Wrestling With Life

With the possible exception of the cemetery, almost any place would be a welcome escape if it prevented the viewing – the humiliation – of the United State’s three presidential candidates, as portrayed on a popular wrestling program last Monday evening.[1]

Presumably, there must be many Americans who find this kind of thing amusing, enlightening, perhaps even an aid to resolution for those last-minute undecideds?

Frankly, to this more-conservative liberal, it sets the seal on how low America has allowed itself to sink, while still screaming from the rooftops of its ‘superlative’ world status.

I was spared all this hype, apart from a brief few moments caught on a recording of last night’s Daily Show, because I was in the hospital. Not wishing to bore with minute detail, but suffice to say I arrived at the ER with chest pains and within twenty-four hours my coronary artery was being fitted with a stent, following diagnosis of a 99% blockage.

It happens to thousands of people every week. There’s nothing unusual about it. Frankly, though, it gave me cause to speculate. You see, I’ve always kept reasonably fit; lived an outdoor lifestyle, never allowed my body an excess of things not good for it. Rarely has alcohol been abused, usually sticking to the occasional glass or two of red wine, even less frequent measure of good Scotch whisky. I don’t smoke. There is no whisper of genetic heart defect within my ancestry. In fact, most doctors would agree I was the most unlikely candidate for coronary artery disease.

I even, meticulously, swallowed a low-dose aspirin daily – just to err on the side of caution.

Consequently, when even the slightest exertion brought on a stinging pain behind the breastbone, I wrestled with it; told myself it could only be due to that one problem from which my body has ever suffered: esophageal acid reflux.

I was fortunate; a caring wife, insisting she drive me to the ER, “NOW!” cheated the Grim Reaper as cardiologists rapidly diagnosed a condition they colloquially refer to as the “Widow-Maker”. I was weeks, possibly only days away from a massive, and likely fatal, heart-attack.

It happens to thousands of people every week. I’ve known friends die from it, so suddenly they’re there one moment, gone the next.

I was fortunate. Had I listened solely to my own irresponsible, “That can’t ever happen to me,” I may not be writing these words now.

The truth is it can happen to anyone, however fit, however healthy their lifestyle, however free of heart disease their family tree.

If in doubt, get checked out. It’s a corny slogan, but it’s a damn sight more corny to die when you don’t have to.

You can do as I did, and Obama, Clinton, and McCain: hang about stupidly wrestling, or you can behave as the good US president would, by making when necessary a firm, positive, and right decision.
[1] “A Smackdown Among Presidential Candidates?” YouTube.

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9 Replies to “Wrestling With Life”

  1. I’ll certainly second both the previous motions, RJ.

    Perhaps it’ll make you feel a bit better to hear that one of my younger brothers had a stent fitted early this year – and that he says he genuinely feels like a new man.

    Honestly, he says the energy/stamina/ability he now has, is as it was about 10 years ago.

    Stay well, my mate.

  2. I wondered what had become of you! Cudos to your mate, and for you for having the sense to listen to her and not pull a ‘machoism’ on the situation. Getting older sure sucks, eh what?

  3. Oh RJA:
    here was I busy with tax season and only checking up on blogs tonight after a furlough and there you were, well-cared for body and mind, nicely seasoned with a healthy genetic past and kaboom, we nearly lost you. Good for your wife to storm the battlements of your stubborness. I thank her for your renewed vigour, hopefully painfree.
    Keep well, do what you’re told.
    Think positive.
    Stay healthy.

  4. Wow! I’m so glad all is well RJ. That must have been a very nasty shock.

    My husband had the same thing happen to him, a few years before we met. His problem was found during a routine check, but treated with the same urgency as yours. He’s been fine ever since. He was advised to follow a strict low-glycemic diet. He’s done this ever since.

    Be good – and well!

  5. Forgot to say – re the candidates on a wrestling show – we came across the three of them, accidentally last night, on the Country Music Awards show (accidentally because I’m sworn off country music).
    I think it must be a ploy by Politics Inc. or New World Order or some such to promote interest in the election among those whose minds are elsewhere. 😉

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