I got a text message from my dad last week telling me my uncle was in the hospital with a ruptured appendix. Apparently it had blown up a week earlier, but he was trying to tough it out. “Following in grandpa’s footsteps,” said my dad.
There’s something about my family. My grandpa had a quadruple bypass at age 82. He had a history of heart issues, and had had a pacemaker for years, but had been putting off an annual stress test for a while. His blood flow was so obstructed that he could only do a minute on the treadmill before needing to stop. The technician was surprised at how limited he was, and asked if he had been noticing any shortness of breath. Oh, sure, said my grandpa, but I didn’t want to bother anyonee.
I was brought up to be a tough guy. Any complaints were met with a punch in the arm and a “don’t be a wimp”. I tend to see pain or illness as a challenge to see how much I can take. I’ve had a cold this past week, but last night started feeling some shortness of breath. Normally I would try to tough it out, but with my uncle in the hospital after several surgeries to try to fix him up, I’m especially conscious of the stupidity of doing so. I’ve got health insurance, so there’s no reason for me not to make sure everything’s ok. No need to take the risk of pneumonia. So I’m in the waiting room right now, hoping my lungs get a clean bill of health.