When you get work done at Swedish Heart & Vascular, they hand you this cushion on your way out the hospital door. To have and to hug, to protect the incision. One of those tubes (the red one coming off the top, I think) is the aorta, and mine now has a new valve, courtesy of a brave Canadian pig. Tiny thing, its leaflets are the size of ladybug wings. It replaces a similar piece of tissue, donated 14 years ago by a similar animal, that was running out of steam. "Here, old chap," I can imagine the new guy saying. "I'm here to take over." All very polite, you imagine, because they're Canadian.
Rehab this past week at Kline Galland Home in Seward Park, overlooking Lake Washington. So far, so good! Attentive staff, multicultural clientele. Food is strictly kosher, but they're tolerant of my porcine implant. Rabbi-approved, I'm told.