeping that thought to myself.

We repeat the procedure, and it goes a bit more slowly, and when she is done she says I have a big one, and normally, after what we have shared together, I would consider that a huge compliment, but I suspect she means something entirely different, and she does.

It seems the blood clot begins above my knee, in the thigh area, and then proceeds south past my knee to my calf.


And she says, “Now we have to do the right leg.” And I ask why because there is nothing wrong over there as far as I can tell and I am wondering if she secretly really likes me, although, sigh, I secretly also know that I am full of it, and she says that it is just procedure, and she does that side, and I should really be enamored by now: more gel, more rubbing, the whole nine yards.

I tell her, in fact, “This is the most fun I’ve had in the last 10 years!” And she chuckles like someone who isn’t really laughing but just being polite, and I add, “But I’m sure you’ve heard that before,” hoping that she doesn’t say, “No, actually 10 years is a new record, you poor slob.”

She doesn’t. Whew!

Turns out I have an isolated smaller clot in the right leg too. Bummer.

Now, I advise her, seriously, I do, I advise her that I will need to escape through a window. She is perplexed (perhaps even afraid?) until I explain my wife’s prediction and how I can’t face it. And she says, well, we have to go back the way you came, because the order is for you to go back to the ER if anything comes back positive.

My life, as I have known it, as I have enjoyed it, is over. Not only am I now a grandfather (which is something I am looking forward to, to be honest, but a life change nonetheless), but I also have to live with a woman who was RIGHT. And not just right, but right in the face of defiance. I’m not sure it could get any worse than that. How could it?

But it does.

I find my wife in the lobby, rather than the waiting room, busily using her cell phone to keep track of the new life of her first grandson and of her daughter and son–in-law and son as well (son having been stuck in the house up in Vienna at some point, (Virginia, not Austria) choosing Wii game practice at the daughter’s house over more hospital crap, and who can blame him?).

I struggle with it, gnashing my teeth, but tell her that she was not only right, but that the clots were in both legs, and she harrumphs, but quietly, since we are in a public place, and I say we have to go back the ER, and we do, and I am thinking, Oh my GOD I will be in this place forever, and then, after checking in, surprisingly, they call me almost immediately, blood clots apparently high on the totem pole, the triage ladder, and I start heading back to the ER area, where the nurse meets me, and the nurse’s first response is “Are you supposed to be walking?”.

This threw me for a moment, as no one had mentioned it could be that serious. But I replied in the obvious: “I AM walking, that’s all I can tell you.” And she laughed and said, “Good answer. Follow me.” I was happy to do so, but this scene was already getting weird. I mean, should I be walking? What is that all about?

Meanwhile, in the background, I can hear “I TOLD YOU SO!” being shouted as clearly as I can hear any voice in the room, and yet, only two of us can hear it, amazingly enough. I choose not to look at my wife and her smug but worried face. I should add that it is not just smug and worried but angry, the anger smoldering well beneath smugness and worry, but there just the same. Just so you know. My time will come. I assure you. Can things get worse?

Oh yes.

I assure you.