Travels with Max: Into the Heartland + Rubber Necro & Mormon Hedonism…
Many are the mysteries of the heart. The heart of the soul and the heart of the body. The human body and the body politic. My Max and our cardiac culture.
What happened to Max could happen to me, or maybe even you. One day, you’re walking around, shopping, dancing, having sex, producing shows and making pesto, free and blissfully ignorant of the ticking time bomb behind your ribs. Then, for whatever reason, you take a “stress test” which reveals that your arteries are clogged with extreme “blockage” (no relation to me!). Next thing you know, you’re on the fast track to a quadruple coronary artery bypass, a prisoner of western medicine, in quite literal bondage to the masters and mistresses of cardiology. These are the high priests of modern society, the highly trained and esteemed men and women in the monogrammed white coats, wielding their stethoscopes, their angiograms and their very sharp knives.
Upon consulting your charts like educated gypsies reading high tech tea leaves, they bless and curse you with their holy diagnosis. The cardiologists talk to you like talmudic scholars, weaving scientific facts with emotional considerations, matters of the heart. Then there are the cardiovascular thoracic surgeons whose power lies in their hands. They’re the car mechanics of cardio and, having performed “thousands” of these human valve changes before, they’re quite confident in their ability to fix whatever’s under your hood, or ribcage, as the case may be.
Of course, you don’t have to get their bypass, they assure you; this is your decision. After all, you’re not under arrest! But (and this is probably the biggest BUT of your carb-laced life) if you don’t lay your body down under their educated knives toute suite, you will very possibly drop dead – any moment now – of a massive five alarm heart attack. Whatever you thought and however good you felt before, their foreboding diagnosis now rings in your ears, beating the tom-tom of death in your chest, and only they can save you.
So, are you blessed to have had these scientific soothsayers spot the dreaded “blockage” before it killed you? Or are you cursed to have eaten from this Tree of Cardiovascular Knowledge? Now that the high priests have predicted your imminent coronary, can you just say “thanks but no thanks” and go on with your life as usual? How can you enjoy heart-racing sex when you’ve been informed that your heart is about to give out? The short answer is: you can’t. In fact, high percentages of people who get the news and choose to forego or postpone the bypass have heart attacks in less than a year. Is it because the doctors were right? Or did the diagnosis itself do the dirty deed?
It’s hard to say, some of the cardiologists themselves confess, even as they stroke your growing paranoia with their tender admonitions. In a way, it’s quite a racket, the cardiology biz, especially considering our current crazy health care system. The cardio docs are experts at hard-selling this audacious, expensive, invasive, extremely painful, yet very “routine” operation that just might save your life.
It’s audacious because the bypass itself is surgical intervention at its most unnerving, aggressive and preemptive. And yet it’s oddly natural, involving no implants, stents or transplants. They simply “retire” your heart’s old, blocked arteries, redirecting the blood flow to “new” veins which they “harvest” from other parts of your body, usually your legs. It’s kind of like a promotion for your thigh veins; after decades of hard labor carrying the rest of you around, to corporate headquarters, your heart.
To accomplish this neat feat, the cardiovascular thoracic surgeons simply saw through your sternum and break your ribs. Ouch! They also slice through your thighs to grab your leg veins, but that’s nothing compared to how they open up your chest like a cracked crab. Then they stop your heart, retire the clogged arteries and promote the leg veins, sewing them to your heart with a teeny-tiny sewing needle like seamstresses in a shmata shop. Before they close you up, they jump-start your heart again with an electrical pump. Then there you are, in excruciating pain and with many possible complications, but supposedly better than new.
Yikes! As those of you who know us know, Max and I generally do not favor aggressive interventions into vulnerable places, be it a small foreign country like Iraq or a large human body like Max’s. But what could we do? We’d received the blessing and the curse of the cardiologists. The oracles had spoken, the Death card played.
Bypasses aren’t always a good idea. My Mom suffered terribly from hers, but she was in her eighties and diabetic, not a “good candidate” like Max. We’d heard a few horror stories from friends and family of people who’d attempted to ignore the commandments of the high priests of cardio, trying to pass by the bypass, and get on with their lives, and then dropping dead of the prophesied heart attack a few short weeks or months later. One otherwise healthy 40-year-old guy, who was “feeling fine” despite his angiogram, kicked the bucket on an idyllic beach during a relaxing vacation he figured he’d squeeze in before the surgery. That’s the great coronary mystery: there often aren’t warning signs. At least, you don’t feel them. But the high priests can see them in their cardiological crystal balls.
“One morning, Max could be playing 18 holes of golf without apparent strain,” intoned the doc who performed the cardiac catherization that revealed the blockage. “And that afternoon, he could have a heart attack.”
“Max doesn’t play golf,” I countered feebly, as the high priest narrowed his eyes and nodded grimly.
And so, with frazzled nerves and high hopes, we signed on the dotted lines, promising we wouldn’t sue them if he died. Then we had orgasmic, heart-pumping sex plus two cheeseburgers one last time, before we laid Max – body, mind and soul – on the blood-soaked altar of cardiothoracic surgery.
Miraculously, all has gone amazingly well so far. High priestly parodies aside, the doctors and nurses of USC Hospital’s Keck School of Medicine have been awesome, just as they were when they saved my life three years ago (book coming soon!). Max is a champ. As the Angelus National Forest burned into a gigantic mushroom cloud, looming apocalyptically behind USC, Max began his recovery. It’s only been a little over a week, so we’re not out of the woods by any means, but Max has been a model bypass patient, released from the hospital two days earlier than predicted. All the docs are impressed with his strength and resiliency. And I’m more in love with him than ever, especially with that sexy macho scar down the middle of his chest.
It sucks not being able to have regular sex, of course. But we’re having fun playing naughty naked nurse and horny patient. Plus the white Ben Franklin stockings he has to wear for a few weeks are kinky and look great on his shapely dancer’s legs. Most importantly, we keep in touch with each other’s pleasure points, using the power of pleasure to help treat his still excruciating pain. Nothing wrong with a little gentle caressing, licking and even masturbating. And a good massage can be more effective than a Vicodin – though best to take both (unless you’re a masochist and enjoy all the different types of agonizing pain that creep into your post-bypass body).
They talk a lot about “pain management” in hospitals, but rarely do they incorporate pleasure – unless you count the morphine. Okay, maybe they can’t get away with naked nurses diddling patient’s pleasure points (except on the QT). But how about massage? Of course, I would recommend the kind with happy endings, though I realize that won’t happen, let alone be covered by insurance in our sex-phobic society. But even a chaste “therapeutic” massage is pleasurable enough to send healing, pain-reducing endorphins into a patient’s aching post-surgical body. Message to Obama and medical industry leaders: Don’t let our health system neglect the power of pleasure in the treatment of pain.
Back to Captain Max. He is wounded but sailing on, still steering our Ship of Fools of Love. In fact, it looks like, after seven years docked in one fantastic space, we have to move. Double Yikes! I hate moving almost as much as I love orgasms. I see moving as a lifestyle bypass, an aggressive, painful, uncomfortable intervention. But sometimes, you just have to do it. On the other hand, Max adores moving. Bypass or no bypass, he’s a prince who loves to create new castles. And I love him. Also, our current landlord has made renewing our lease outrageously expensive. So, please let us know if you want to help move the Speakeasy. If you can help financially, if you have a nice sexy building or if you’d like to contribute a little good old-fashioned sweat labor (any of which will certainly get you “in” with us, the Speakeasy girls and our porn star friends), email firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re also going through another kind of bypass, a painful internet surgery, the restructuring of our websites. So, let me take a moment to apologize for various technical problems we’ve been having with our sites these days. We’ve lost our webmistress, so we’re currently looking for someone who knows PHP and/or Drupal to join our merry bonobo band. Could that be you? Email email@example.com.
Despite our bypasses of the heart and business, the show must go on. And RadioSuzy1 keeps getting more and more awesome, erotic, informative and exciting. I’ve posted a bunch of cool and hot pics from a couple of shows that we did post-MJ bloggamy, starting with the show we did after a Hollywood party (with some of Merv Griffin folks currently courting us to do a new TV show), called Mormon Hedonism. Isn’t that an oxymoron? Not on this show, where we suddenly realized that four of the sexiest new Speakeasy girls, Melissa, Malena, Natasha and Rose, were all raised Mormon. This led to yet another show on sex and Mormons featuring Melissa’s Latter-Day friends James and Lindsay, with much ado about garments, vows and how real Mormons feel bigamy is blasphemy, or is that bloggamy? All on Mormon Pioneer Day!
Since that show also stars sultry fetish model Rubber Necro (making her first show-stopping appearance at the Speakeasy on our new Eros Day X: Orgy for Obama DVD and last seen at our Bondage Gala), we call it Rubber Necro and the Mormons. Lots of hot private pics of Rub and her luscious fetish friends Subby Sam and Pet Lauryn being stripped and whipped by The Professor of the Broken Door and a couple of rare and exciting PG pics of the Prof spanking our very own therapy manager, the lovely Lisa V on her birthday!
Of course, this bloggamy also features a few heartwarming and fuzzy iPhone pics of Max recovering, including the Felliniesque ICU visit from the Porn Klown Posse (if you ever want to break into a hospital without having to sign in, wear a clown nose), as well as a macabre shot of some of his post-bypass wounds, which we have prudently placed in the private area. We’ve also got pics from Prince Max & the King of Pop featuring post-op Max broadcasting live from ICU (just two days after bypass surgery!), as Michael Jackson celebrates his birthday in heaven. The similarities between our Prince & MJ include more than titles. Propofol was the anesthesiologist’s primary drug of choice to put Max under for the six-hour surgery.
“Isn’t that what killed Michael Jackson?” I inquired apprehensively.
“Yes!” the anesthesiologist admitted brightly, “But we can handle it in here.” The key to anesthesia is: Do not try this at home.
Yes, I know, we’ve done several more great shows these past weeks, with Nina Hartley, Carol Queen, Mae Victoria, Sparkle, Freddy & Eddy and more, but I’m exhausted from my new job as naughty naked nurse, so this is all you get for now. Anyway, I feel like teasing you, so you’ll just have to wait to see the other pics in future bloggamies. Its ok, it’s good for you. As it is written in my 10 Commandments of Pleasure: Men need to be teased because it makes them slow down. Women need to be teased because it makes us come around.
In the meantime, make like bonobos, not baboons; make love, not war. Make love to someone you love tonight…even if that someone just had a quadruple bypass.