Tim GilmerI celebrated my 51st anniversary of the day I became a paraplegic just two days ago as I write this.

It started with a big breakfast — three eggs, three pieces of Canadian bacon and two slices of Dave’s Killer Bread — knowing it would be my last meal of the day. An out¬patient surgical suite was waiting for me at Providence Portland Medical Center. I would be getting my first Botox injections in my bladder, and the urologist, a new one for me, insisted that I be anesthetized.

Words that end that way creep me out (hospitalized, anesthetized, euthanized, cannibalized).

My daughter drove me to the joint and they incarcerized me, poked me, sucked my blood, started an IV. A green-suited gnome did an EKG that took all of 3 seconds. I will be charged about $300 for that, if I’m lucky. If you count the time it took the gnome to patch me with electrodes, flick the switch, then rip the electrodes and hair from my chest, it came to 20 seconds, which calculates to $54,000 per hour.

I spent the next two hours waiting in my cell, growing increasingly agitated. My new urologist was, sadly, not on my good guy list. When he first requested my Botox pre-authorization, it was denied. I think he made a poor case for it. So I sent him an official letter asking that he do an