Three months ago I decided I was going to start lifting weights. Heavy weights, like I did in my 20s. So I researched various regimes and without fail the advice I got was “check with your doctor first.”
So I did.
My blood pressure was substantially up. I had been on a baby dose of losinipril for the better part of a decade.
Didn’t seem to be working anymore.
My doc tripled the dosage and my potassium level spiked. So she switched me to amlodopine and my blood pressure went back to normal. For a few weeks.
That got me a consult with a cardiologist, a prescription for losartan. An echo cardiogram and a chest CT.
In 1989 they found a heart murmur. Actually disqualified me from flying. But I guess they were desperate, I was designated as NPQ/AA - Not physically qualified aeronautically adaptable.
If it weren’t for the chest CT, they never would have found it.
I have an aneurysm on my ascending aorta. It has probably been there all my life.
I get to go in for a cardio catheterization on Friday. I see the best CT surgeon in Maine on Tuesday.
They are going to open me up like a clam, stop my heart and repair the aneurysm.
And I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m terrified.
To run across me, you’d never know it. Apparently we Scots-Irish Nordic Cherokee types are taught early we never show emotions unless the bedroom door is closed.
Right now I am coping by not thinking too much about it.
I spent Thanksgiving weekend alternately watching cheesy hallmark Christmas movies and the darkest horror shit I could find on cable.
Actually “Crimson Peak” was pretty good. The ending was poignant.
Tomorrow I will do all my Christmas shopping. Which means I’ll buy a bunch of gift cards and Christmas cards. Plus a lobster mac and cheese casserole for the folks.
Dig out my living will and see if it stills works.
Balance all these doctors appointments.
And circular breathing. Maybe a Tibetan singing bowl.
Anything but thinking about waking up with a tube up my nose, and chest tube in, a catheter up mister wiggly. And being surrounded by beeping machines.
That’s if I wake up at all.
Last of all you old sea dogs
Who travel after whale
You’d storm the gates of hell itself
For the taste of a mermaid’s tail
Who come from long lines of skippers
Whose duty was fulfilled
In the words of a warrior’s will