This Mortal Coil

It’s been a rather crazy couple of weeks. My parents both got sick with the flu a few weeks ago and my dad got progressive worse. He was finally convinced to see a doctor days after he should have gone in, and they admitted him for a one-week stay. It was his first stay in a hospital since he was five.

Just getting him physically to the ER was a major challenge, the details of which I’m saving for my Pulitzer-winning play. It’s a really good thing he was in his best shape since his retirement, because this illness really took it out of him, and he’s still recovering. But at least he’s home and I suspect he may be driving himself soon.

Then I got sick two weeks ago with a bad chest cold. Missed four days of work at a time when I really didn’t want to be missing any. I saw a doctor and she cleared me to go back to work, but the routine BP check blew past 200. I’ve never had a high BP reading in my life, but they took three readings during my visit and the low was 191. So the doctor ordered some blood tests, the results of which I got later that evening. Everything was in the normal range, although my cholesterol was high normal and my HDLs low normal.

Then the next day two more results came in, and my hemoglobin is high. I’m in the prediabetic range, so of course the doctor wants to put me on meds to bring that down. Because I’ve spent the past two years sloooooowly getting back into decent shape, I’m hoping these numbers are actually an improvement on what they would have been two years ago. If I’m trending healthiER, I want us to talk about getting me off the meds over time, if my body responds well to them and if I can continue my super super gradual lifestyle changes.

What happened to my dad could happen to anyone; none of it was a function of anything specific to him, as far as I can see. It brings up the importance of being in good shape not just because life is better that way, but because when something physically traumatic happens, the kind of thing that can happen to anybody, your chances of surviving are so much better. He’s convinced that he’d be dead if he weren’t in such good shape. I’m not willing to go that far, but he does have a point.

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