When I last left you at the end of “My Date With The Electro-Physiologist, Part 1”, I had thrown out the idea that I was having a “helmet fire” as they were rolling me out of my cubicle and down the L-O-N-G hallway to the elevator.
For those of you who are have a difficult time comprehending the concept of having a “helmet fire”, I will try to help you understand that concept of feeling. A “helmet fire” has no conscience or internal clock, it can happen at any time, at any place! But my “helmet fire” was occurring on the gurney, on the L-O-N-G hallway to the elevators. It was happening as I was leaving my family and friends for, what I perceived, could be the very last time! The fear of the unknown that lay ahead of me at the end of the gurney ride, the thought that something could happen during the four hour procedure of probing my heart, a heart attack, a stroke, and the worse side effect of this procedure……death, was causing my emotions and my intellectual thoughts to call each other out and begin an “old fashioned, blue collar, bar fight” inside my head! It was totally out of control! That my friends, is just one example of what a “helmet fire” might be or feel like inside your brain!
However, by the time I had gotten into the surgery room, the “helmet fire police” had arrived inside my heard and arrested all those involved in the “helmet fire” and carted them off in the “paddywagon”! But now the fear of the unknown had taken over and things got real serious. The surgery nurses, both men, had arrived in the room. Their first point of business was to gather up all the patches, probes, and the electrical connectors that was going to be used in this highly computerized and electrical exploration expedition into the sanctuary I call my heart.
It took them more than 30 minutes to put the required patches on my chest and back in the appropriate places, place the probes in the designated areas fore and aft, and then attach all the wires that would provide the vital information to the many computer screens that were above the surgery table. During this “hook up” process the nurses obviously noticed that I was shaking in my boots, even though the only thing that I had on was that “designer gown” I described in Part 1.
One of them asked me what kind of music that I like. I replied that my music runs the gamut from Alabama, ZZ Top, Merle Haggard, The Beatles, The Eagles, Lynard Skynard, Brad Paisley, and many points in between! “My music tastes might be called eclectic”, I added! He replied that I would most likely enjoy what he was cranking up. Well he was right, over the speakers came a little southern rock band from Jacksonville, FL that you all may have heard over the years…….Lynard Skynard singing “Sweet Home Alabama” followed up by “What’s Your Name, Little Girl”!
As this long, painstaking pre-surgery procedure was culminating and the team was ready to rock and roll, my doctor strolled in and greeted me with this phrase, “Good morning Captain how are you doing? We are ready, how about you? ” I replied, obviously in a apprehensive sort of way, that I was indeed ready to get this over. The anaesthetist had taken up his position next to my right arm, briefed me on what to expect, and set a mask on my face with the consoling words that this will start to relax you now, Captain. He was right I could feel the soothing affects of the anesthesia, along with Lynard Skynard’s tune “Free Byrd” I was fading.
The last thing that I remember were these words from the stereo system:
If I leave here tomorrow
Would you still remember me?
For I must be traveling on, now
‘Cause there’s too many places
I’ve got to see
Off to Happy Valley, USA I went!
Stay tuned there is more to come in Part 3!