HAVE YOU SEEN YOUR DEATH’S-HEAD, BABY, STANDING IN THE SHADOWS?*

*apologies to the Rolling Stones

HA!  I’m back, and I really feel like saying HA! again. 

Why for the “ha”s?  No reason and a lot of reasons.  Maybe some of it’s that mortality dance come back to spin me around just enough to get me dizzy and make me say “Wha?”  (Which, after all, is just another “ha,” w/a “W” for a prefix.) 

Permit me to spew my current flavor of existential angst:  Featured prominently over the last couple of weeks have been multiple doctor visits, lab tests, x-rays, etc.  I have been experiencing inexplicable and episodic shortness of breath for no apparent reason, a chronic (and worsening) wheezy/raspy cough, and just learned that my bad cholesterol is sky-high (i.e., way up in the danger zone–my doctor put me on meds immediately), again for no readily apparent reason (I eat a healthy diet, exercise moderately, and my weight is fine).  Add to the mix the fact that all of my previous chest x-rays for the last 15 years, taken at two different cancer centers (due to changes in my insurance coverage) appear to have magically vanished, thus making it impossible for my new doctor to determine if the “prominent apical pleural thickening” in my lungs is the result of my years-ago radiation treatment, or represents a more ominous recent development.  Considering that early manifestations of my cancer included a chronic cough and shortness of breath and/or difficulty breathing, it’s difficult not to feel just a teensy bit concerned.  Then there’s the family history of high cholesterol and heart disease: my dad started experiencing shortness of breath when he was 59, subsequent testing revealed major arterial blockages, and he had a quintuple bypass on my 25th birthday.  Lifestyle changes and good fortune (he was always a lucky guy) bought him another 22+ years. 

So now I play the waiting game.  Had an echocardiogram last week (which, by the way, if you haven’t and you ever get to, it’s a total trip actually getting to watch your heart beat). Results are pending, and depending on the results, the next stop is a pulmonary function test, after which I know not what. 

But really, lurking just under the surface of this apparently calm and rational  monologue’o’mine, what’s actually going on is 

AAAAAIIIIIEEEEEEEEE!!!!  I don’t wanta diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiie!!!

followed by chuckling from my imaginary leering death-head’s doll, along the lines of “So, ya wanta try a little cancer or are ya gonna go for the heart disease?  BWAAAH-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HAAAAAAAA!!!!!!”

And let me just say this about that.  No matter how much I bitch and whine and paw the ground and snort and stomp my hooves feet on my bad days, I’m pretty seriously enamored of waking up every day and, y’know, hanging around to see what’s gonna happen next. 

SO.  Let’s just say that yesterday was the first day in probably the last 40 years that I ate no chocolate, AND turned down a large and beauteous brownie from one of my office-mates.  The equally large and lovely brownie that the Zen waiter (see previous posts) gifted my husband and I with only a few short days ago may be my last.  Anybody got any Kashi?  And I’m gonna need some extremely cool-looking reading glasses, the better to scan dietary labels with… 

And now it’s time for us to do our taxesssssssssss, preciousssssssss . . . (because the other little imaginary creature that hangs out with the death’s head–in my mind, anyway–is the IRS-agent’s-head doll, and it’s NOT PRETTY) . . .

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About creat1ve11

psychotherapist by trade, writer and artist by temperament, over 50 and not fighting it, love the idea of snorting milk through my nose, but have never actually done it
This entry was posted in aging, death, existential angst, life, mortality, Reflecting, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to HAVE YOU SEEN YOUR DEATH’S-HEAD, BABY, STANDING IN THE SHADOWS?*

  1. Paul says:

    Don’t forget the Moe Howard poke to death’s eye.

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