Anyone miss me?
(Facetious question: a blogs is something worth missing. Visit a bookstore).
Anyway, I've been testing the German healthcare system and learning about weird aspects of human physiology. This was not planned, but will mean that I should be around to celebrate my next birthday.
First of all, any politician in any country that suggests that healthcare personnel should earn less or work longer must be submitted to working for the rest of his or her life toiling at the lowest level of the healthcare totem pole (and forfeit exorbitant salary, unnecessary perks, and over-generous pension). Every last individual, which I have observed, works hard, acts professionally, and is unfairly remunerated for what they do for other humans and achieve for society.
Now that the rant is over, I'll move on to my personal condition (censored version). The most anyone probably ever hears or thinks about intestines is that they have something to do with digestion...which is not something anyone wants to think about much. It just happens...like the sun rising each day. Sometime, one has surely seen a medical diagram and noticed that intestines look like twisted sausages in a butcher shop. From the drawing, one would surmise that they would tend to stay put (after all, it looks fairly crowded that part of the body, like a popular disco on a busy Saturday night). Of course, gorier movie genres have featured scenes of the whole mess tumbling out, after someone's stomach has been slashed open, but let's not think about that.
Some of you may have seen the movie, Aliens. Before that, no one would have imagined something active inside a human body. I have learned that an appendix scar is about as friendly as one of those ugly creatures. My appendix was removed thirty years ago, and the scar has been acting unneighborly (without informing its landlord) ever since. The intestines, being non-combative, have been trying to evade this jerk and, in doing so, tied themselves in a knot. Think of a twisted garden hose, which stops squirting water. A nice doctor lady untied the knot and sewed me up.
Even after being told that my condition was life-threatening and must be cured immediately, if not yesterday, I had no fear or thoughts of immortality. I have complete faith in medical science (until I'm proven wrong, at which point it will not matter). Since I am writing this, my faith has been proven justified.
Hospitals are huge bureaucracies, but they are run by people and circumstances. Fortunately for me, people acted with common sense. Two days after my operation, I was handed a "pre-operation" questionnaire to fill out. Filling out the three-page form (small font), I was struck by what a healthy life I have enjoyed. If you have never been asked to complete such a form, you have no idea how many illnesses there are or the number of bad habits humans have. Of course, before the operation I did have to sign the obligatory form that states that if the doctor makes a mistake, it's my fault. One does not sue doctors in Germany.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.