Posted by: donrhymer | August 4, 2011

Staples and “B” Cups

The amazing advances, just in our lifetime, in medical science and technology are awe-inspiring. We’re talking Star Trek stuff here.

Heart transplants, lung transplants, artificial hearts, gene-splicing, stem cell research, DNA therapy. Hell, the US Olympic Committee had to come down hard on artificial legs because doctors can now make them so good they give amputees a decided advantage over the real thing.

So, why in the world are we still using the common staple to close deep wounds?

Seriously, imagine a next generation operating facility. A world-class surgeon has just wrapped up another amazing piece of work. “Okay, we have cracked open the patient’s chest, removed his heart, replaced it with a mechanical one that took fifty years and billions of dollars to develop, it is pumping with extreme efficiency and the patient will easily live another fifty years. Our work is done here. First drink is on me.”

“But wait Doctor. You have to close his gaping chest wound.”

“Shit, good point. Hmm, how would we do that?”

I’m imagining ten or fifteen trained medical professionals standing around patting their pockets like they’re looking for car keys. Suddenly, the janitor in the corner, the slow one with his jump suit on backwards, who’s been mopping up all the chest blood, takes off the Sony Walkman he found in a dumpster in 1986 and offers…

“I think I got a stapler in the truck.

Seriously, this is the best medical technology we currently have? I mean, hell, on Star Trek Captain Kirk would get shot or something and Bones would wave a blue wand over his wound and that sucker was cauterized and healing and Kirk was off banging Tartoonian extras in a matter of minutes.  Fifty years later we can’t at least do that?

And it’s not like it’s some high tech medical staple, I swear when they run low they just call over to the nearest law office and borrow a box. “Send over the big ones, you know, the ones you use to staple together a 400 page deposition.”

So, today I go in to get my 54 staples removed and surely they will have some amazing machine or tool that painlessly removes the staples from my chest and rearranged man-nipple. Uh, no. Basically, a nurse dug around in a drawer and got a staple remover from Office Depot, sanitized it with a cheap bottle of Scotch and dug them out one by one.

Yes, it hurt. A lot.

And after that I wasn’t done. You see, since the surgery a lot of fluid has been collecting on my chest, giving me a perky little “B” cup near my arm. Now, at fifty years old,having the ability to cop a feel, even if it’s my own armpit boob, is not something I would normally complain about.

Let’s face it if I had had one of these when I was 13 it could have changed my life. Or at the very least, I would not have spent every waking minute obsessing over Cheryl Tiegs in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.

But my “B” cup under arm boob was starting to become a “C”, I was developing lower back problems and when my wife offered to loan me one of her sports bras, I decided it was time to have it drained. Three giant needles later my “copping a personal feel” days were over.

I will miss them.

But not the staples. If Kirk had staples he would have never been able to go forth as boldly as he did. And oh yes, my friend, boldly he did go.




  1. Hang in there, Don. How you can still have your sense of humour is beyond me!! You are definitely a better person than I !!

  2. Found you through your cousin Josh. . . Funny as hell. Pulling for ya.

  3. Don, Its no consolation to you, but I have two twisty ties and two large corresponding bumps in my sternum that remind me that American medicine is really good, but has room for improvement. 400,000 cracked chests per year – come-on give us a better twisty tie!

  4. Hey Don! How ya doin bro? Hey man I know all about the staple thing. Had plenty of ’em last year after my surgery. Oh yeah, my anatomy was forever changed. I no longer have a navel! Yep the durn thing got sewn up. Hey when are you, Byron & I going to have a scar sharing party? Hang in there man!

  5. You finally found a way to work in that dog-eared copy of Cheryl Tiegs’ swimsuit issue you’ve been saving since you were 18! Ur my hero

  6. Wonder if all those staples would have set off alarms at airport security?

  7. Hey Don, when Tom was sick they actually got a long zipper from a real fabric store and inserted it from his chest to his navel. This way, they could just unzip it when they needed to mess with his innards instead of reopening, closing, etc. Ah, the miracles of modern medicine!! Thinking of you…hugs to you and Kate.

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