When life reminds you, ‘you’re getting old’
My recent health scare
My nose bled when I woke up from a nap. I wasn’t worried at first because changes in temperature can cause that. (My nose bled occasionally). I was awakened because it was time for dinner. It was a long Thursday, and I decided to rest before taking a late call.
While I was enjoying my dinner, I felt nauseous. My head felt light.
“It will pass,” I reassured myself.
It didn’t. I stopped eating and drank the whole glassful of water. I still felt dizzy, while my gut turned. I panicked.
“I’m going to faint,” I said to myself again.
I looked at my wife and said, “I’m feeling dizzy.” She told me to drink another glass of water. So I did. I stood up and paced to shake off this fuzzy feeling. This trick didn’t work.
I asked my daughter to grab the little device that measures blood pressure. I slipped it on around my left arm, pressed the Start/Stop button, and the cuff was inflated. I looked at the digital screen light up with my systolic and diastolic counts. After a few minutes, this device reported what I feared: I had elevated blood pressure.
I asked for more water. I also went to a nearby reclining chair to rest. I was feeling dizzier. Never had I experienced this, so I was concerned.
We decided to phone my doctor and told him what I was experiencing at the moment. It was a good sign that I can still talk and take my doctor through this situation.
Calmly, my doctor told me to relax. Yes, my blood pressure was elevated, and he asked if I had medication around. I said my wife had one for her own “maintenance.” He said I should take that, and check my blood pressure in an hour.
The hour passed. I slipped on the blood pressure measuring device to check my blood pressure. It was still elevated. I messaged my doctor.
“Do you have someone who can buy you meds?” my doctor asked.
“Yes. I can ask my wife to buy some nearby.”
So my daughter and my sister-in-law who both volunteered to run to the nearby pharmacy went out to buy what the doctor prescribed.
“Take that medicine. Place it under your tongue,” the doctor said.
I decided to lie down. Then, the rain began to pour. It was no drizzle. It rained hard that night. My dogs came to the room and showed some concern. I read that dogs are very emphatic. So they might know I was suffering.
I checked my blood pressure one last time. It wasn’t going down. I waited for my meds to arrive. I heard a vehicle parked outside my house. It was my brother-in-law. He arrived just in time to pick up my sister-in-law and daughter who were stuck on the road as they went back.
I popped the little medicine in my mouth (or rather placed it under my tongue, as instructed). It melted quickly. I rested for another hour and checked my blood pressure. It went down a few notches, but it was still way above normal.
Just a few weeks ago, I got struck by a mosquito-borne infectious disease. I was out for two weeks. My first week was spent dealing with a high fever. My body ached too and I was too weak to even sit up. I spent another week recovering as my platelet count went dangerously low.
Life will throw you a curveball. Just these past two years or more, the world was thrown one when the most vicious virus infected and killed millions. The world experienced a pandemic. Today, we’re still in it, but the virus has mutated and is now endemic in many countries like ours.
I’m writing this to remind myself that life is short and that health is indeed important. As I approach half a century of my existence next year, I’m making mental notes on my priorities.
Yes, I’m not young anymore, nor I’m as healthy as a horse (as one of my doctors told me years ago). I have other conditions that I need to manage as well. Managing stress for someone who has not developed the habit of exercising is another item I have to deal with every day.
As one of my favorite movie lines said, “I'm too old for this s#$t.” Thanks, Danny Glover for reminding me to slow down.