Wednesday, October 29, 2008

No More Advice, Period.

“Why so glum?” I asked.

“I have my period,” she replied.

“No you don’t,” I said confidently. “Three years ago your doctor said they would end within a year. Lettuce see: three years minus one year equals two years of period-freeness.”

“I have my period,” she replied.

“Well then, maybe you should go back to the doctor and have a Pabst beer,” I suggested.

“A pap smear, you dumb shit,” she said glumly.

You dumb shit. Harumph. That’s the last time I’m going to give helpful medical advice.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Review: Scheisshaus Luck, by Pierre Berg

LibraryThing Early Reviewers

In the Preface to his story, Pierre Berg writes, “All I can give you, I hope . . . is an understanding of what it was like to be an able-bodied teenager torn from family, friends, and home, tossed into a Nazi death camp, and nearly reduced to what the Nazis considered all of us who were tattooed, . . . subhuman.”

Berg, an eighteen-year-old French Gentile, carries through on his promise, taking the reader through the Grand Guignol Theatre of the Real. He does not philosophize, call on God for help (he is an atheist), or attempt to reason out the reasons for the Holocaust. Rather, he credits his survival to scheisshaus luck—shithouse in English—and I believe he was right.

Berg’s arrest by a suspicious Gestapo officer led to a designation of political prisoner and a trip to Auschwitz III-Monowitz—a labor camp for the gigantic I.G. Farben chemical factories. While Monowitz had no ovens, hundreds of prisoners died from the back breaking work, exposure to the freezing cold and wind, severe malnutrition, disease, bullets to the head, and hanging for minor infractions. The bodies were loaded onto trucks and sent to Auschwitz II-Birkenau’s crematoriums, the ashes then used to fertilize the Polish cabbage fields.

Berg made it through an eighteen-month odyssey through hell using his wits, his ability to speak four or five languages, and scheisshaus luck. Two years after his liberation, he wrote his story while it was still fresh in his mind. In 2001, more than fifty years after the fact, Berg met his co-writer Brian Brock in the Cannon Theatre in Beverly Hills. Berg was an usher, Brock was at the concession stand, and I wonder: was it scheisshaus luck that brought these two employees together? Their goal was to preserve the voice of a young Berg and they did it successfully.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Potty Problems, The Sequel

[Read Potty Problems first.]

Y’all (or most of y’all) will be happy (or mostly happy) to know that I’m still alive (or mostly alive) after yesterday’s procedure. This should be good news to Kim Ayres, who won’t have to bother sending me one of his “I’m sorry you’re dead” greeting cards.

I am also proud to announce that I did not utter even one blood-curdling scream during the hour I was abed in Doctor Potty’s little chamber of horrors.

“You have a high tolerance for pain,” the assistant said.

Yes, yes I do,” I concurred. “I’ve survived 11 years of Catholic school, 3 years in the Army, 7 years in college, and 35 years of marriage. I know all there is to know about pain.”

No I don’t. I’ve never had to birth a bowling ball through a golf ball-size opening. I’ve never been tortured by any entity of the U.S. Government (yet). Most of all, I have no form of excruciatingly painful cancer, the kind of pain that never stops.

So overall, I’m in pretty good shape piddle-wise. There isn’t any change in my symptoms yet because everything down there is swollen and needs to heal, but by Inauguration Day I should be ready for a good old-fashioned pissing-for-distance contest . . .

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Potty Problems

Tomorrow morning (Friday the 17th), at 11:45, I am to report to my urologist, Doctor Potty, to have a TUMT for my BPH.

Naw, too acronymish. I sound like someone from the Dept. of Homeland Insecurity.

I’ll try it again. I am to report to my urologist, Doctor Potty, to have Trans Urethral Microwave Thermotherapy for my Benign Prostatic Hyperlplase.

How’s that? Yeah, way too doctorish.

Okay, okay, I’ll say it in English, but don’t get angry at me if you’re squeamish. As far as I’m concerned, there aren’t enough good squeams around anymore and they’re good for you—they make you appreciate that it is I and not you going through this shit.

In a nutshell (har) my prostate gland, which is normally the size of a walnut, is now the size of a golf ball. The larger it gets the harder (har) it is to pee; the prostate, you see, is choking the crap out of my urethra, so the best I can do is dribble a little at a time. Very little, and about a hundred times a day (and night). Well, not a hundred, but enough to be a real pain in the ass (har).

So the Doc and his assistant are going to burn a bunch of tissue off the prostate with microwaves, thus making it possible to pee normally again. The Assistant
Isn’t that something? Boy, I can hardly wait: they’re going to stick a catheter, the microwave probe, and a balloon up my schwantz, while a camera is going up my rectal area so they can see what the hell they’re doing. The balloon? Well, that’s a high-tech safety valve: if there’s too much heat it’ll bust.

Huh. I wonder who’s going to blow up the safety valve.

Just a little more FYI. They only use local anesthetics because I have to be awake to detect pain. The first local is the fun one: right on the tip of my aforementioned schwantz so the roadies can move all the equipment into my bladder. And don’t forget the enema I have to do in the privacy of my own bathroom; without one, I suspect they may get some pretty shitty pictures on their camera.

At least the post-op poop sheet they gave me is encouraging. The very first line says, verbatim:

Expect to get worse before you get better!

What a kidder that Doc Potty is.

It also says no sex for two weeks or more. I will bet the last 15¢ in Martha’s retirement fund that she doesn’t have one headache for the next two weeks or more.

But the hell with Martha and sex and blood and catheters and all the rest of it because I want my mommy.

[Continue to Potty Problems, the Sequel.]