“Those two Valium you gave me haven’t kicked in yet,” I told the nurse. “Maybe you had better give me about 12 more.” She laughed and said, “They will.” And damned if she wasn’t right.

Going in for a biopsy on my liver this week – hoping it turns out to be nothing more than the usual flotsam and jetsam which can build up in the oddest places – I consented, once again, to have some sort of needle slid into me and samples withdrawn.


They took eight samples, though the sum total really didn’t seem to amount to all that much. Still, a good time was had by all.

As I was in the ready room – or whatever they call it – I was listening to a fellow through the next curtain talking about how he had refused any sort of sedation during a heart cath procedure, because he didn’t trust the doctor. When he described how he felt like he had been hit in the chest with a hammer, I thought, yeah, well, dude, you should have expected that one.


At which point he drew the curtain back and said, “Hey! How are you?”

A nurse came over to draw the curtain back, but I said, “No, I’m enjoying listening to his stories,” which made him laugh.


He then began to tell me of his medical history, beginning with first getting cancer in his twenties. Now on a walker, cancer has spread to his spine.

He was upbeat while talking about it, but it gave me a chance once again to consider how unfair life can be. What was truly sobering was that, even though he was younger than me, the ravages of disease had made him look much, much older.

After a few minutes they came to take me on my voyage of discovery, to borrow a phrase from the great Carl Sagan.

Around this time the Valium finally began to take hold, which of course prompted the usual round of, “Can you tell us your name and your birthdate?”


After answering the second time, I added, “And we are in Fayetteville, Arkansas.” I thought for a second and added, “Please don’t ask me who the president is.”

The doctor laughed. “I don’t like to hear those words myself.”

The rest of the story, Wambling Reader, is your typical Marcus Welby MD stuff. You get numbed, you get jabbed, samples are taken, and you get wheeled back to recovery, where you hang out for an hour.

I must have been really relaxed, because the nurses said they could hear me snoring. I guess I didn’t need those extra 12 Valium after all . . .

And then Tracy took me home, where I blissfully slept the day away.



As always, when I write something of this nature, I am not seeking prayers or sympathy. If you want to make me feel good just say, “Nice writing!”

You could spare a prayer or two for my wife, though, who has to put up with my whining.


Today’s Soundtrack

Listening to “The Very Best of Diana Krall” CD this morning. If you haven’t got it, you should get it.


Quote of the Day

“If you want to watch a movie about a billionaire playboy with a penchant for darkness, inflicting violence and dressing up in masks, you’re far better off seeing The Lego Batman Movie.” – Daily Mirror film critic Chris Hunneysett, in his review of Fifty Shades Darker.