I remember a time, back when I was about 23 years old, my office had a BBQ outside, in the parking lot. Doing what I usually did around that time, I walked to the liquor store at the corner of the block, bought a case of beer and walked it back to the gathering and proceeded to engage with my coworkers. A very typical type of gathering. Definitely not one that should have stuck in my mind for so many years after but it was the comments of the owner, my boss , the reason why I remember this one specific time.
I had just gotten myself a Braut and washed it down with a beer while smoking a cigarette, which caused the remark “ Buddah, you are a picture of health, right now.” by Mr. Durkin. We all had our laugh at my expense and carried on.
I didn’t think about it much back then, hell, why should I? I was 23 years old, in pretty good shape and considering I had just come out of a time in my life where I had invited death lots of times, with no success, I thought I was invisible.
Fast forward about 16 years. I’ve been married for 15 of those with 2 sons, 14 and 10 years old and even though I have been very active throughout those years, some of my bad health habits have stuck with me. I don’t eat right, I continued smoking for a large part of that time and even go through some spells where I pick the habit back up for a couple months, and my drinking...well, I still drink. I have always tried to stay in shape and my weight losses and gains have been a constant roller coaster ride; up and down and up and down. I’ve been fooling myself into believing that because I am active, I can afford to keep up with my other bad health choices, Hell, I’m only...wait, I’m going to be 40 this year…
One early morning, about 2 weeks ago I was woken up about an hour or so before my alarm went off with some discomfort in my chest. I rolled around a bit, thinking it may have been the way I was sleeping but eventually sat up and realized I was having chest pains. After a couple more minutes of these chest pains,
I decided to just get up and start my day. Dismissing the discomfort I went on with my day trying to convince myself that maybe I just had gas or some other stupid cause that I was making up to avoid the fact that I am having fucking chest pains. I decided that maybe I should go see a Doctor. Having finally pushed aside my stubbornness and do something logical, I remembered that it has been such a long time since I have actually gone to see a Doctor that I had absolutely no idea who the fuck my doctor was.
After about a week of calling the insurance and making the arrangements I finally went to my doctors appointment. I told the Doctor about my Chest Pains and he made the arrangements for all the tests. About 4 Blood tests, A Urinary Test, an ECG test and a Stress test. Luckily my heart was fine and aside from a slightly elevated blood pressure and ridiculously high cholesterol, I was fine, with no chance of diabetes. Well, that’s good I guess but what was causing my Chest Pains?
A week has gone by and this is all I have been thinking about. I think about my habits, my wife and my children. I lost my father last year about this time. He was 65 years old, but he had suffered multiple heart attacks and a stroke all within his 40s and 50s. I’m barely turning 40. I still have lots of life to live and still have lots of myself to offer, and though I have gone through a time in my life where I did not care if I would live another year, I am way past that time now. I want to see my children grow up. I want to grow old with my wife. I want to hold my grandchildren in my arms, I want to see more of the world, learn new things, read new books, listen to new music, experience new things, teach, write, Live. I see now that my bad habits are rubbing off on my children and all bullshit aside, I can not think of anything worse I could do to them. . As much as I hate actually planning shit, I have got to have a better plan for my future because I am not finished here yet.
So, here it goes. Time to eat better and get healthier. The world still needs me and I still need it and maybe, one day soon, someone will say that I am a picture of health, and not be saying it in sarcasm. Maybe…...one day
Don't be afraid
that ringing you hear in your ears
is Just a Bit of