*Poorly photoshopped depiction of surgery prep.

Cruz’n the Borderland: A Column with Heart Part 3 – Now that’s a close shave!

It was the fourth full day in the hospital and the leads on my chest (those little round sticky things that monitor all your vitals) weren’t reading correctly due to the sweat and (lets be honest!) body hair. They just weren’t making a good connection.

I wasn’t dirty, per say…I mean, I DID get a chance everyday to wash myself down and even managed a shower on sat. its was a shower by definition…..I stood in a stall, and water came out from the shower head…but it was more like…a suggestion of a shower.

Even at that, it was the best I had had in a few days.

But now, its Sunday…and the lead just wont stay put. Which is ok, but the monitor its connected to starts to beep a warning and now its beeping all the time. I was fortunate to have many, many, MANY guest come and visit…but to be honest, I was worried that listeners would start showing up.

I mean, that’s nice and all, but I had to set aside a rule with the wife and hospital that only family and friends could come by…and even at that, I had many, MANY visitors. Sunday was the first day I had a break in the flood of friends coming to see me. So I told the day nurse, Missy about the lead.

“Well, there’s no one around…let me shave that area so it catches better!” Hey hey…alright…now we’re talking! Actually the idea was funny to me. I always threatened the wife that “one day….I’m gonna shave my chest hair…you’ll see!” And now at the age of 43, I had a nurse actually doing it for me!

Listen, friends its sounds a whole lot sexy on paper. Trust me, there was nothing “sexy” about it. Missy had me remove my gown from the chest down to the waist. She had thrown a few towels on the floor around the toilet in the room (remember the toilet? Refer to the 2nd article of this series for that gem!) and I had to lean over in hopes most of the hair would fall in.

Not sexy. Very clinical. And it doesn’t help that, I’m laughing thru whole procedure, uttering “Oh, Missy….you’re gonna get it. When the wife finds out..you’re in trouble!”

It was within the first 3 minutes (yes, it took THAT long!) that there’s was a jiggle-movement on the handle at my door! In an instant the door flung open, and there’s Michael, my brother in law walking in on our shave session.

I can only imagine what went thru his mind when he walked in, and saw his sister’s husband, half naked, leaning over the toilet, being shaved by a nurse. Lets just say we ALL were embarrassed…except for the nurse!

But, oh…that’s not the worst of it The surgery was Tuesday morning.

So Monday night Alice, the night time nurse came in and said, “It’s time to prep your for surgery!”

There’s that word again…PREP. I knew what that meant. And after the situation with Missy, I was NOT looking forward to it .

Alice recommended we go to the showers and she would shave me with an electric razor. I didn’t everything in my power to insist that I was able to do it myself, and if I needed any help I would for sure let her know. I got her to agree…and in hind sight I should have just let her, pride aside.

Here’s how I look at the time: tired, weakened from being in bed for over 4 days with little mobility. I have my left arm wrapped up (a bit more than needed to be, by the way ALICE!!) to keep the 3-5 heplocks in my arms dry. I’m half shaved and scared about the pending surgery in less than 12 hours.

Now, I need to totally shave myself…yes, totally because, according to Alice when it comes to surgery, “hair is dirty.” Good to know, thanks Alice…thanks. The razor she gave me was a razor by definition…it was electronic, its moved, had teeth that SHOULD have cut and that’s about it.

But here I was, 20 mins into shaving myself without really making any progress. I’m in the shower, Alice is is just on the other side of the curtain…oh and did I mention the wife is sitting a few feet away in the waiting area? A half hour later (yes its taking that long!) I’m gassed out. I had to finally swallow pride and let Alice do her job.

“Hey, Alice…I…I just cant anymore…” she agrees its best and takes over. Now…I’m still standing in the shower, naked. Alice has started shaving my legs and is in a baseball catcher’s position…shaving…me.

Parts of my body that should not be anywhere NEAR anyone’s face are seconds away from hers. And I’m am not comfortable about it.

Not. In. The. Least.

Alice, after a solid half hour of trying to shave me down, and uttering “there’s so much hair!” every few seconds, decides the best way to take care of this is to go back to the room, lay me down and shave me the ol’ fashioned way…Oh. Joy.

I’m back on my bed, laying on my back, nude, half-shaven, lower part of the body covered in shaving cream, with a young nurse a breath away from my privates.

I couldn’t NOT laugh. Alice asks me, “c’mon…is THIS the most awkward thing that has ever happened to you?”

I’m gonna say, YES, Alice. Most definitely yes.


Im able to laugh at the situation now, best rest assured, I was scared out of my mind that night. I guess it was best that I had that experience, to take my mind off of the pending bypass.

And I was blessed to have so many people come and visit, and well wish me back to health. The power of prayer and just being positive….i can swear to you today, it helped me. I FELT IT! I recognize what happened to me, and felt the positivity surrounded me. I honestly believe I would not have made it with out it!

You see, I always look for signs and symbols in life. Signs to comfort me in times of need.

The surgery was on June 7th, at 7 am. That date is Prince’s birthday; somehow, knew I would be ok.

To read Victor’s previous columns, click HERE