• It’s “stefano”, not “angio”, stupid!

    by  • 1 March, 2005 • General • 0 Comments

    I didn’t sleep well at all. The roll of toilet paper they had tightly strapped to my right groin was hurting all night. The nurse had explained that it was necessary, to make sure that the vein in my groin would close completely. A good thing they will take it away in a couple of hours. I want to take a shower too. They’ve been pretty messy with the blood and I’m covered with it from half-way up my thigh up to my hip bone.

    For those who “drop in” in March, maybe you should go back to February first to understand where this started.

    Last night around 9 o’clock, one of the “transporter nurses” (as I call them, they only do transports of patients) came to get me and wheeled the bed halfway throught the province of Iraklio to end up in some dungeon-like dimly lit space underground with a lot of machinery. It struck me that there wasn’t a single female nurse or doctor in sight. This was a men’s world. The men operating these machines were friendly though and I even got the impression that they tried to put me at ease. They were joking all the time while bringing all this “gear” in position. I cannot even start to describe what it was, it was so overwhelming. There was some kind of table on which I was stretched out and then there were several steel arms, hinging on other arms that were attached to thick steel beams running from floor to ceiling and from wall to wall. At the end of these arms there were various devices in size ranging from a solid microwave oven to a table fridge. These things were positioned around me and above me, and on the wall I could see a couple of monitors which were kept in view. It had a distinct “Deep Space Nine” feeling to it, but at a more primitive level.

    When all this gear was put in place the “guys” shouted to the backroom that they were ready and started packing themselves into lead-filled clothes and helmets. I swear I thought I was going to be used for one of the Dominion‘s dirty experiments. Another guy, more mature, came out of the backroom and presented himself to me as the doctor who was going to carry out the operation. He spoke perfect English. “Operation?” I inquired with a weak voice. “I’m not here for an operation, I’m here for an angiography.” He laughed my obviously visible fears away. “Technically speaking, it is a ‘stefanography’, but for all practical reasons, it’s the same, and we call that ‘an operation’ here.” I wasn’t certain that I found that more reassuring. While the doctor put on the same triple-layer lead-reinforced harness as his collegues, he explained what he was going to do and how I would be able to follow everything on the monitors on the wall if I wanted to. But if I preferred to close my eyes and doze away, that would be perfectly fine with him too.

    Somehow he did manage to make me feel calmer and I decide to sit the ride out and enjoy the show on the two monitors. It was fascinating. I avoided looking at my groin when he slit open the vein there — I knew there was a lot of blood, because I saw him grabbing a lot of cotton to keep it a little bit tidy — and instead I concentrated on the monitor. I could clearly see a long thin tube being inserted into my vein and, by the doctor’s manipulations at the other end that was sticking out of my groin, seeking it’s way up through my veins towards my heart. While progressing there was some colored fluid coming out of the end of the tube. I asked what it was for and I got a very decent explanantion which I promptly forgot out of pure nervousness. My eyes were glued to the monitors where in the meantime I could see the end of the tube approaching my pulsating heart and it was touching to the point of crying to see my little heart doing it’s best to keep up a brave posture in the face of the impending attack by this alien entity.

    Meanwhile, at the lower end of my visual spectrum, the doctor was busy manipulating the other extreme of the tube where it was sticking out of my groin, and he had a satisfeid grim on his face. Apparently things were going according to plan. One of the assistants (who didn’t speak English, by the way) asked if I liked rakí. I was immediately alarmed. Why this question and why now? What was going to happen that needed distracting my attention? It turned out to be an inside joke, always forwarded at this point of the procedure. The doctor cut in and explained that it was almost over now, and that I would very shortly feel a hot sensation taking over my body. It was something he was going to inject directly into the bloodstream and was comparable to feeling the rakí going through your body on a cold winter evening. Only more intense.

    Yeah, like a hundred times more intense! Even though forwarned it caught me completely by surprise. I can not even begin to describe it, but in intensity it is very close to an orgasm. It’s nothing like that, of course, just the intensity is comparable. It’s like a wave of heat that rolls through your body, in places where you didn’t know anything could come. It let’s you feel every little detail of your body. It’s an amazing experience, and I wouldn’t mind re-living it if it would be possible without opening my vein in the groin.

    The heat wave only lasted a second or two. Then the doctor was already slowly retracting the tube, creating a even more bloody mess in my groin, judging from the packs of cotton he kept grabbing. I could still follow every move of the tube on the monitor. Finally the doctor started wiping off some of the blood and pressing a roll the size of a roll of toilet paper on top of the cotton. Holding that firmly in place he then proceeded with the help of one of the assistants to tie a bandage around me so thight I though he wanted to cut off a limb. With that done I was quickly lifted and smacked onto the stretcher I was transported with and pushed out in the hallway. Which was pitch dark, but that didn’t seem to trigger anything with the assistant who put me there. When I asked for some light he said “don’t worry, someone will come and get you any minute now”.

    Five minutes later someone came and brought me back to my room, one stefanography richer.

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