Wednesday, February 11, 2009

All these empty places

I'd like to think it's a Valentine's Day special, except that shouldn't happen until Saturday and today is Wednesday, so I guess I have to admit it's a down payment on a life lived a lot faster and harder than the Manufacturer's warranty stipulated.

I'm in William W. (stands for woo-hoo! Sorry WaMu; we hardly knew ye) Backus Hospital this morning for a heart catherterization. When I met my physician, Dr. N. last week, via a referral from the nephrologist, Dr. C., he explained the background and the reasons for why I'll be somewhat more uncomfortable for awhile today and, best case scenario, for the next couple of days.

I'm a science experiment, of sorts, this morning as millions before me have been, but not as a plaster of paris (why is that stuff called that, anyway?) volcano filled with baking soda. I asked the doctor if the catherterization were actually needed since I did cry watching Beaches, though probably for a different reason than everyone else. (Wind Beneath My Wings is right up there with The Rose as a Bette-Midler-Song-I-Wish-Never-Existed).

I attended a class Monday afternoon on what happens this morning since I do so love coming attractions at the drive-thru. In my case, we're all better off with surprise as an ally. The longer I sat in the lab Monday and got a preview, the more I eyed the exits and the distance to them.

I'd tell you I'm a little concerned for the squirrels to whom I feed peanuts out of my office window because I don't know what they're going to do today, except as we both know, I am so lying it's pathetic. I'm a little tight right now and, with apologies to Robert Frost (Jack's dad, judging by the look of him), I hope I have miles to go before I sleep. And maybe it's the fact that it probably won't be the Sleep of the Just, should it happen, that most bothers me in all of this that has my sweat pumps operating at max efficiency right now.

Genetic inheritance being what it is and lifestyle helping give it the rest, between my father and with my own eyes wide shut, I have, as the doctor explained last week, ALL the indicators he looks for when analyzing stress test results (I studied, I really did). The only silver lining in a canopy of grey sky was that I had stopped smoking three packs of cigarettes almost thirteen years ago. That I had been at it, however, previously for over two decades, as I followed his explanation, pretty much cancelled out the 'hurray!' part of that equation.

I'm planning on being here tomorrow--as I've planned on it everyday for almost fifty seven years, even before I was aware of much more than my fingers and toes. And I'm intending to write something (you may not share my enthusiasm for what I do and that's understandable), but I may work to write ahead just in case stuff goes South Wednesday morning.

It's been a bit of a wrench to share with my brother, same Dad same genetic inheritance, that I could be a shape of things to come for him. Or for me to look at my two children and know that they now know both of their grandfathers, "Opa" with whom they grew up in Germany, and Dad's Dad who died before they were ever thought of much less conceived, both died of heart failure. And that, through the magic of that same genetics, they may have more than just my smile in their DNA.

Haven't ever contemplated my own mortality before, which, egotist that I am is sort of surprising, even to me. When your life flashes before your eyes and it's lots of people you don't know, or know well, it's a little too late for course correction. Just happy to be here, I think, (even if no one else is too happy about that), and I hope as dark as this ride may be today, and I did appreciate the candor of the explanation last week even though I realized later I sure didn't act like it, if life is a raffle, I hope to continue to be present to win, or at least play for a tie.
"The days slide by/Should have done, should have done, we all sigh."
-bill kenny

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