OK, some back story to the title. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in May, and had surgery to remove the offending gland on August 1. I’m lucky, it was caught early enough that it hadn’t spread. I’ll be fine. Something’s going to get me, but it won’t be that.
The surgery was done with a Da Vinci robot, controlled by the doctor. The thing looks like a giant spider, poised above the operating table. There are only five small incisions that are mostly healed by now. I was discharged the next day. Amazing. Fifteen-twenty years ago, this was a major operation, requiring four nights in hospital and a month-long recovery or more. For me, two weeks after the procedure, I’m at about 85-90%, and getting better by the day.
They still had to insert a catheter so the stitched-back-together urethra could heal. I lived with that for a bit more than a week, and it was time to remove it on Wednesday.
That’s where the title for this post comes in. We had to go back down to Saginaw to have the catheter removed. While the nurse practitioner was prepping me, she said, “When I tell you, just pretend you’re alone with Hillary Clinton in an elevator and bear down like you’re about to rip a big nasty one.” Or words to that effect.
(So, looking at me, she assumed I was well, not a Democrat. COVID interrupted my haircuts, so now I tie it back in a tail. I’m also a little scruffy, needing a shave. Hey, I’m retired, I don’t have to conform any more. But I do blend right in, up here in northern Michigan..)
Well, I gave her a somewhat confused look and said that I’d try to hold it in and get off at the next available floor before letting it go. She replied, “But it’s Hillary Clinton with you.”
Now, this woman was about to extract an uncomfortably long 3/8” diameter tube from a place that it doesn’t naturally belong. Some tact on my part was called for. So I responded, still playing dumb, “Why would I even be in an elevator with Hillary Clinton?”
At this point, she gave it up and said “All right, just bear down when I tell you.” The extraction proceeded without incident.
HRC will probably never again run for office. Yet, after six long years, and there’s still the hate out there. Wow. But I had some fun messing with that nurse’s head, so I got that going for me!
Finally, with Medicare and our supplemental coverage, our out-of-pocket costs for all this will be maybe a hundred or two hundred bucks. Let’s compare that with the Ford salaried retiree health insurance we had before. Under the old (and despised) Ford plan, our monthly payments were higher than they are now, and this procedure would have cost us some $7500 before they paid anything. Over the two years we endured under that iteration of the Ford health ”benefit” plan, our out-of-pocket expenses amounted to about $12,000 per year. Along with the higher monthly premium costs.. Keep in mind, I had retired from a “good” job. And yet, so many people still think employer-provided health insurance is better than the alternative of something like Medicare for everyone. Sigh..
Keep it safe!