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Hospital Corners

The bed was tightly made with hospital corners. Which he supposed was normal since this was a hospital. The beige curtain that could block views of his bed from passersby was pushed against the wall. He had a great view of the corridor. There was a dearth of medical machines in his room. The only one that he could see hung forlorn on the wall next to the bed ; an old blood pressure taker, he thought, what was it called ? A hydrosomethingorother. That was not his domain. Money was. He had an itch to be back at the office, which was normal too. Hospitals made him nervous. They made everyone nervous. He lay there still, not moving. Why did hospitals smell like this ? When were they coming ?

His young doctor entered. Young, he thought, he’s got to be at least thirty five years old. When did thirty five become young ?
« Ready ? Today’s the big day. » The young man asked.
« Who is ever ready for an operation ? » replied the older man.
« Yes but you realize how lucky we are now. Just a few years ago this procedure would have taken two hours long and while you would have been an out patient it would have taken several weeks to recover. » The doctor said.
« You don’t have to convince me, I am of a generation that remembers when this was called open heart surgery and recovery was months if ever. I am so glad that you will be doing this operation. » He said that not really believing it but saying so because he always complemented his underlings before a big project. It made them work better in the long run.
« Ah, well, I will assist in the operation. » the doctor hesitated then continued ; « I’ll be there every step of the way ».
« But you won’t be the one operating. »
« No, No, Mr. Samsung, I don’t think that would be advisable.»
« Well, who the hell is going to operate on me ? »
« Calm down, you remember I said that this procedure takes in the order of sixty seconds to three minutes ? »
The older man nodded.
« This type of intrusion requires a specialist, a master surgeon. We have several at the hospital and they really only do this type of operation and do them constantly. »
« I know you have a wonderful staff, with a exemplary record that why I invested in this hospital ! You do more surgical procedures than any three other hospitals together, and with half the risk to the patients. That’s why I chose to come here myself. But what I don’t understand is why you didn’t mention this to me. »
The doctor reddened a bit but said nothing.
« When do I meet this surgical superstar ? I never enter an agreement with out meeting the principals !»
« Hum, that is not recommended. » He was clearly flustered.
« I don’t care if it’s not advisable, not S.O.P., or what ... I will see my surgeon before this operation. We’re supposed to operate in an hour for God’s sake.
« Okay, granted » The Doctor looked sad ; « But I warned you I don’t think this is a good idea. You medical state is not that serious right now but stress is stress. »
« You want to see stress ? I’ll show you stress... »
« No, wait a second, I agreed you’ll meet your master surgeon. He has done countless real procedures and no one has better score on the simulators. Now I am going to give you something to calm you down a little... »
The older man didn’t object. He knew he needed this operation and that they were the best. What he hated was being kept in the dark and the lack of power. The drug was more than something to calm him. The older man struggled to stay awake. There was something he wanted to say. But he forgot. In a sort of syrupy world he watched as he was wheeled into the operating theater. To his left there was a large television screen with what looked like joystick, keyboard, and mouse. Unnoticed by him were rudders on the floor a setup familiar to those people who like to fly flight simulators.
The doctor put his hand on the older man’s shoulder.
« I know we should have explained this to you earlier but it is always such a shock. We, the hospital, had no choice. Revenues were down. Beds were not being filled, operating rooms were underutilzed... None of us could have worked quickly enough for the new procedures.
Mr. Samsung you wanted to meet your surgeon. »
The older man feebly looked up in a sort of daze.
« May I present Jori, Jori could you come in here... »
A young boy of indeterminate age, older than 11 but under 14 years old strode into the room .
« Can I have a coke and a mars bar ? »The boy asked.
« Nurse ! » The Doctor cried out.

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