By: Ken Boone
It's been almost one month (give or take a few days) since my cardiologist, Dr. V, told me to cut the dosage of one of my meds in half. Back when I first went to see him, he told me that if I stick with the plan, he could start making adjustments to my pill regimen. I think a decrease in one of my meds qualifies as a good adjustment. Don't you?
It just occurred to me that I've been writing this blog for a year! I incorrectly stated either here or on my podcast that it's been going on for just a few months. Although, by comparison, the early blog posts were rather lame musings, they count just as well.
Anytime you reach a milestone, especially an anniversary, you do a good deal of reminiscing. I'm no exception to that behavior. If I recall, I was dealing with a slight cold, and I went with my tried and true of keeping the damage to a minimum. I took one sleep-inducing cold bill and got into bed. Hurray for the ad lib remedies. They always seemed to work.
February also marks two related milestones. It was February 19, 2010 that I met Celia in person for the first time. It was February 19, 2011 that we got married! So I had to be in good health in order to celebrate those important dates on my calendar.
The year seemed to proceed without much ado. I was making podcasts, counting beans, and getting better at writing these blogs. I still took my one cold pill (gel caps preferred) when I got a case of the sniffles. Life was pretty good.
It was also during the past year that I started doing some serious reflection of past behaviors. I realized that I'm in the home stretch of my earthly existence. I'm not saying that death is just around the corner. I plan on sticking around until at least 90! Even living that long means that I'm two-thirds the way to the finish line.
When we do the look-back of our lives, we tend to focus on our gaffs and screw ups. I'm no exception. I always tend to land on my 20s, which I call "My Wasted Decade". It was the early part of that period that I discovered those cigarettes that you had to roll up yourself, and weren't quite legal yet. I chased my tail a lot back then. I also figuratively shot myself in the foot as well. All I know is that I came out of it having accomplished very little and leaving a lot of scorched earth in my wake!
One of the rare episodes that makes me laugh today was when I smoked so much that I started having heart palpitations. In hindsight, I may have just been imagining my condition, but it was real to me at the time. And I wasn't laughing back then.
In my panic, I recalled (or, again, imagined) watching a news story where it was reposted that if you drank warm milk and calmly stroked your pet, your heart would return to normal. So I did just that. I didn't stop to think how stupid I must have looked sitting in a dark room sipping warm milk and stroking my cat! Besides, the cat and I weren't particularly close. Eventually I fell asleep, soon to wake up to an acute case of the munchies. Again, the home remedy worked.
Fast forward to a year ago. Celia decided to have some long overdue surgery to replace both her hips. The left hip was replaced in July. The surgery went well. The recovery was going well, but I got sick. Unable to climb a flight of steps without panting and coughing, I initially diagnosed myself as having a summer cold. No problem, let's break out the gel cap. The results: nothing!
After about two months of self-medication with no improvement, I finally gave in and sought medical attention. At first, I was going to make an appointment with Celia's doctor. I didn't have my own in the years that I've been living in North Carolina. But somehow, I got a flash of wisdom and decided to go to the emergency room instead. Good call, Ken!
They took one look at me, hooked me up to a bunch of machines, and admitted me to the cardiac care unit. Their main task was to get my heart and other body parts functioning properly. The bonus was them getting my head right as well.
These wonderful doctors, nurses, aides, and technicians taught me that I didn't know everything. Just because I learned valuable lessons from my screwed up early years, I still had a lot to learn. In particular, I learned how to ask for help. I also learned how to take advice, whether it was given freely or I had to pay for it.
Now, I have to take between 11 and 12 life-sustaining pills per day religiously. I also have to keep my stress level down. I accomplish that by indulging in a number of creative outlets. One of them is by writing this blog every week. And while I hope you read and enjoy it, I can't let it bother me if you don't. My job is getting it out there. The rest is beyond my control.
One more thing. I am no longer allowed to take that dose of one gel cap followed by a nap. You see, most cold remedies have the side effect of raising ones blood pressure. And hypertension is my underlying malady. So, no more self-prescriptions. And that goes for warm milk as well!
But wait... there's more!
About the Author
As owner of the Descant Music & Media Group, Ken is a creator and producer of several podcast shows. He is also a music producer, as well as a writer and an accountant for small businesses and nonprofits.