Waking up in a hospital is a jaring exeperiences no matter how prepared you think you can be. The nurses were calling it a typical case of "white coat syndrome." A simple fear of doctors.
In short, my heart rate was accelerating from the moment I walked into the brand new St. Luke's hospital in Lee's Summit. I was feeliung anxious and jumpy. Go figure, I hate needles, the sight of blood makes me sick and even watching something an innocous as ER gives me the creeps. I don't do well with medical things.
I remember going home a number of times in the day almost a year ago and vomiting when the newspaper I worked for made me cover the death of a police officer and the sudice of her attacker. To this day, when the police officer's name is mentioned I feel sick and sometimes depressed for my lack of control in this area.
Its not going to be the last time I have to deal with this kind of tragedy if I want to do anything in this business. But, by god, it will never get easier.
But what casued the docotrs to have an unholy freak out during my tonsilectomy on Monday was the fact that my blood presaure refused to go down at any time. It was dangerously high, I kept being told. I just wanted the get the hell out of that place.
The wanted to take blood and run some tests before I left fearing that the stress of even simlple surgery could give me a heart attack. What the hell? I am only 21 and they are telling me I might die of aheart attack - this was supposed to be an easy day to get through. No threats of lifestyle death or ominous predictions becuse of my own self destructive habits.
Shit, after a quick touch with being healthy last year, I had really let myself get out of shape. Living in Boston, I gained nearly 20 lbs eating fired fish going out for far to many pizza and beer lunches. Coming home, I did nothing to even attempt to lose the weight or work it off. So instead of my 210 that I have been weighing in at sincde I was a junior in high shcool, I am now 254 lbs. It used to make sence and looked fine since I stand roughly 6-foot-5
It was not the normal docotr that noticed this trend of self destruction. The anestesiologist who was perscribing my drugs said that he had noticed my irregualr heart rate too during the surgery. He was affriad that if it did not settle down some time near the end of the procedure he could have had to break out the shock paddles jsut to make sure my heart was going to keep working.
I had morbidly joked with the nurses as they took my insurance card and driver's licences that they really needed those to ID the body - you know just incase. Makinga joke like that in a hospital is about as well recieved as a joke about you bobmb making skills in an airport.
After teh surgery as I was sleeping off the drugs that had been shoved through my viens, he called a doctor that was to come and scare the horrible truth into the me that, even at 21, I could die of a heart attack or worse, a stroke, sometime in the next 5 years if I do not shape up.
As soon as he said this I began reeling in my mind back through time thinking of how every man on the Ekey side of my family has been hospitilized in the past 10 years with some kind of heart problem or colestrol issue. My greatgrandfather died in 1991 of a heart attack, my grandfather had heart by pass surgery and eventually had to get a pace maker of some kind. My dad is already undergoing drastic colestrole medicine for a and getting attention for a weakened heart - It was still a shock to me that this bastard even still had a heart.
Now, if I cant get back down to a "normal weight" by summer, I, too, might be on some kind of medication to make sure I do not kill myself. Seem like my almost-daily trips to Chipotle or The Heidelberg are going ot have to come to an end. The weedday/weekednd drinking might have to be cut back. In fact that idea that all fried foods would bed cut our of my diet seemed to be mentioned, but by the time we got to this friendly coversation between my mother and hte doctor, I was no longer listening.
Earlier in the month some jock from Syaracue died of a heart attack. He was not in the same situation I was - being overweght and out of shape. His family just had a bad histroy with this crap. The errie similiarty is that at 6-foot-4 and 250 lbs, he was only a month away from his 22 birthday. Well, I have one inch and four lbs on the kid, and maybe a few more months to live.
Its a terrible wayto go, if you think about it. Essentiually, your heart stop working because you never did start working out. Ultimaley, the illness, in some respect, if your fault and you did nothing about it. A great fact ot keep in mind as your vision begins to blur and your right arm goes numb.
Who knows, maybe I am being overly dramatic becasue of hte codine and other pills I am on from the surgery, but this kind of shit is a terrible load to give some one sucking down a popsicle and awaiting hte first of nearly 5 gallons of ice cream to keep my throat from catching fire.
I was going to have to go into the doctors anyway for a follow up in three weeks. Now, though, it looks like I will be making another stop at the doctors office for a new "diet consultation." I knew this holiday season was going to fucking ruin this past year of mine which has been in some respect one of my more deparessing year, but maybe this will open some door for me to have a good new year.
Maybe spend my last day in 2005 eating one of those 54,000 callorie mosnter burgers or eating some raw bacon slathered in crisco. Its my last hurrah, the fianl show down the end game. And, like everyt other huiman being in this situation, I only have a few more weeks to enjoy it. The year of self-destruction. It needs to go out right.