Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cholesterol numbers are down! Whew ...

I stepped inside the door of the men's bathroom at the Mankato Clinic because, well, you know ... when a guy has a gallon of coffee in the morning, your bladder has a way of making its displeasure known.

I was alone.

Good thing, too.

Not because I need solitude to relieve myself -- although that  never hurts -- but because I came pretty close to becoming a little misty eyed. I'd just been to the doctor, you see. And Dr. Fraley says my cholesterol numbers have shown astounding improvement.

I know, I know. This wasn't anything close to having a doctor tell a patient they're cancer free, or that the disease they had was suddenly cured. It's just cholesterol, here. I get it. But it meant a lot to me. My dad had high cholesterol. He also had high blood pressure, smoked a pack a day and drank a 12-pack of beer each night as he read the paper and watched television.

He died May 15, 1997. I miss him terribly. Think about him every day. So when I got the news that I'd pushed myself a little further from the physical state of body that took him from me, I got a little emotional.

Then I got to thinking ... I wonder how many people have done the same thing I've done in that bathroom. How many people have gotten really good news, or really bad news, at their doctor's office and then stopped into the rest room before they left. How many of them found themselves alone at that moment and used that moment to let a few tears roll.

When they got that news, and it was good, did they cry and thank God and resolve to go home and make the most of the rest of their lives? If it was bad news, did they stop in that bathroom and wonder what's next, or go over in their mind how they'd tell their loved ones, their kids, their wife? Did it take them a while to compose themselves? Did they need to grab a towel off the roll and dab their eyes in an attempt to mask their reality from the patients showing up for their well baby checks and annual physicals?

I wonder.

For me, today, the news was good. So I came back to my desk and opened up my Rolodex. I still have the card that lists my dad's work number. In the weeks after he died, I used to call that number just to hear his voice. I called it dozens of times. Maybe a hundred times. It was the only thing I could think to do to keep his voice alive in my mind.

I also spent some time after he died getting angry. As I've already mentioned, he didn't take care of himself. I wondered why, with a family that loved him and wanted to live many more years with him, didn't he do more to make sure his kids, his grandkids, got as much time with him as possible.

As it is, my own children never got to see him. My daughter, who'd been in his presence once, was three weeks old when he died. And my son was three years away, to the day, when my dad died.

Anyway, this all may be a lot more than a teary-eyed trip to the John is worth. But when it comes to my heart, I tend to take things pretty seriously. And then I pass them on to you. Because you listen. So thanks.

1 comment:

  1. Good for you! Take care of yourself and be there for your kids! My parents also do not/did not take care of themselves. We have them now, but Mom is in assisted living "and the MS is winning", and Dad doesn't always eat the healthiest, etc.They are 65 and 67 years old respectfully! We just have to appreciate what we have when we have it, that's for sure!!