Today I learned that other people besides the ones I mentioned can flip people's brain switches. In particular, there's a -- and to mainstream America this sounds doubly awful -- French shaman who comes to town sometimes who can do it. He's done it for two people I know, and the reason I hadn't heard about it before is that one had moved out of town beforehand, and the grapevine was having a really hard time processing what the other one was saying. I'm sure the 'French shaman' thing was a big part of it, but also the grapevine is (rightly) extremely skeptical when it comes to miracle cures.
The post I wrote on Dec. 29 got into the southern Arizona sick-people newsletter (which has a much wider audience than my little blog), so I got a call directly from the local lady who saw the shaman. She acknowledged that it had taken pretty direct arm-twisting by someone she knew to get her to see the shaman initially, and that when she went, with a 'what the heck' attitude, she had no expectation of getting better. She said it was a bunch of 'woo-woo' stuff, but now she is very hopeful that since I described a mechanism for the switch, the grapevine will get past the 'French shaman' part, and maybe some other people can feel better.
I don't actually expect very many people to try it because people have a knack for knowing what's going to work for them. Sometimes they're just pessimistic and paranoid, but I knew the Christian-faith-based approach -- which is horribly controversial, and sometimes really fixes people up -- wouldn't work for me. In that approach, you have to get right with God by forgiving everybody and yourself for everything, then God forgives you, and you're healed. Which sounds suspiciously like you get God to flip your switch, so it's the same thing
I'd bet I get hate mail over this, but not very many people read it. Moving on to the surgery part.
I have to have abdominal surgery if I want one part of my anatomy to stop pushing on another part, and there's a kidney involved, so all the doctors agree that I should have surgery. I found the right doctor, I scheduled the surgery, I called the hospital to bug the anesthesiologists to talk to me, but they didn't call back before my pre-op appointment.
Today I had my pre-op testing appointment, where they expect to draw blood, ask some easy questions, and send you on your way. The coordinating nurse ended up calling in not only a stray anesthesiologist, but also the pharmacy director because at the start, it looked like it would be impossible to get glass bottles for the IVs, even though I had the name and number of a pharmacy that provides them. (I got to sniff an IV bottle. It was very, very obviously vinyl, and pretty death-defying.) So tomorrow the pharmacy guy is going to call my doctor, the God of EIs, in Dallas and the pharmacy with the glass bottles. I, too, will be talking to my doctor to find out if an OR stocked almost entirely with PVC stuff is the best I can do, or if I have to go to Dallas and have surgery there, which will cost a freaking s***load because you have to rent a room you may or may not tolerate.
The poor anesthesiologist thought that vinyl was stable, so he wasn't clear on how anyone could have a problem with it. I've been sick long enough that I was a little surprised, and I said that I got heart palpitations if I inhaled near it, very likely in a tone of voice that implied that I didn't care if he thought vinyl was stable. He seemed ok with that.