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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Mortality

I wanted to note, because it's important to me, that SuperGirlfriend and I had a pretty bad weekend a few days back. Why? Because on Friday, during a routine check up, her doctor discovered what she called "a pretty significant heart murmur".


And then, because we aren't rich, said doctor scheduled SuperGirlfriend to see a cardiologist the following Tuesday... giving us three days of fretting and worrying and general stress that would have been completely avoided if we were billionaires, or related to Dick Cheney, or both, because in such a case, we'd have been in an expensive private clinic and the doctor who found the murmur would have immediately wheeled in a million dollar diagnostic array (or just whipped out one of those whistling salt shakers from the first STAR TREK series that Bones always had) and done whatever tests needed to be done right there on the spot, while slaves (or interns, whatever) fed us truffles and caviar and played us soothing harmonies on their gigantic golden harps.

Or something like that.

So, anyway, we worried and fretted and stressed and my head, at least, was filled with all sorts of gloomy visions of cardiologists grimly telling us that immediate open heart surgery would be needed and even then without a transplant the love of my life only had at best a few months to live.

And this all seemed very plausible to me, because, you know, if there is one thing I've learned in this life that is an absolute certainty (besides "if he or she is a Kyle Rayner fan, he or she is also pretty much a complete waste of highly organized living tissue") it's "the good stuff never lasts". I mean, why should I get this lucky? After 43 years of mostly solitude occasionally interspersed with not particularly great relationships, why should I suddenly find True Love and as close to Perfect Happiness as anyone gets down here on Paradise Planet... and having found these things, why should I get to keep them for any length of time?

Julia, over at One Odd Goose, didn't make it to her own first wedding anniversary. She didn't even get a Christmas with the love of her life. And she's a pretty cool person. So why should I expect anything more?

I don't know. Here's what I do know (besides, for some strange reason, that liking Kyle Rayner seems to be a reliable litmus test for utter personal worthlessness):

Every day... every hour... every minute, every second, every immeasurable moment... is a gift.

We went to see the doctor, and after an excruciating half hour or so hooked up to a large beeping piece of equipment run by perhaps the coldest and most unpleasant woman on the globe, and another fifteen excruciating minutes waiting for the doctor to show up and tell us what the test results indicated (because Cold Unpleasant Bitch, who certainly had to know what the results she was looking at indicated, simply said, in a monotone, when we asked "It's not my place to make diagnoses, you'll have to speak with your doctor when the tests are done", throwing SuperGirlfriend and I into a near panic because we couldn't believe anyone could be so brutal as to say something like that if everything looked fine), the guy finally came back in and said "You're fine. It's just an innocent murmur."

So SuperGirlfriend is sleeping well again, which is good, because it means I can, too. And we're relieved; the only surgery in her near future is some minor outpatient stuff which she's already referred to over on her own blog, which we can pretty much take in stride.

But it's a gift. It's all a gift, every passing instant. You never know when it's going to suddenly come crashing to a halt... so appreciate it while you have it.

5 Comments:

At 9:14 AM , Anonymous The always esteemed Scott said...

I am greatly relieved to hear that SuperGirlfriend is okay - that must have been an excessively stressful weekend for all of you.

I often forget that, in the U.S, in addition to the stress of, you know, possible health issues, comes the added stress of wondering if you're going to be able to afford the care you might need.

It makes me even more grateful that, in all my family's dealings with the health care system here, we *never* had to worry about where the money was going to come from.

Thanks for this post, Highlander - I needed a reminder that, despite everything, I am pretty goddamn fortunate.
All the best.

 
At 11:05 AM , Blogger Opus P. Penguin said...

I'm relieved for the both of you. There's enough to worry about in life. But we all need that reminder that every minute is precious, don't we?

Although you CAN get immediate service if you are on Medicare. My dad had episodes of vertigo, and was able to be driven directly from his GP to the hospital, where he had all the tests he needed right away. In one day he had a full diagnosis and an action plan for recovery.

I had the same and had to wait a week for my HMO to approve an MRI, another week for an appointment for an MRI, another week to get the results. Then six weeks to get an appointment with a specialist to interpret the results.

But I'm very glad that the big scary stuff is behind you. Go forward and enjoy.

 
At 1:19 PM , Blogger SuperFiancee said...

Thank you. And I love you.

Oh...and don't act like you don't do this a million times better than I do. You're not foolin' anyone.

 
At 5:09 PM , Anonymous Nate said...

Well, this comment box is working...

Hey, yeah. All of the stuff that they said, squared.

See ya soon!

 
At 8:35 PM , Blogger Julia said...

Oh, I know of which you speak. I'm glad the incident had a happy ending, but that fear is a terrible thing.

 

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