Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Today, in the morning the sun shone brightly...The birds were birding, the bees were beeing and it was a beautiful, albeit a hot day. I felt good as I sipped my two big cups of coffee and snarled at the Chicago Tribune. After my morning constitutional, I hollered to my sweet wife that I was ready to go to our gym.

As I ambled to the men's locker room, my body started veering right...It changed course as if against my will! I tried to make it stop, but lo-and-behold I crashed into a number of elliptical machines, and down I went on the floor. This vertigo thing was wierd, man! I never experienced anything like it in my life. A nice young lady came over and asked me if I was alright. I lied saying, "Yeah, I'm fine." I must have had a sheepish, embarrassed grin on my face...Truth be told, I was afraid.

She told me she was an EMT, (emergency medical technician), and that I should get my ass to the hospital, STAT! I sat myself down feeling defeated and nervous. The gym manager came over to me, and asked me if I hurt myself...if all was alright. I said, "as far as I can tell"...then I saw my wife, and let her know that she had to drive me to the hospital emergency room.

When we got there, and let them know what happened, and my history of problems with peripheral artery disease, they freaked out! I was a code white, (whatever the hell that is). Assholes and elbows were a flyin' everywhere! Now, I was really frightened! The medical staff stuck all kinds of rubber suction thingees all over my chest and legs. They put one of those geezer oxygen tubes in my nose. I could see my pulse and blood pressure on a monitor. I felt like I was an episode in the "House" tv show!

One thing for sure, I didn't feel like Rocky Balboa or the Incredible Hulk, anymore. I started thinking, "I must have had a trans-ischemic episode, commonly known as a "mini-stroke". With my history of aneurisms, this is a possibility. The doc came in and had me move my face, as I smiled, frowned, raised my eyebrows, arms, squeezed his hands, followed his finger with my eyes, and pushed my feet into the palms of his hands. I felt like a marrionette, only I was pulling the strings.

Shit! This thing was getting more and more ominous! They started drawing my blood and putting a IV thing in my wrist for the contrast I was going to get, 'cause the neurological surgeon on hand, wanted me to get an MRI...gulp! This was really a bummer, but I knew it was coming.

They rolled me onto this space-aged looking gurney with head and neck support and slid me into a tube, smaller than a coffin. I thought I was going to lose my mind listening to all the pounding and whirring as they magnetically imaged my brain, or lack thereof. I gut it out in there for thirty-five minutes. I was so tense from being nervous during this procedure that my shoulders were in agony.

When it was all over, two hot-looking attendants wheeled me back to my emergency room. Debbie was there, and she smiled at me as she held my hand...I felt like a little boy with his mommy. It was an agonizing two hours waiting for the results. My mind invented all types of horrible diseases and scenarios. By the time I was through with my machinations, I had an inoperable stage four, malignant brain tumor! I am never one to over-react...yeah.

Finally, the radiologist read my results, and the doctor came in with them. He wasn't smiling which was not a good sign. My guts were churning as I warily waited for what seemed an eternity, for the bad news. What's worse, I was gonna' have to take it, lying down. The doctor told me, "Your brain is lesions or tumors...what you probably had was vertigo." "It might have been caused by your recent sinus infection or your over-doing it at the gym, without proper hydration." See your family doctor in 3 to 5 days, or sooner if you have more symptoms." Hmmmm...I thought.

I felt like a guy who had been pardoned from the electric chair, at one minute to midnight! What a damn relief. I prayed my thanks to The Great Spirit, and once again turned into my asshole self. First, someone stole my favorite biker tank damn 2004 sturgis bike week shirt! Then, I started bitchin' about how much money this procedure was going to cost me. Also, I was angry that I lost a day of pumping iron and swimming at the local pool.

Finally, I looked at how my wife was smiling at me in the valet parking area, in front of the emergency room. I stood there, t-shirtless in my cut-offs and sneakers, amazed at her kindness. When the car pulled up, I grabbed her hand and kissed her gently on her lips. At that very second, I realized that I was the luckiest man in the world.

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