Wednesday, February 15, 2006

And now, from the "More adventures with Dickie Cheney and his world of hurt" and Yahoo! News

Sudiegirl sez: This is entry #500! WHOO-HOO! GO ME! Er…uh…ahem…

Anyway, if Dick Cheney was married to Desi Arnaz, Desi would say, “Dick-IE! You got some ‘splainin to do!” As it is, Dickie is just keeping his mouth shut while a nation waits and wonders.

Man Shot by Cheney to Remain Hospitalized
By LYNN BREZOSKY, Associated Press Writer
35 minutes ago

The lawyer shot by Vice President Dick Cheney during a hunting accident is expected to stay in the hospital for about a week after suffering a mild heart attack when a shotgun pellet in his chest traveled to his heart. (Oh man…I’ll bet Dick didn’t count on this happening…or maybe he did?!)

Harry Whittington, who was moved back to the intensive care unit Tuesday after the heart attack, will be watched to make sure more metal pellets do not reach other vital organs, hospital officials said. The 78-year-old was reported in stable condition. (However, Dick Cheney is reported as hiding in a corner of his office, rocking back and forth, with his thumb in his mouth and his favorite blankie by his side for comfort.)

Doctors at Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Memorial said Whittington suffered a "silent heart attack" — obstructed blood flow, but without the classic heart-attack symptoms of pain and pressure.

Doctors said they decided to leave the pellet alone rather than operate to remove it. They said they are highly optimistic Whittington will recover and live a healthy life with the pellet in him. (And pretty soon, he’ll be able to chase Cheney around the ranch with a baseball bat or a board with a nail in it!)

Hospital officials said they were not concerned about the six to 200 other pieces of birdshot that might still be lodged in his body. (What? WHY AREN’T THEY CONCERNED??? Isn’t that, like, SHRAPNEL, that could work its way through to other vital organs and kill the guy?)

Cheney was using 7 1/2 shot from a 28-gauge shotgun. Shotgun pellets typically are made of steel or lead; the pellets in 7 1/2 shot are just under one-tenth of an inch in diameter. (OOOH…that’s gotta hurt!)

Cheney watched a news conference Tuesday where doctors described Whittington's complications. Then the vice president called and wished him well and asked if there was anything he needed. (read: “then the vice president called and tried to play a Jedi mind trick on the old duffer, convincing him not to sue and that he really wanted some butter pecan ice cream instead.")

"The vice president said that he stood ready to assist. Mr. Whittington's spirits were good, but obviously his situation deserves the careful monitoring that his doctors are providing," the vice president's office said in a statement. (OK, that is just about the most noncommittal statement in the free world right there. “Stood ready to assist”? That’s like when my mom would stay and “watch the car” while Dad and I would lug in boxes to my dorm when school started. “Stood ready to assist…” FEH!)

Cheney, an experienced hunter, has not spoken publicly about the accident, which took place just before nightfall Saturday while the vice president was aiming for a quail on a ranch in South Texas. Critics of the Bush administration called for more of an explanation from Cheney himself. (I think that’s perfectly fair…Cheney should make a statement. He did it, he needs to own up to it and be a man instead of a flippin’ bureaucrat.)

Through hospital officials, Whittington has declined to comment. (read: Whittington is still doped up to all holy hell and can’t put a sentence together.)

Hospital officials said they knew Whittington had some birdshot near his heart and that there was a chance it could move closer since scar tissue had not had time to harden and hold the pellet in place. (Why can’t they get in and remove it? If any doctors read this blog, could they explain why?)

After Whittington developed an irregular heartbeat, doctors performed a cardiac catheterization, in which a thin, flexible tube is inserted into the heart, to diagnose his condition, said Peter Banko, the hospital's administrator.

The shot was either touching or embedded in the heart muscle near the top chambers, called the atria, officials said. Two things resulted:

• It caused inflammation that pushed on the heart in a way to temporarily block blood flow, what the doctors called a "silent heart attack." This is not a traditional heart attack where an artery is blocked. They said Whittington's arteries were healthy. (Thank heaven for small favors.)

• It irritated the atria, caused an irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation, which is not immediately life-threatening. But it must be treated because it can spur blood clots to form. Most cases can be corrected with medication.

White House physicians helped advise on the course of treatment, hospital officials said. (Again…getting the fox to watch the henhouse. Why is it that the White House – who basically EMPLOYS the dummy that shot Mr. Whittington – has their physicians giving advice? What kind of advice would they give? “Increase the painkillers until Whittington goes night-night”? “Curare works wonders with shotgun blast victims”? “A pillow over the face helps cure irregular heartbeats”? They’re trying to protect the cash cow here. That’s not a good thing for Mr. Whittington.)

Texas officials said the shooting was an accident and no charges have been brought against the vice president. (Other than a $7.00 fine. *Sudiegirl rolls eyes in disgust*)

A Texas Parks and Wildlife Department report issued Monday said Whittington was retrieving a downed bird and stepped out of the hunting line he was sharing with Cheney. "Another covey was flushed and Cheney swung on a bird and fired, striking Whittington in the face, neck and chest at approximately 30 yards," the report said. (Boy, that just keeps getting funnier every time I read it.)

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said it has sent a letter to the chairman of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission urging that Cheney's hunting license be revoked. (Let it be known that this is the first time I have agreed with PETA on anything, even if it’s for a different reason than theirs. Mark it on your calendars, folks…)

Sudiegirl's final opinion...

"Cheney's got a gun...Cheney's got a gun...Whittington's come undone...Cheney's got a gun" (to the tune of Aerosmith's "Janie's got a gun")

Associated Press Writer Nedra Pickler in Washington contributed to this report.
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