Let the High-Tech Tune-Up Begin!

Jan 24, 2017 | 4 comments

1955 Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe

When Dr. God ordered a tune-up and maintenance check for Nyel, I couldn’t help but visualize a 1955 Mercedes Benz 300SL Gull Wing Coupe on its way to a modern car hospital.  That’s Nyel’s all-time favorite car (not that he’s ever owned one) and, although a few years younger than he, such a vehicle could undoubtedly benefit by a thorough maintenance check now and again.  Although… I wonder if all the bells and whistles at a 21st century garage would be adequate to the challenges of a 60-plus-year-old engine.  It would no doubt come down to the competence of the mechanics.

The Plan

I am sure that is also the case with humans and hospitals and all the high tech equipment that is monitoring Patient (in all senses of the word) Nyel.  He is plugged in and wired to the most amazing machines you can imagine, but it is the expertise of the nurses and technicians that is mind-blowing.  They adjust equipment, monitor reports on computer screens, record results for instant access by Nyel’s team of doctors and do it all with apparent ease and a smile.  Plus they bring me endless cups of decaf and concern themselves with my comfort, as well!  I seriously doubt if giving TLC to the worried wife is part of their job description.

And speaking of such, I wonder what my Aunt Mona would have thought.  She was an LPN (licensed practical nurse) as opposed to an RN (a registered nurse) and spent her career caring for patients (often, children) in their homes.  During her work years (1926-1950) a thermometer or an enema bag was about as high tech as it got.  In my family, we often checked with Mona before deciding whether or not a trip to the doctor was warranted.  She always had great advice… and endless cups of coffee!  I don’t think decaffeinated coffee was yet on the horizon.


The plan is to get Nyel operating at maximum and then taking a good look at his heart through a procedure known as a TEE – a transesophageal electrocardiogram.  This is a test that produces detailed pictures of the heart and the arteries that lead to and from it. The procedure involves a teeny-tiny camera on a thin wire passing through the mouth, down the throat and into the esophagus.  The resulting pictures will give the doctors the best possible look at Nyel’s heart and assist them in deciding what needs to be done (up to and including valve replacement through open heart surgery.)

According to Dr. God, the goal is to get Nyel back to feeling as well as he did five years ago.  “Works for me!” Nyel said yesterday.  “Let’s go for it!”
And so… Tune Up In Progress!!


  1. Kelly

    I had a TEE last year. It was a painless procedure and helped the Dr. Know I could have minimally invasive mitro valve repair. Wishing Nyel’s a painless procedure and positive results!

    • sydney

      Thanks for the encouraging words, Kelly! Nyel has had cardiograms previously so he’s not too concerned about the TEE — just hoping that a complete valve replacement isn’t indicated. A minimally invasive solution would be great!

  2. Caroline Miller

    Thoughts are with Nyel but you deserve some kind treatment, too. Aren’t these the same guys who forgot all about you and left you in the waiting room for hours. They should make amends.

    • sydney

      lol!! Not quite the same. We are at Legacy Emanuel this time. We were at Legacy Good Samaritan the time that I was ‘forgotten.’ This is the fourth or fifth time Nyel has been at Emanuel and it is definitely our Legacy hospital of choice! But, no matter how you slice it, not a fun time by any means. Thanks for your kind thoughts!


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