"flatlining." I survived the surgery (February 15), and I have a very faint memory of mouthing some endearing words to the Yard Man and squeezing his hand. Everyone was pleased. The doctors gave glowing reports; the new cow valve was performing admirably. The family was smiling. A few handsome bouquets of flowers arrived at the hospital. The Yard Man went home and got a good night of sleep.
As you will surely understand, Reader Dear, the following is second-handed information:
The Yard Man was awakened early by a phone call on February 16. "Get to the hospital ASAP!" was the message. "Your wife has flatlined." Yes, Dear Reader, I had passed on! Indeed, I had given up the ghost, kicked the bucket! As I was frolicking in worlds unknown, there were medical marvel-workers scurrying around to connect me to life-support. (This third-handed data: It took them six minutes to slap on the resuscitation equipment and get me (artificially) pumping blood and breathing.
For six long days, then, I languished in a salty sea of sedation (salty, due to the tears that flowed from the eyes of my loved ones [I can only assume the doctors shed no tears, but surely they were sorry for this unexpected outcome!]).
(Spoiler alert: you do understand, Reader Dear, that it is I, myself, relaying this true tale.
There's no need for you to hang on the edge of a cliff, you see!)