Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Just Not Feeling Good

It is, I suppose, not surprising that one's perspective regarding day to day life changes after discovering that you have a serious health problem. As I've related in earlier posts, I was told after testing that I have a blockage in one of my cardiac arteries. I am "managing" it with a beta blocker.

Up until this diagnosis I had always been more or less healthy. Not fit mind you, but healthy. That is, I had never been found to have anything life threatening or debilitating (except for my arthritic knees.) To date, I have never spent a night in a hospital except presumably at birth.

I had a number of the usual childhood illnesses - measles, mumps, various flus, colds and so on. I did my share of heaving chunks during my youth. But otherwise, I've lead a fairly charmed existence healthwise. Until now.

The doctor assured me that my situation was far from dire, that while significant, it could be much worse.

Still, one's perspective changes. Now I am hyper-sensitive to every little twitch, every little ache or pain, every flutter of my now suspect heart. While I am told that it is likely a side effect of the medicine, I now find that I tire easily. I oft times hit a wall of utter exhaustion at least once and sometimes twice almost every day. I can't wait to lie down, to zone out. For years I have taken short naps, usually sometime in the mid-afternoon - a benefit of working from a home office (kinda hard to do that in a cubicle.) But often I did so as much out of habit as out of a real need to rest. I have just thought of them as my daily meditations.

Now, the naps are generally longer and seem at least, more necessary. What I don't know at this juncture is just how much of my reaction is physical and how much mental or emotional. More often now I find myself thinking about things that I will likely never do. The future seems less definitive. I know that I could still rival my mother in longevity. She passed at 92. But I am also mindful that my eldest brother died at my age, 60; of a heart attack. That pretty much sucks. ( I wonder, if I wind up in a grave, or in an urn, if I could have something to that effect chiseled or etched on the surface. "This pretty much sucks." That might be good.)

I know in my initial post about this turn of events, I was all blustery. I was shook up, but the reality of it hadn't begun to sink in. I said then that I didn't feel any different, and I didn't. But now, I do. I presume that at least some depression is a natural response to one's initial tete-a-tete with mortality. I'm probably guilty of indulging myself too much. I've tried to avoid sitting on the pity pot. Perhaps that's what I'm doing here.

By current standards, sixty years is not a long life. Hell, the average life span in the US is something like 75 years. I recall some years ago it was announced that the average life span of an American male was around 72 years, while that of the average American female was 78 years. Some comedian taking note of that distinction announced his intention upon hitting 71 was to get a sex change operation. Good thinking.

I'm certainly not ready to cash in. I hope to see both of my sons get themselves established in life and take some pleasure in their accomplishments. I hope to get to a point wherein I will be able to hang up my clip board and tape measure and just live day to day without the concern for making a livelihood, and to be able to do that in relatively good health. But who knows? While I give no credence to any god, there are still things we just can't control. They ain't none of us gonna live forever, at least not yet.


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