Monday, January 29, 2007

Blockage? You're Talking Blockage?

Yep. I went to see a cardiologist today, and that ugly word cropped up. I got BLOCKAGE. Well, that sucks! It's a bad thing, right?

What to do, what to do? Roto Rooter comes to mind. Liquid Plumber? Draino? The doctor forces a chuckle. "No, no, and no." Then the good doctor, who, I believe, hails from India or thereabouts, says: "You don hiv de bon don doo nu biddle da nob dib kondando, ha, ha, ha." What a guy. We all just laughed and laughed.

We pulled ourselves together and after a good deal of repetition I think I discerned that I have a posterior artery which is probably 70% to 80% blocked. Just the one, I guess. He pointed out rather jovially that it is not the "widow maker" artery, and it is not completely blocked. (This was determined via a stress test coupled with nuclear [or nucular if you're a republican,] injections and scans prior to and after my nine and a half minutes on the treadmill.)


I guess.

Well, now I am going from simply taking an aspirin and multi-vitamin in the morning to where I will soon be downing those plus Zocor for high cholesterol, and something to slow my heart rate, a beta blocker, the name of which I never quite understood, and - AND I am now supposed to carry nitroglycerin tablets with me in the event my chest explodes. I have always been under the impression that nitroglycerin possessed a tendancy to explode. But what do I know? Nitroglycerin for poop sakes!

Life moves on inexorably with changes that inevitably lead us to the happy hunting grounds.

Things changed for me today. I don't feel any different. I haven't been having any pain, sweating or shortness of breath, but nevertheless, things have changed. This is the first definitive chink in my immortal armor. By golly. I might not live forever. People have been telling me that is the case for some time, but I never really believed that it applied to me.

True, I've had some knee problems - a torn miniscus, a little arthritis - but that had little to do with continuing to draw breath. It just slowed me down a bit. A little pain. Mostly just a nuisance.

But a blockage? That's my heart, man! That's pretty basic.

Then the doctor tells me I'm fat. What's up with that? I point out that "I wouldn't be fat if it wasn't for my weight. Ha, ha." And, then: "My gelatinous gut here? Well, it used to be my chest but owing to the effects of gravity... Ha, ha, ha." He doesn't get it. "Yes, he says, you weigh a great deal, and so you are fat. You have the belly fat. Badinably kondeendi pundamakoli. Okay? We'll see you."

And he's gone.

I slip my shirt back over my ponderous bulk, and my wife and I make our way back to our car. We decide to trek up to Trader Joes grocery and look for low sodium food. I pointed out to her that sugar has no sodium (or fat for that matter.) But, alas, she's diabetic.

It has been determined that we humans are supposed to take in no more than something like 2000 milligrams of sodium per day. There are packaged foods at Joes that have nearly 1000 milligrams of sodium per serving. I think salt is the first ingredient listed on the package. Most have something in excess of 500 to 600 milligrams per serving. What can you do?

I once purchased a can of sodium free soup. No sodium. Nada. None. That was perhaps the worst tasting thing I've ever eaten, and I've eaten dirt! They could use that stuff on "Fear Factor." No one could eat that crap.

We are salt fiends. Even if we eschew adding it to our food at the table, salt, as they used to say about Prego: "It's in there." No wonder people died young before they discovered how to utilize salt. The hellish taste of their food destroyed their will to live. They wanted to go to the land of milk and honey.

What am I to eat? Low fat, low salt, low sugar, low calories. I can eat air. Or air "lite" would be preferable.

Well. Not to worry. This dastardly clogged artery will not get me down. I will lose weight. I will get in shape. I will eat air. To hell with my knees! I am aiming for the Ironman competition in Hawaii in say, 2008 or, better maybe 2009. Don't want to rush into anything. I will kick some "Big Kahuna" butt.

Of course, I've got to do this while I also go about learning everything so I can retake the damn Jeapordy on line test. I'll put the entire contents of the Encyclopedia Britannica on an IPod and listen while I bike, swim and run. No problem. Not only will I be one smart son of a bitch, I'll be a buff one, too. The girls (and maybe some guys) will swoon. Brains and brawn.

I just hope I can be understood answering the Jeapordy questions with a nitoglycerin pill under my tongue.



Zoe said...

Well my friend...the blockage has not hurt your sense of humour. :-)

tina said...

I was going to say the same thing as zoe, you still have your humor and I hope to be like you if I get that diagnosis!

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