#354–Sclerotherapy’s second session, my captive audience . . .

People accuse me of being shameless when it comes to my books––that I’ll talk about them anytime, anywhere. The truth is, I only talk about them when asked. If someone asks, then I usually start with a very brief account of each book or the ones they seem interested in. If their interest continues, then I’ll continue.

Well, today was a case of me talking about my books in an anytime, anywhere situation. In my defense, I was asked, ”What kind of books do you write?”

Sclerotherapy involves injecting chemicals into the veins to cause them to shrivel and die. This is one form of treatment for varicose veins.

Picture this, I’m lying face down on the bed with a surgical team around me performing sclerotherapy on both of my legs. (See August 2022, #341) And I’m talking away about my books.

Sclerotherapy usually follows endovenous laser ablation (See March 2022, #327), both of which are treatments for varicose veins. The ablation is done with a laser that travels through the veins via a catheter and the patient is sedated. It’s a more serious procedure than sclerotherapy, which involves injecting chemicals into veins. And the patient is not sedated in sclerotherapy. The chemicals cause the veins to shrivel and die, which the body eventually absorbs. Since there is a limit to how much a human body can handle of this chemical, there is more than one session.

Endovenous laser ablation is a more serious procedure than sclerotherapy.

This was my second session. Sally, with her bright smile and dressed all in red, took my vitals and got me ready. A short time later, I was lying face down with needles being inserted one at a time in different veins—first one leg and then the other. Not long after beginning the treatment, I was asked what kind of books I write. So, I began talking about my bridge books.

That’s when Dr. Tawil, the surgeon, joined in. I had given him Crossings, McCullough’s Coastal Bridges. So, he continued the conversation about that particular bridge book. He’s, also, a bit of a tease, so gave me a bad time about ways I had described him in past blog posts that I have written about my various varicose vein adventures.

I had also told him previously about the Florence Festival of Books, and since I was wearing my FFOB T-shirt for this second session, he proceeded to tell the others about the book fair and how he and his wife would be going. So, I had to talk a little about that too. It’s the other topic I’m passionate about.

I wore my FFOB T-shirt to my second sclerotherapy session, which generated a fair amount of interest.

All this while, I was face down in a pillow. Regardless of how bizarre it seemed, I returned to talking about my books. After the bridge books, I mentioned The Oregon Coast Guide to the UNEXPECTED that which is odd, unusual or quirky, and that did it. it peaked the interest of the other two members of the surgical team.

I learned that the physician assistant, Lauren Jackson, loves to check out everything along the way on her day trips to places to hike. She has a curious mind and had many questions about the Guide to the UNEXPECTED. And the nurse on the team, Carrie, used to live in Port Orford on the south coast, so she knew about several of the places that were in the book and added her perspective. We had quite a conversation going.

It turned out to be a lively, fun experience that we all participated in. Looking back, I thought it so odd for me to be talking through my mask into a pillow to a surgical team during a surgical procedure, but it may not have seemed so odd to them when dealing with a non-sedated patient. No doubt, they have used the tactic of getting the patient talking to take their mind off what is happening numerous times.

Well, It certainly worked on me. Before I knew it, they were done. And only a few times did I notice the needle insertions hurting and each time was brief. So, no big deal!

This was the book that captured the attention of Lauren so much that she wanted a copy!

I don’t know if I’ll be having any more sessions, but it’s definitely not scary and can be enjoyable. . . . One way to look at it from my POV is that I had a captive audience to talk to about my books and the book fair. What’s not to like about that! Hey! Hey!

What’s more, Lauren wanted a copy of UNEXPECTED. So, after the procedure and before heading home, I retrieved a copy of UNEXPECTED from the trunk of my car and took it in for her—signed and personalized. You just never know when someone’s gonna want a book!

About crossingsauthor

Judy Fleagle spent 22 years teaching 1st and 2nd grades and 21 years as editor/staff writer with Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines.Since 2009, she has written five books: "Crossings: McCullough's Coastal Bridges," "The Crossings Guide to Oregon's Coastal Spans," "Around Florence," "Devil Cat and Other Colorful Animals I Have Known," and "The Oregon Coast Guide to the UNEXPECTED!!!."
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