Friday, August 19, 2016

What Is That Thing?

So I'm out of surgery, shipped down to recovery. As I slowly regain consciousness, I'm having this weird delusion. Rather than being in a hospital bed, I am convinced that I'm in my test lab, running test procedures on a torpedo component. The nurse asks me how I'm doing, I point out that the power inputs are out of tolerance.

"Um, what?"

"I'm tolerable," I say, "just sore."

Other than giving me a funny look, she moved on with her tasks. Vitals okay, I'm good to go to my room. They wheeled me to the elevator, in, up, out, down another corridor and I'm docked. IV drip doing its thing and...

"So where is the magic button?"

"Magic button?"

"Yes, for the pain meds."

"Um no. If you need pain meds, buzz your nurse."


No self-medicating this time around. Bummer dude.

Now those two things in the photo. The one on the right is the "Coach". As deep breathing helps in the healing process, the Coach is used. There's a piston and a float, the idea is to get the float in the "happy zone," denoted by a smiley face, driving the piston up to the desired mark.

Now I used one of these last year, still have it as a matter of fact, still use it from time to time. So I'm lying there, blowing into the tube. Nothing was happening, so I remark upon this to one of the CNAs. He fiddles with it, has me blow into it and he agrees, it's busted. At which point my nurse, Amanda, turns around, makes one of those faces (guys, you know what i mean) and points out, you suck on the tube, not blow, it's not a breathalyzer.

At which point I ask for the pen the surgeon used to mark where he needed to cut.

"What do you need that for?" queried Nurse Amanda.

"Well, I reckon I would just write 'idiot' on my forehead so y'all would know right away. Ya know, instead of having to guess."

Okay, Amanda grinned. So my ability to amuse the fairer sex remains intact.

Now that item on the left is a urinal. No, really that's what they call it.

Anyhoo, rather than bore you with the gruesome details of its use, let's just say that later in the day, I discovered that the sumbitch leaked.

Well, the CNA didn't believe me at first. Took me for a sloppy old barsteward she did. Chagrined, I watched her depart to empty the device. When she returned she indicated that she would have to get me a new one.

"This one leaks."

Why yes, yes it does.

Important note - never confuse the two.



  1. My "helper" that I use on camping trips is well marked and wrapped with 1/2" of duct tape. Not going to mistake it for anything else than what it is.

  2. Did you have any medicinally induced insights into the problems with the MK 14?

    This blogging from the hospital bed is impressive.

    Both of those units are made by lowest bidders to government contract specifications. So you've got a spare if the replacement leaks.

    Hopefully you're home by the time you read this and enjoying freedom.

    1. Depth control was bad. Magnetic pistol was faulty. :)

      Blogging from a cellphone is challenging to say the least.

      Haven't been cut loose yet, but it's still early.

  3. Wishing you a speedy recovery. Looking at the bright side, you are in no condition to pull weeds.

    1. I hadn't thought of that. That's an upside for sure.

  4. Blogging from anything without a "normal" keyboard isn't a whole lot of fun
    Feel better, soon

  5. Glad it went well and hope you're out and about shortly.

  6. My best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery.

    Paul L. Quandt

  7. Get out of there! Don't you realize how dangerous it is to be in a hospital? People die there. Run!

    1. Went over the wire Saturday afternoon. Managed to E & E successfully and am now convalescing in the bosom of my family.


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