Sunday, November 20, 2016

Locomotive Heart

                            pic:  http://www.longliveny.org/

 
by The Urban Blabbermouth
~
“How's my heart ticking Doc?” asked the Tin Man.
Wavy lines appeared on Dr. Konigsberg's forehead as his mouth turned down, “Hmm, not so good."
The doctor disconnected the sphygmomanometer from the patient on lying on the exam table and closed the access panel in Tin Mans’ chest. Tin Man was fortunate. His doctor was Alvin Konigsberg, chairman of the Cardiac Engineering Department at Saint Joseph Plumbing Hospital and the All-England Doctor of the Year in 1884 and 1885.
"You are maintaining a steady 80 psi but there is some deterioration in the valves. Are you changing the air intake filter? The valves are sensitive to dust contamination.”
“Yeah Doc. I am using the same HEPA filters as the ones in my vacuum cleaner.”
Dr. Konigsberg looked at the Tin Man's face, squinting his eyes slightly as he pursed his lips, then said, "We have spoken about how important it is to use the higher quality medical HEPA filters. The commercial vacuum filters are inadequate. Look, Mr. Tin Man, you wanted a heart and we gave you a heart. If you don't take care of it, you will lose your heart. Use the medical filters."
Dr. Konigsberg sat down next to his patient in the Consulting room. Standing behind the doctor was his intern, a junior engineer, recording the medical data from the exam into the hospital logs. The doctor looked directly at his patient's face once more and asked, “How are you managing with the other lifestyle changes we asked you to make?”
“I am doing pretty good, Doc. I make sure to eat at least a quarter cup of beans every day. But Doc, I am getting tired of it"

Tin Man was the recipient of Dr. Konigsberg's latest experimental procedure. Dr. Konigsberg snaked a tube from Tin Mans digestive tract to the fire box in the heart, dispensing with the external kerosene tanks. The heart now ran on gas generated in the digestive tract. Dr. Konigsberg named the procedure The Beano-Kligerman Conduit after the founder of the Bean-O Product.
"It is difficult. Keep the benefits in the front of your mind. Think of beans as medicine for your heart. Keep eating beans and your heart will work well for you. Otherwise, there will be negative consequences."
"Well, at least my wife is very happy. No more me passing gas around her. She says she always knew I was full of gas but at least now I am making some good use of it. Is it OK for me to sit up now Doc?"
Dr. Konigsberg smiled at the joke, “Yes of course. I have completed my examination."

The doctor stood up next to the exam table as Tin Man sat up, his bare legs dangling a six inches from the ground. Tin Man shivered as the gown opened in the back. The doctor disconnected the water IV from his patient's arm.
"I guess you hear these jokes all the time? Kinda old to you, eh Doc?"

"I look forward to hearing them Mr. Tin Man. Only patients who are healing well and feeling well make jokes. It is a valuable indicator of your well being. Are there other issues I should know about?"

"I still have some trouble sleeping. It's hard to get a good night sleep, sleeping at a 40 degree angle."
"I am sorry about your sleeping discomfort. Remember it is imperative that you keep your water reservoir as level as possible at all times to keep the water feeding to the heat exchanger in the firebox otherwise the heart will malfunction. Are you refilling the reservoir with distilled water?”
“Yes and I am bleeding the lines after every refill.”
“Excellent, and how is the steam outflow working? Not too hot?”
“Great Doc. I don’t feel the heat at all. It was genius to route the steam exhaust through my stovepipe hat. Scare Crow and the Lion have started calling it my Steam Powered Willy."
“Most amusing,” replied a smiling Dr. Konigsberg. “Now for some good news. We have gotten approval from the Royal Steam Engineering Society for a new muffler. It will cut down the noise from the ventricle pumps. No more thump thump in your ear.”
Dr. Konigsberg reached his hand over his shoulder and his intern placed a folder in it.  The doctor sat, crossed his legs, and studied Tim Man’s file now in his lap.
The doctor looked up, “Hmm, before we do the muffler swap, I want to run a stress test. We will run up your heart to 180 psi and monitor how it handles the high pressure. We want to make sure that the Pop-Off valve will open and that the Governor will limit the revs of the pumps.”

"Anything you say Doc," said Tin Man.
Dr. Konigsberg turned to his intern, “Jennifer, please make an appointment for a stress test for Mr. Tin Man before he leaves.”
“Yes Doctor,” replied the intern.
Turning back to his patient, Dr. Konigsberg asked, “Do you have any questions that you would like to ask me?”
“Well Doc, My wife cringes when she sees me doing a refill. She worries that I will mess it up and my heart will run dry and stop. We both would love an easier way.”
“There is a tentative solution.  We have a team of doctors flying on the Zeppelin to Germany to inspect a new Mercedes-Benz horseless vehicle refueling nozzle. We think that their latest improvements will make reservoir refills easier. The Royal Society will have to approve the changes before we can install the refill spigot in patients.  The approval may take many months."
“That is great news."

"Do you have additional questions?”

"That was it Doc, no more questions.”
“Very well.  Remember, it is imperative that you use the medical HEPA filters.”
Tin Man nodded as Dr. Konigsberg rose to his feet and held out his hand.  Tin Man stood and shook it.
“Thanks Doc for all you have done.”
“You are welcome Mr. Tin Man. Jennifer will escort you to the dressing room.”

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