Carnes: Reviewing the ‘New & Improved’ hospital |

Carnes: Reviewing the ‘New & Improved’ hospital

I always thought the phrase “laughing so hard it hurt” was just that, an adage implying something was so funny one was bent over in laughter, unable to stop because it was so hilarious.

Now I know the pain is real, the humor grossly misinterpreted.

First, though, I can’t help but question how such a beautiful building, both inside and out, can have such a confusing parking garage.

The zigzagging beast at the “New & Improved” Vail Health Hospital, which happened to grace the front cover of the Vail Daily that same day I visited, while large, meanders as if Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer designed the entire thing, the two refusing to agree on which was the best way to enter, exit and traverse everything in between.

Once inside the actual building, however, the parking debacle fades into a forgettable memory, as it’s like walking into a 4-Star hotel lobby (5 stars would be a bit of a stretch), replete with tasteful furnishings, modern art and enough signage to help confuse the most illiterate around us.

I was there for a procedure that I had way back as a 3-year-old in North Dallas — a friggin’ hernia.

My mom said I was trying to push early-’60s furniture around the room, and now, 58 years later, the doctor said it was probably from pushing anything at all too hard for my age. So much for trying to stay in middle-aged shape; might as well lay on the couch and learn to like ice cream and Hallmark movies.

Dr. Lisle (pronounced Lyle, for reasons unknown the “s” is silent) did the deed with the assistance of a robot named “Da Vinci XI,” who neither speaks nor listens, but deftly responds to the doctor’s touch with the sensitivity of a snowflake in July.

Although not quite caught up with the iPhone XII or the Samsung XXI, it helped the good doctor do his thing with proficient ease. One minute I’m making a stupid joke about the size of the TV monitors (which I assumed were about to show my innards in Ultra-HD gory glory) and the next I was waking up to a cute blonde asking me if I wanted ice chips.

“Ouch,” was my response, followed by the Captain Obvious question, “It’s already over?”

But like a Packers fan fearing the loss of Aaron Rodgers, the pain was real, and even worse each time I laughed, which is exponentially bad for a guy who finds reason to chuckle at the most mundane of everyday life (anything involving flatulence sends me over the edge).

After two wrong turns in the garage (the price one pays for following vague signage), we made it out and my bride helped me into bed, where I remained drugged up and trying not to laugh at Tucker Carlson.

Waking up the next morning, I looked south, and I’ll be damned if it didn’t look like I had just finished my first trimester. Luckily the swelling went down after a few days.

Anyway, the experience at the new Vail Health Hospital was pretty much like every other major experience there (3 boys, born 1987, ’90 and ’99), and although the building changes every time, it’s still the same hospital.

We’re lucky to have it.

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