“Fricking Lasers”

Sharks*, with Fricking Lasers!

The phrase used on paper was RF – but words used out loud were Laser. My reading around suggests RF, LASER or cryogenic means are possible. The outcome is the same…. burnification – resulting in scar tissue. Scar tissue insulates. Problems go away. Persistence in referring to the Oesophagus as “Food Pipe” (which had me “I am sorry what?” a few times…. in a ‘open up here comes the aeroplane spoon neeoooowww’ level of “did they just say that?”) had me suffering further flashbacks to other things I really need to let go like Mr Stevens** and Gravity being 10ms^2 in the second year. My mind really is all over the place.

They think I am shaking because I am afraid – well yes – I am Christ – I expected to be put out before seeing the venue as it where…. but no – this is actually it….. I am shaking because it is Baltic in here. The room I walked into, in my slippers and wonderous arseless-back-to-front-cape-of-submission is not some room of tech… it is super apparent now that this is the real deal. The whole gig has been leading up to this room, off of a corridor, with a tonne of wiring, screens, hardware, desks, computers, wow…. if I wasn’t shitting myself then this would be FACINATING.

A moment of clarity finds me going back to the ‘please sign this paperwork chat’ key points. Groin – although not entirely sure where….. that’s a pretty big and 3D space…. there was vein not artery (answering one my questions) – into top right chamber – through the septum wall (solving my other query) – and about half an hour of laser – taking super care not to burn your food pipe (*mutter*) which sits directly behind the back wall.

Brain skips again.

“Is light a radio frequency, or is radio slower wavelengths of light”. I wonder where one stops and one begins? There are lights that you cannot see, Ultra, Infra… so its not that…” My mind raced desperately trying to drown out the reality that I would be completely in these peoples hands within the next few minutes.

The background noise buzzed away as I went through the questions infront of me on a giant quizz-show-sized touch screen…. my game show host noteably in scrubs, and there did not appear to be prizes for the questions going on.

I snap back to the minor army of people now milling around me. Weaving cables to and from the various sensors I appear to have been festooned with since finding myself parked here.

A voice was directed to me again as opposed to the others running through something almost pre flight check list…. back to the clear and present.

“Lay back if you could.”

“Can you straighten your shoulders up over your hips – it makes the picture straighter for us? Thank you.”

“Sorry these stickers are cold – they have metal in them”

There are a lot, no, there REALLY are a lot, some are going to be for 3D mapping of the catheters, some are going to be ECG, and the reassurance of the ones now being jelled to my head is to check that I am properly asleep not just immobile and screaming. Drop that image – adopt something slightly more Wierd Science…. no hang on – its going all Borg now… distract – distract – look at those air conditioning vents… I wonder if they are filtered?

No one here is talking about TV last night, or the weather, everyone is very much on the case.   “… how many people are there here, there seem like a lot?”

“There are ten right now, but can be more, probably twelve.”

The lady to the left of my shoulder in glasses replies – she stands under a bank of what must be 8 screens arcing around above me ahead of clearly where the surgeon is going to dive in.

Okay – fine, wow they are all very busy. It is COLD in here, and I am laying on a blanket with all the charm of the ‘have I pooed myself’ heated seats…. good god… don’t let me poo myself… in fact – let’s keep farting to a minimum too… Jesus – do you far while you are under a general? Noooo. My mind is now racing.

“You are receiving some chemicals that will make you feel a little happy drunk”

… the more familiar face of the lead-clad anaesthetist looms into view to my right. He amuses. I am shaking a little less now. He has a comedy sized syringe in his hand full of what I assume is not Copydex. He seems amused, I am amused, I am shivering less… as I notice his colourful neckerchief – which I guess is an attempt at brightening up his thyroid shielding – elements of FallOut world flash through my mind.

“I am giving you some now to put you to sleep”

… nice, thanks, there are a lot of people here. Wow.

I can feel it going up my arm – not stinging as he suggested, but noticeably colder than the rest of me…. I wonder why they don’t warm it up. There is no ‘can you count back from ten’ for me to fight against and fail – simply the moment akin to the carpeted sinking into the floor of Trainspotting.

“Ahhh – there we are. Sleepy time.”

… I think I matter to spit out as he moves away from me into the shade. No relaxation, just a moment to notice the sensation and then the broadcast ends without struggle, option, or loss.

My work here is done – I am now very very firmly in the hands of these people.

Sleep. Thoughtless. Memoryless. Dreamless Sleep.

> wait

...time passes



*No Sharks were harmed in the fixing of my heart.

** Mr Stevens I randomly met on holiday in Norway of all places – no longer a physics teacher – now an accomplished photographer and videographer. The fact that on introducing myself he remembered me…. does not bode well some 33 years on.

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