I am far too squeamish to contemplate my own anatomy for very long, especially when someone's been poking around inside it, retouching and remodeling irreplaceable bits and pieces. Those organs seem so alarmingly fragile in pictures, like little blood bubbles that might instantly pop if tapped with a pin, never mind a scalpel. And they're all wedged in there with absolutely no wiggle room, almost as if the entire system were spring-loaded, primed to explode all over the operating room if the wrong rib is accidentally disturbed during a procedure.
Indeed, considering the number of components in our human bodies, their convoluted design and awful sliminess, it is amazing that more surgical disasters do not occur. No doubt we can thank technological innovation for this lack of tragedy. For instance, so futuristic was the equipment at M.G.H that I remember wondering whether I was still on the operating table in Boston, or if I had been abducted by aliens from an advanced civilization and was now aboard their flying-saucer space hospital. Either way, I knew that I was in safe hands, no matter whether those hands belonged to an Earthling, or were the long-fingered claws of some little green extraterrestrial heart specialist with a five-brained head that looks like a squid's head.
Of course, our descendants in 2050 will hopefully regard today's surgical techniques as barbarously primitive. They will consider modern open heart surgery to be as gruesome as Victorian amputations with a hacksaw appear to us. Alternatively, it's also possible that surgery could be so expensive by then that hospitals simply won't bother performing it anymore, unless the patient is super-rich. Everyone else will just be told to take it easy and sent home to drop dead when the fatal hour arrives.
So, on the whole, I am grateful for having had my bypass now, even if the experience has, at its low points, felt a little like being Dracula waking from eternal slumber when a stake is removed from his accursed heart.