1 April 2011. I’m trying to beat a self-imposed but important deadline with The Proteant Enigmass. A few people have said they’d like to see the working ms., but I’m waiting till I get to a certain point in the story so they can get a better sense of what I’m trying to do. And I’d really, really like to do that before Tuesday’s operation. (As it stands, no one has seen any part of this thing, and I need to know soon how much of a fool’s errand I’ve been on, maybe leaving enough time in this life to go back to writing something more conventional. Perhaps an account of my gradual revision and, possibly, eventual erosion by way of minor surgical procedures.
7 April 2011. I’m amazed at what modern surgery is capable of. Two days ago I had an operation for a ventral hernia, where the surgeon installed a roughly 25x20cm patch of synthetic mesh between my innermost abdominal muscles and my internal organs. He did this thing arthroscopically (laparoscopically, to be more precise), using a fiberoptic video camera, a sonic scalpel, a wee gripper on a stick, and a cross between a riveter and a staple gun to tack the patch to the muscles with spiral bits of titanium. The surgical procedure itself took about 10 minutes; another 50 minutes were spent in trying to insert the patch, which the doc said was unusually large, and which they had to keep re-rolling and trying to poke into place.
I have a brilliant CD of the internal scenes in magnificently gory color with my small intestines and some other stuff providing scenic background. Who knew these things could be such fun. (I’ve decided to deny visitors the pleasure of viewing this film, instead including a way-less dramatic image from the Web.)
I asked why they couldn’t use Mylar for the patch, thereby rendering me more invulnerable than I am to knife wounds and suchlike. If ever I give up the writing game, I may cross over into medical engineering.
Anyway, they sent me home yesterday and, today, I’m sitting quite comfortably at my computer, pretending to work. In six weeks, I’m told, I can go back to cross-his-heart-and-hope-to-die full-on living, including whatever practices it may have been that gave me the hernia in the first place.
I’m sort of hoping, though, that this is the last episode for some time to come in the ongoing saga of my surgical revision.