The benefit of an idiot friend

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Astro

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 26, 2019
Messages
93
Location
Adelaide, Australia
Recently I told my best friend that it is likely that I’ll need open heart surgery for an aortic valve replacement within the next 6 months. I’m a 45 year old guy with 3 kids and a leaky bicuspid aortic valve. Rather than receiving the expected response, “That’s no good mate”. My friend said that he had seen a video of open heart surgery,
“They get a bandsaw and go ‘zzzzzzz’ down your sternum” - accompanied by a sawing gesture in the air.
“Then they grab your ribs and go ‘rrrrrrrip’” - accompanied by a separating hands gesture.
“They get a bandsaw and go ‘zzzzzzz” down your sternum”
“Then they grab your ribs and go ‘rrrrrrrip’”
“They get a bandsaw and go ‘zzzzzzz” down your sternum”
“Then they grab your ribs and go ‘rrrrrrrip’”
He repeated over and over agin, each with full demonstration in the air.

I couldn’t help but laugh. Each time I saw him that evening, he repeated it again and I’ll start laughing again.

While I feel more than a bit apprehensive about the next few months, I find it really helpful to think about my friend’s demonstration. I still laugh whenever I think about it. It is hard to feel too down when you have a laugh.

I’m very grateful to have an idiot best friend.
 

Protimenow

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Aug 10, 2010
Messages
3,031
Location
California
Actually, it's more like a reciprocating saw.....and then they go rrrrip.

That's a good story. You'll probably keep thinking about until they put the mask on your face and put you out. (They may wonder why you're laughing all the way to the gas...)
 

Keithl

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Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
279
Ha, I was the guy when it told people what I was getting was then telling them they were going to use a buzzsaw, burn open my chest then rip apart my ribs and they were all like eewww....
 

Protimenow

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Joined
Aug 10, 2010
Messages
3,031
Location
California
And it used to be, when you told people you were going to have heart surgery, they seemed to conclude that you were getting some kind of bypass. Now, perhaps, they know enough to ask 'what kind of heart surgery?'

Of course, for many of us it may be hard to admit that you were born with a defect. (And this gives way to a predictable punchline from the people hearing it).
 

gerrychuck

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Joined
Nov 17, 2012
Messages
187
Location
Moose Jaw, SK, Canada
On the more serious side of this issue, visualizing that whole process as described by the idiot friend is the one thing my kids had problems with when my surgery happened very unexpectedly and dramatically 7 years ago. My military pilot son told my wife that was the one place he just couldn't go mentally as they were waiting through my surgery and afterward, and trust me, he (and his wife, and my younger son, and my wife) were all absolute rocks through those days otherwise. For myself, it doesn't bother me to think about it, but it doesn't seem real either, despite the zipper down my chest. The mind is a funny thing!
 

Paleowoman

VR.org Supporter
VR.org Supporter
Joined
Jun 14, 2010
Messages
2,674
Location
Surrey, UK
Before I had OHS I imagined my chest being opened something a bit like is shown in the film Alien. Ribs raised up and spread open. Then last year I saw a whole OHS live on UK television - saw how actually it was not nearly so dramatic - the saw was very quick down the sternum, very quick, and then a retractor just moved the two sides of the sternum apart so the surgeon could reach the heart, through quite a small space really - it didn't seem like the ribs were raised as I'd imagined ! Of course we know, from how it feels post surgery, that the ribs do hurt and the muscles do hurt, even the shoulders hurt as everything is connected (huh, mine still hurt over five years later) but it isn't so dramatic.
 

Jennie

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 11, 2001
Messages
240
Location
near Washington, DC
This had me laughing!!! I called it my "Slice and Dice" - breaking me open like a Maryland crab! And my "valve job". 17 years later, I still can't read the full surgery report. I bail about a few sentences in, it's too graphic.... I can't watch these things on TV either.
 

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