Ned Beatty has the Hardest Part

Well, I think I’ll go and rent me a movie right now;

Go and get something I ain’t never seen.

And on the discount rack, I see Deliverance,

And I’m watchin’ it now and they’ve got to that scene

Where they meet the hillbillies and they’re big and they’re mean?

And who’s that crawlin’ ?round on his knees?

It’s Ned Beatty! (Beatty!) Ned Bea-yay-yay!

Ned Beatty had the hardest part

?Cause redneck love leaves emotional scars.

I guess he didn’t read the script too far;

Ned Beatty had the hardest part!

(with apologies to Steve Goodie).

Ah, sweet mysteries of life. Whenever you’re tried and troubled and you need a helping hand, just think back to Deliverance and Ned Beatty and you’ll feel better. I mean seriously, it doesn’t get much worse than that.

It looks like this years blog will not be “adventures in Kurdistan”. I was so looking forward to it and so was Shujie. All our bags were packed and we were ready to go and then reality sticks in it’s ugly head. My cardiologist told me the end of July that all was manageable and he’ll see me next year. Then I got congestive heart failure so they’ve reevaluated me and I’ve graduated to having a 2nd open heart surgery. My goal in like is to have 4 of them, so I’ll be half way there.

They want to replace my mitral valve. They can’t replace my aortic valve because they did that 13 hears ago. A 2nd open heart surgery is more dangerous than a first and they put the average death rate at 5-10%. I think it’s really much closer to 5% and the surgeon I have is less than that. I’m willing to take the chance so I can walk up a couple of flights of stairs, go for short walks without being winded, and maybe even play volleyball. I hate volleyball but if you can’t do it, you want to.

It will be a couple of months until the surgery because they have to do all this other stuff to see if I have other problems (I hope I don’t disappoint them) and to make sure my body can take it. My doctor says things are never going to get better so it’s best to do this surgery now in my youth where my chances for a decent life are greater.

We feel bad about not going to Kurdistan (maybe the only people in the world who feel bad about not going to Kurdistan), but I like teaching in new countries and Shujie had a job that she might have enjoyed. We will never know. Now she has to get a job here to support us because I’m out of the work game for several months and I really don’t have marketable skills anymore. I have marketable skills over the ocean, but not here.

So the plan now is for Shujie to be the family breadwinner and me to do my sick act. I think I have it down pat now.

So we’re here at my mom’s and the live-in’s until Shujie is gainfully employed When that happens we’ll get a place to live and some wheels. Who knows how long that will take but we all do what we have to do.

I feel bad giving the school last-minute notice but if it wasn’t for all this crap we’d be there now. It’s a wasted year (fun-wise). Open heart surgery isn’t a walk in the park but there are plenty of worse things. I feel bad for Shujie and my mom. I get to be sick (that’s easy), but watching a sick person is much more difficult. So following in the footsteps of my Jewish forebears, I can have something to feel guilty about. Good for me.

I’m guessing the operation will be around October after they’ve done all the tests. This is Canada and socialized medicine. Everyone gets taken care of but not at the speed they would like. I’ll be able to do a chapter in my new book comparing open heart surgery in Texas to open heart surgery in Toronto. I’m sure it will be fascinating reading.

That’s it for now and as I know more I’ll share more for the 5 or 6 who read this. It’s been a long trip from the Korean blog days to hear, but I’ve been told my life is never boring.

So time marches on and we’ll see what happens. I’m not too worried, just bored thinking about the coming year. At least when you’re a kid you get neat gifts at the hospital. I’ll get those last minute things people see at the gift shop. It could be worse. It could always be worse.

1 comment
  1. Jan said:

    Just great, now I have to download Deliverance to see what you’re talking about. I sort of remember but I tried to put that movie out of my mind. The characters were just too disturbing. I like to live in my pretend ivory tower 😉

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