Posts Tagged ‘health’

An Interesting Case

May 22, 2009

I’ve noticed that my doctor spends a lot more time making notes
these days when I visit
than he did five or ten years ago.
I am a more interesting case, it seems.
He furrows his brow more.
“That blood pressure number is getting high again,” he says.
“We’ll check it again next visit, but
we may have to start you on some
medication.”
In my house, growing up, we never even took
aspirin.
My Dad worked 30 years without taking a sick day.
His mother hated hospitals.
She had four out of five babies delivered at home.
The one that was born in the hospital was never right, she said.
She blamed it on the hospital.
I was always proud to be healthy, and doctor-free,
but now I look at my body in shock and berate it.
“What’s this rash you gave me? And why is my blood pressure elevated?
What happened to all that energy I had when I was twenty?”
My body shrugs.
‘That’s just the way things are,” it says.
If pressed, it will tell me I should have taken better care of it.
“How many times did you stay up all night when you were romancing girls?
And do you remember how much you smoked?
And some of the food you ate? And the time you mixed vodka with whiskey, that night at the bar? What were you thinking?
I wasn’t built to last forever,” it says.
“I’m not indestructible.”
“You’re letting me down,” I say. “I had plans, lots of plans for these next couple of decades. I was going to travel, build castles, write books, fight some more wars, start a company or two, before I turn my empire over
to my children.”
“Listen,” my body says. “Take it easy. Enjoy every day. You know, I really like the feeling of sitting outside in the park on a sunny day. We used to do that when you were young.”
“Yes,” I say, remembering days that seemed endless, glorious.
My body sighs.
“Can we do that again?” it says.
I think of the doctor with his checklist.
“Sure,” I say. “That would be nice.”
I’ll settle for a smaller empire.

Advertisements