About three years ago, I had a triple bypass. Which was, if you’ll recall, the most traumatic incident of my life. And mostly, the heart condition wasn’t my fault – I have a genetic predisposition that really sprays fine cholesterol particles everywhere, which requires medication to clamp down upon.
Tomorrow, I go in for a cardiac stress test to see if everything’s okay.
I’m prepped. I shaved my chest, because those leads will do a number on a furry guy. I’ve got my alarm set so I drink no caffeine after 6:00. And I’ve been working out regularly, and doing long walks with the dog, and eating better, but…
There’s also chest pains. There always are, of course. Part of the issue after every heart problem is that you always have little pains around, things you hadn’t considered big deals before the diagnosis, but now every gas pain is a concern that maybe this is it, maybe you’re dying.
Maybe tomorrow they look at me and discover that all this has come back, and I’ll have to go in for more surgery. I hope not. I’ve tried to keep myself relatively healthy. But I’m terrified that some time after tomorrow’s test I’ll get a call from the surgeons saying that things have deteriorated, that it’s time for more stents or open-cardiac stuff or just the clampdown where I never get a chocolate milk again and it’s nothing but kale for the rest of my life.
I’m more terrified than I let on. But that’s what it is. Tomorrow I get the evidence for what my life will become. I won’t know for a week after that, of course, but this is a scary time and maybe it’ll be nothing but I have firm evidence that at least on one notable occasion it wasn’t nothing. It was a something. A something that’s affected the rest of my life.
I need to know, of course. I can’t just stick my head in the sand. But I understand that urge. I understand that sense that it’d be better if you didn’t know, if you just kept trundling along in life and skirting that huge cardiac elephant in the room until you just keeled over and died, because maybe it’s better that death sneaks up on you rather than you looking it in the eye.
It’s probably nothing. It’s probably nothing. It’s probably nothing.
But I’ll know what it is soon.
Let’s hope it’s nothing.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.