So, we recently went through another bout of health scares here in the Ravenson household. What a great way to pull my head out of my ass and put everything RIGHT back into perspective.
Long story long:
I went to the ER for chest pains and trouble breathing. It’s not really new, I’ve been having chest pain for about a year now. The breathing trouble IS new however, and it freaked me out. I had an EKG, blood tests, and a chest Xray and all checked out fine. I was told to schedule a stress test, which costs $8000-$10,000 with a $1000 deposit. Thanks, but I’m poor and uninsured, so if there’s something wrong I’ll just die tragically thankyouverymuch.
While I was there, waiting to be discharged, Bear had what can only be described as ‘an episode’. It’s happened a few times. He got the cold sweats, got dizzy (room-spinning dizzy), and began throwing up.
Since we were there, I asked the nurse if she could take his blood pressure. She said she’d need to check him in first, and since he’s had all the heart issues, we both thought that was a capital idea. So they checked him in.
They ran the same EKG, blood tests, chest Xray, etc. They didn’t come back OK, but that’s to be expected. He has 4 stents from a previous heart attack. So we found that his heart function is about 40%, which we knew already. (Believe it or not, NORMAL heart function is only about 60-70%.) The doctor was concerned with the damage to the heart muscle that was still present, and they decided to keep him overnight for observation.
I stayed with him. My chest hurt, I felt like shit, but I wanted to be there regardless. He’s my Bear, after all.
While we were there, he mostly slept while I mostly brooded, wrote, and brooded some more. It occurred to me that we just aren’t those people who are going to live long, healthy lives. We aren’t going to make it to 80. We aren’t going to spend our golden years rocking on our front porch. Chances are, the Bear will die earlier than most other people. My dad passed at 57, and his mom passed in her early 50’s (54 I think), so it’s not unprecedented. I’ve also had health troubles my entire life between the leg perthes, surgeries, adenomyosis, more surgeries, and now fibromyalgia and costochondritis. While none of these will kill me, my quality of life just isn’t what it should be. There’s always this pervasive background pain and the worry that it brings. So, when the Bear is gone, I’ll likely choose to follow him.
I realize that’s all kind of sad, but it is what it is. These are the lives we’ve been given. On the plus side, it means that we need to have fun while we can. I want to start making some more money so that we can travel. I need to get him to New Zealand at some point, and dammit, I want to get to make my Scotland/England/Wales trip before I’m too hurty to enjoy it. I also want to get my novel edited and published, so at least I can say that I’ve put something of myself out there.
On that note, a few days after we left the hospital, we had a chance to go to the county fair. We got to see cows and goats and chickens, and we ate a shit tonne of fried foods. Granted, that’s probably just hastening the inevitable, but it was also part of enjoying the experience.
Sometime next week, we’ll be making our annual pilgrimage to the apple orchards in Ellijay, GA. We usually have a great time moseying up through the mountains, and we’re hoping to bring back enough cider to ferment and enough apples to make apple butter for Yule gifts.
Life is fucking short. We WILL enjoy ourselves.