My mortality has been challenged as of late. Being rushed off in an aid car to the hospital will do that to a guy, even though I had no idea why I was in the aid car in the first place.
It ended up being just a little thing. A memory brain fart known as Transient Global Amnesia. Four or five hours of not remembering the last minute, let alone the last hour, of your life.
I’ve had other brushes lately with being more mortal and less invincible than I like to think I am.
Last Friday, I said goodbye to one of my teeth. The dentist said it was time for it to go, so out it went. I am still sore from the experience. After all, it wasn’t an insignificant tooth. It was a molar. Worse, it was an expensive molar for at some point I paid to have it crowned.
When my dentist asked if I wanted to take it with me, I said, “Heck ya!” I mean, at some point in my life I forked over about $500 for my part of that tooth and I wasn’t about to let it go that easily. Perhaps I’ll make it into a necklace so when I go pirating I can scare the kiddies into pristine flossing of their own teeth. It looks pretty scary now that it’s out of my mouth.
I don’t really miss it. But I did remark to Kat that the photo on Facebook – a closeup of me singing on stage last week – marked that tooth’s last performance. The other members of the cuspid choir will have to go on without one of its own.
As usual, I didn’t give much thought to the outcome of the surgery, for that’s what it actually was. A few of my teeth are the only parts of my original equipment that aren’t with me anymore. Everything else is intact. Well, there is that one piece of plumbing that was severed several years back after I finished my baby making years. But I don’t count that since the whole piece is still in there, it’s just chopped in half.
I’ve been lucky in that respect. I’ve only been in the hospital twice in my life, once for kissing a girl, the other for temporarily losing my mind in a brain fart. The kissing episode landed me in the hospital for an entire week when I was 18. O.K., it wasn’t just the kissing disease. I also had hepatitis.
My doctor said that I would have gotten hepatitis no matter what. It just happened to coincide with kissing a girl who had hoof and mouth disease, as I liked to call it. Somewhere along the way, I seemed to have come across a doorknob or bathroom that had a little fecal matter on it, and the result was hepatitis of the infectious, not serum, kind.
Speaking of fecal matter. My wife and friends have been imploring me to get my butt tested for cancer. I was supposed to do it six years ago when I was 55. But I got distracted along the way so I never went in for the fantastic voyage by the all-seeing eye.
Long story short, I finally gave in to the peer pressure. I didn’t get the rotoscope view; instead asking for the poop test, or occult blood something or other.
Most people would go home and send in a sample immediately. Me, I had to wait for the right time. I wanted to make sure my poop was really worth viewing under a microscope.
I finally decided that I would do the deed on my 61st birthday. I could have done it a day or so earlier, but why give them a year-old sample when I could give them something really fresh.
I did this with some trepidation. Over the years I have become convinced that I probably have butt cancer. I read everything I could on the subject and found that I had at least five of the symptoms.
Of course, I have also done this with brain cancer. I was sure the headaches were caused by a tumor. But then they did a full MRI of my brain for the brain fart and found nothing. Well, nothing cancerish or tumorish. Yet. I do have a polyp on my pituitary, whatever that is. The doctor thinks I was probably born with it, which would explain my total lack of maturity to this day. Yes, I looked that up too.
I can’t say I was disappointed that my poop test came back negative. Between that, the MRI and all the blood work they did when they thought my amnesia could have been a stroke, I seem to have nothing to talk about when I get with other old people to inevitably discuss our various health issues. I am, for all practical purposes, healthy as an ox.
That didn’t keep me, however, from getting an iWatch so I could start tracking my health. Or the all-seeing, all-knowing scale in the bathroom that’s connected to my phone. Every day it tells me my BMI, water mass and all sorts of things I don’t even understand, but should probably care about.
The only blip I really had was borderline high blood pressure. I told the doctor that it was only because I was in an exam room. I bragged that I could take it down 10 points or more through meditation. She asked me to check it daily for a week and give her the results. Sure enough, I dropped it by 10.
So, I have nothing to worry about, for now. I have been struggling with remembering the word “emerging” lately. I didn’t think much about it until I saw a feature on a woodcarver who discovered he had ALS. Yes, I’ve looked up those symptoms too. And now I have something new to worry about.
In the Emerald City, having an inkling that Kat may have blocked my access to MayoClinic.org.