LC Van Savage
MONGO’S GOOD HEART
Did you make out well for the holidays? Did you get all the things you’d hoped for? Were you happy? I got a great gift too, the best.
But it was one unusual and busy Christmas I’ll tell you. Two days after Thanksgiving with lots of family visiting, Mongo developed some very weird symptoms to which he paid attention, so off we went to the ER at Midcoast where he was given every possible test available. But he’s such a healthy guy they had a hard time finding out what the problem was because everything checked out 100%. However, thanks to the perseverance of one Dr. Allan Kuong and his saying “there’s one thing still bothering me. Sorry, but I’ve got to give you one more X-ray.” Mongo had another, and at 4 AM, it was found; a bubble on his aorta.
Thus, he got a ride in an ambulance down to Maine Med with sirens a-blaze where another good doctor named Quinn fixed that bulge, and Mongo now owns a brand spanking new aorta.
Oddly, neither of us was ever frightened about all this. In fact I was euphoric when Dr. Kuong found the bubble, because he caught it before it burst.
After the surgery, Mongo’s stay in the recovery room became one wildly funny time for me because they simply could not wake him up. I held his hands, stroked him, whispered and sang to him, but he never reacted. I tried to explain to the frustrated nurse that we are a family of world-class sleepers but hearing her yell at him to wake up sounded so much like Mongo’s mother years ago, it all sent me into ever new gales of laughter. At one point this hard-working, slowly angering nurse pushed her nose right flat against Mongo’s and shouted, “Mongo! Mongo! Wake up I tell you! Mongo!!” Nothing. She propped open his eyelids and he looked like an old Donald Duck cartoon. Nothing again. At this point I was howling with laughter and was asked not awfully politely to please leave. I leaned down over my slumbering heart patient husband so deeply snuggled in the arms of Morpheus, and bellowed, “Mongo! Turn and look at me and I promise I’ll leave you alone and go home.” That worked. I know he did it to make me knock off all that whispering, stroking and singing. I left.
Mongo was the ideal patient, daily striding up and down the halls, measuring each step so he could figure the mileage. He looked great, actually enjoyed the food, read every Evelyn Waugh book ever written and finally, came home for Christmas.
Whereupon I got pneumonia and guess who got to take care of whom? There’s no justice, I tell you. Poor Mongo. He just can’t catch a break.
We had family here anyway. I sat like a queen doing nothing except coughing, and it was wonderful. Well, actually it was bedlam but bedlam can be very distracting in times of stress, right?
Mongo’s doing very well. In fact when he went to see Dr. Quinn, the doctor told him, “I hope I’m in as good a shape as you are when I’m your age.” Nice words.
New Year’s Eve is coming up but Mongo and I won’t be partying. In fact we’ll spend it as we always do—me in front of the tube and him watching the backs of his eyelids. The birth of 2005 will be the start of my 67th year, and it will be good.
Ooops, I forgot. Back to the gifts. Did you get a lot last week? Was it a joyous, fun time for all of you? Will your 2005 days be merry and bright? I hope.
So Happy New Year to all of you. And what did I get for Christmas this year? I thought you’d already guessed. I got to keep my Mongo.