In 2004, as I sat on a gurney in a paper dress at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey, the handsomest surgeon in the state of New Jersey explained to me that I was a "ticking time bomb" and, in rather short order (two weeks), he performed what's known in the business as a "CABG" (pronounced "cabbage"), which is to say I had quadruple coronary-artery bypass grafts. I have lovely scars all over my upper torso and left arm to prove it, including the infamous "zipper" running down my chest, over my rib-cage.
In 2005 I was (again) told that I was a "ticking time bomb" and I had what's known in the business as "bi-lateral endarterectomies", which is to say they sliced open the sides of my neck, pulled out portions of the arteries feeding the brain, sliced them open and squeezed out the congealed cholesterol in both of them. I have lovely, matching 2" long scars on either side of my neck as souvenirs of that one.
In early 2006 I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. Type II Diabetes, it turns out, is not a disease, it is a big-business. There is a cure for Type II Diabetes which Big Pharma does not want you to take. It's called "Gastric Bypass Surgery" and I had it in early August of 2008. I lost 65 pounds and the diabetes (and the co-pays for Glucophage and Test Strips and a lot of other hooey and hokum which is totally unnecessary and is probably killing more people than it helps). That particular surgery, laporascopically done, left a bunch of little scars all over my belly.
Then, a week or two or three ago, I was told I have prostate cancer.
God only knows what sort of scars I'll come out of this with . But I do know this:
Despite the "big-business" aspect of all my hospitalizations and assorted medical effluvia, I thank God that I had pretty good insurance which covered pretty much everything.
Today, I am the Six Million Dollar Man (for those of you old enough to remember the non-Stone Cold Steve Austin) -- in more ways than one.