He laughed

Do want to hear something funny?

Who doesn’t, that’s what I wanna know?

It’s not human.

It’s un-frigging-American!

But enough already. It seems I may have heart disease.

Did you bust your gut? Maybe blow a few rivets? You gotta hand it to my body. It’s a regular… well… some comedian who’s really funny.

There are five-year-olds who deal with worse better than I do with less. That said, I thought it would be cool to run through my medical menu of malady.

I’m 39. I take medication to (somewhat) control depression. I have a sleep disorder which keeps me from getting a full, good night’s sleep – ever. I have leukemia. I have a recurring problem with my neck, which may or may not have something to do with my inability to walk or stand more than ten minutes before my lower back goes Old Testament on me. (Wherein God invents the disproportionate response.) I have allergies which keep my sinuses perpetually closed for business. Something called anaphylaxis happens when I try to take allergy shots. I thought I had a bad case of heartburn / reflux. I still might.

The other day I went to my doctor with heartburn and left with a possible case of heart disease and strict instructions to go to the ER the next time I have “an episode like that again.” I’m supposed to have a stress test and an echocardiogram scheduled as soon as possible.

I gave the classic, schizophrenic response to all this by laughing. It wasn’t a rip-roaring belly ache, so it wasn’t enough to be committed, but it was a robust chuckle that came up smooth and finished with a hint of strawberries. I had strawberry yogurt for lunch and did not brush my teeth.

The next thing I know I’m at the drug store buying baby aspirin – when everyone knows babies don’t take aspirin – EVER. I laughed again.

So, where do I find this baby aspirin that babies don’t take? Surely they don’t like the odds of putting it on the pediatric aisle. It turned out I couldn’t even find the pain relief aisle. I laughed again.

I spent five minutes trying to figure out if “baby” aspirin and “low dose” aspirin were the same thing. They didn’t have any baby aspirin, but they had lots of this low dose stuff. I laughed again.

Cheryl worked out the logistics of a late night ER run. Adam told me he was worried about me going to the hospital. I replied, “If anyone was going to be nervous it would be me right? Do I look nervous? I’m not worried Adam so you don’t have to be either.”

I didn’t laugh. I think it might be the first time I thought lying to my kid was the right thing to do.

Now I’m in a funny place, but I don’t mean humorous. It’s like the place I visited in between my first blood test and the infamous bone marrow aspiration and biopsy. Now that I mention it, I can’t wait to get me one of those again! This is a little different though. I think there’s a slightly lower chance this will turn out to be the worst case scenario, but in the mean time – by it’s nature – is more likely to kill me while I sleep.

That’s a bit dramatic, but it’s in my head and there’s no getting it out.

So once again I wait in limbo. I’m pacing between the initial screening that doesn’t look good and the definitive test. It turns out “as soon as possible” is March third.


  1. If you need anything over the next days, weeks, months, you know that you just have to ask, right? I’ll be there for you, just as you’ve always been there for me.

    As for thinking about things, my advice is don’t. And if you’d like to learn to meditate, let me know.

Give the gift of words.