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Monday, February 1, 2016

Tango in the Night (in my head)


I had exactly 5,476 metaphors in my head to use in this posting, but in all honesty I just can't pull it off.   "Honesty" being the key word in that last sentence.  I note, with some pride, that I am always honest in these postings.  Whomever wants it can get with complete honesty what's in my head at any given time I choose to write.  Now this doesn't mean that I tell everything...I don't, so call me guilty of the occasional sin of omission, but not of deception.

Preamble completed.  On to the story.

A member of my extended family has been fighting a health issue for over a year now, and things came to something of a head a week and a half ago.  Details are neither important or required.  The good news on that front is that, well, there is good news.  Finally there is a decent chance for a recovery, and while the road will be tough, finally there seems to be a road to take.  In my head (and in my actions) I've been helping with this particular issue for a while now.  I don't say that for purposes of self-promotion.  It just is what it is, and to borrow a line from my favorite John Mellencamp song, "I do things my way and I pay a high price".  Life has a funny way though of reminding you that it is full of irony.

Now on to the ironic part.

I've been pretty open about my health in this blog.  Specifically...

...I have what a co-worker used to call "Walleye Vision"; medically the correct term is "Strabismus".  I makes for a funny parlor trick when I force my eyes to work together, but for the most part they never do, and I'm left with being nearsighted in one eye and farsighted in the other.

...I developed asthma at about age 48.  Go figure.

...I have had trouble maintaining a healthy weight, and along with that my blood pressure ebbs and flows like the tide in the Bay of Fundy.  At the moment it's really good actually, thank you very much.

Now on the plus side, I am very active, I can basically eat Crisco for a month and still have excellent cholesterol readings (my last total cholesterol reading was 145) and when I choose to, I can actually achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

So in the midst of finally getting some good news in the extended family heath department, I've learned that I'm now dealing with a malady known as "Atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response".  Try and say that fast three times.  It was caught by accident really; at a recent check-up the little "heart rate finger tip thingie" read my heart rate as being, and I kid you not, something like "64 then 89 then 113 then 90 then 74 then 102", all in about 30 seconds.  After strapping some electrodes, the above diagnosis was arrived at in short order.  Per my doctor, had I complained of not feeling well in the slightest of ways he would have sent me to the hospital.  As it stands, during the appointment I felt really well.  I swore to him.  I offered to run around the parking lot of his office to prove it.  He believed me, as I'm writing this from home, by the way.

Since then I've had enough blood drawn from my arm to paint a small wall and more electrodes strapped across my chest.  I've also seen a cardiologist on a haste basis.  More blood work to come this week and two more doctor's appointments.  One will tell me if I now have a heart that's normal sized or something more along the lines of what's typically seen in a sperm whale.  I'm hoping for the former.

The cardiologist, in between talking about the dangers of a possible stroke (which always makes for lovely & uplifting conversation, by the way) tells me that I've got a lot going for me in all of this mess... blood pressure is good blood work, with the exception of one indicator related to heart functioning, is excellent
...I've never smoked
...I don't, for the most part, drink any alcohol
...I've never used an illegal drug (or abused a legal one) in my life.

Again, all good stuff which makes the likelihood of my doing the "blood clot in the brain tango" less likely.

Have I mentioned that in the midst of this, I actually feel physically really good?

What's next and why the Hell did I even write this anyway?

In reverse order, I wasn't sure I wanted to even write about this, but how could I avoid it?  The dirty, not so secret fact here is that I write this stuff for me, and if something big is happening in my life, writing about it actually helps me in the information processing department.  I just happen to invite the whole Internet into the process (which is part of the process for me).  This will likely be a part of my life for maybe the rest of my life, so better to start dealing with it now.  As for tomorrow (as in "what's next?"), I'm going to continue to eat better and get my weight down to something healthier.  I've actually done the latter twice in my life, only to see it climb back, so third time is a charm.  I'm also hopeful that will end up being a big part of my overall treatment.

Mostly though, the whole thing is something of a pause for me actually.  It's rather cliched to talk about "life changing" stuff, and I'm not.  I have had some sad thoughts about this whole mess, but better those things come out now than sit and fester.  I'm not angry about this either.  It has reminded me though that life can change on a dime, so all the more reason to live in the present moment.

Thanks for reading.

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