Hell of a Guy

I Am Not Immortal After All…


Confused by the title?  So the hell am I.

I have a pain, more an ache, I suppose.  It manifested itself on the left side of my back just below the shoulder blade, and has been there now about two weeks.  Yesterday I had a visit with my local doc – Doctor Paul.

Visits with Doctor Paul can be very grueling and time consuming.  Dr. Paul loves to talk.  He is an extremely intelligent guy and talks about eighty miles over my head.  I get to nod and seriously pretend I have a clue as to what he is saying.  I am not a man with a small vocabulary, but this guy uses words I have never heard of or seen in print.  His phrasing and sentence construction gets my brain turning in circles.  A typical conversation has him talking and talking, and me nodding and nodding.  He may think I am agreeing or acknowledging, but my nodding is one indicating I don’t have any notion of what hell he is saying.  This day, however, I got it. 

Through the ten-letter words and a story of modern peoples versus the Romans, insofar as sensing the body’s signals is concerned, I got the picture.  I may have a problem.  Suffice it to say what I garnered from our pretty much one-sided conversation is that I may have an issue involving my heart.

After listening to my heart and poking and prodding my chest, sides and back, he sent me to the local hospital for an EKG, some blood work and a chest x-ray, and told me to return to his office as soon as this was accomplished.  So I did.

He had the EKG when I got back there and the blood work.  All appeared to be fine, so he told me he was not going to have me admitted to the hospital, but would get me an appointment with a cardiologist stat (that’s a medical term I picked up back in the 60s watching “Ben Casey” on TV).  Well, he really didn’t say “stat.”  Call that poetic license.  He wants me to see a heart doc as soon as he can get me an appointment.  Well, needless to say, I was humbled.  I think of myself as living forever.  I am immortal, but now, only to a point, it seems. 

Back in January The Nancy and I decided to get healthy.  We began to exercise every day.  We cut back on our alcohol consumption by maybe up to a third.  We dieted and really watch what we consume these days.  We have both lost over thirty pounds and are looking damn good for older Americans (referring to myself and certainly not my ageless wife).  So, to now discover what Dr. Paul seems to think could be a life altering issue really sucks.  Shortly after I left his office, having been admonished not to do anything “over” strenuous, I went back to The Farm and did an hour on the treadmill.  It makes me sweat, but that is about all it does physically, besides burning over 500 calories making allowing me to eat carrot cake and drink a beer or two, and it just makes me feel good about me.

Well, there is my story of the month.  I feel great, except for the ache under my shoulder blade.  My life is blessed and I don’t think I can be happier than I am this day, but if for some reason my purpose for being here is done I am not afraid to die and I am not afraid of death.  Know this about this Hell of a guy: it has been one hell of a great ride.  If I could go back and relive my life from Day One, I would do it and never change a thing.  I would take the good with the bad, the sweet with the bitter, and not regret a single moment.  Life is good, except it may entail a little surgery and I don’t like hospitals.

And that is all I have to say about that…

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