Just hand over the glasses and no one gets hurt
Tuesday September 13th 2011, 9:58 pm
Filed under: Lupus,Politics

Did the cardiology stress test and echocardiogram this morning; I messed up their test by being too used to a treadmill. (Not complaining!) Two weeks of on and off chest pains–granted, it was during air alert days–and today they couldn’t induce a single one, not a single cardiac cough nor shortness of breath.

Well then. Might as well combine trips like a responsible driver during Spare the Air and finally go order my new glasses across the street.

The possibly-as-much-as-40-ish fellow taking care of me asked about insurance blahblahblah, the usual, and then took me completely by surprise by asking if I were a member of AARP.

Okay, I must be getting old, that took me straight back to a mental connection to it, fair or not, now, that I have never been able to shake: to the scene in the news of well-dressed well-to-do old people rioting–there is no other word for it–with Dan Rostenkowski, then chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, cowering in his car in Chicago as they pounded on it. They were angry at his quite reasonable bill proposing to modify Social Security benefits for those who have utterly no need of the money. (Let’s see…checking Wikipedia… A version of that bill passed in ’83? Sounds about right.) They found it the highest insult that their monthly checks might become tainted in their own minds as, you know, welfare, their pride more important than any appeals to generational fairness. Tax their benefits?!

Right. And Warren Buffett needs those SS checks too. We’re still arguing over that, aren’t we.

Threatening to throw Rostenkowski out of office wasn’t good enough–they started rocking his car to the point he thought they were going to flip it over.

(Side note, added later: from that Wikipedia page, I’m guessing my memory was wrong and that it was actually the seniors being asked to help pay for their new Medicare prescription coverage that caused that scene. Anyway.)

Knowing it would take far more words and time to relay or explain any of that than the situation at all called for, I stifled, swallowed, nearly lost it, and then finally said in just the very mildest voice you could imagine, “That would be a loud No.”

He’d been watching my face, waiting for an answer, and at that the guy lost it, laughing, and then I did too, adding, “And besides! I’m only 52!”

He tried throwing in a “You can sign up at 49 these days” and I motioned, Cut! Cut! Noooooo!

He was rolling.

And dang.

There it was. Chest pain. Just enough. (And how’s that for irony.)

I tell you, the thing is as wily and obnoxious as a squirrel with an open jar of peanut butter in sight on the counter and the kitchen door left open. Thank you very much, with the help of my doctors I am keeping that lid on tight and the door firmly closed.

I spent the afternoon puzzling at great length over a pattern idea that had been bouncing around in there for a year, reacting to the day by trying to finally get that unfinished idea to become one with the yarn.

Got it. Good. Time to buckle down and get to work.

p.s. I have to come back and add: watching your heart valve on a screen is really, really cool. You’re seeing the physicality of your very life in front of you, and it’s clapping its hands for joy.

9 Comments so far
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Seriously? At 49?!

Comment by Channon 09.14.11 @ 6:45 am

Due to my pacemaker, I can’t even do the treadmill. I have to let them give me an injection that makes me feel incredibly sick. Sorry your heart didn’t misbehave at the right time. Next time you can tell the doctor to discuss AARP.

Comment by LauraN 09.14.11 @ 8:43 am

49? And here I thought it was 55. Maybe before long they’ll have it down to 25.

Which reminds me of the time some years ago when one of the young ladies came to work looking as if she’d lost her dog! What was the matter? It was her birthday, and she had just turned to the grand old age of … 25!

Comment by Don Meyer 09.14.11 @ 10:18 am

makes me wonder if AARP is just a fund raising effort for some sneaky insurance company!

Comment by Bev 09.14.11 @ 11:04 am

Have you ever read Beatrix Potter’s “The Story of a Fierce Bad Rabbit?” DON’T. Just take it to the waiting room before your next stress echo (or whatever.)

I recall having a terrible fit after I read it to Emily the first time, laughing so hard.

BTW going back years, my echo revealed the family’s mitral valve prolapse only when I laid on one side. And the reason I went in was due to the effects of antihistimines. Years before I had “panic attacks” I say in quotes because it was probably a heart disturbance due to truly excellent strongly brewed coffee. I stay away from the stuff now and the ticker’s been good–except for the occasional laughing fit.

Comment by LynnM 09.14.11 @ 12:19 pm

Humph! They can send me their junk in the mail all they want (unfortunately) and I MAY be old enough, but NO! I am not, and won’t be a member of AARP…so there. Hope you keep that lid tightly closed, m’dear.

Comment by Ruth 09.14.11 @ 3:32 pm

Oddly enough, my DH joined when he found it would save him quite a lot on his very expensive prescription lenses. I believe it caused him a bit of pain, too.

I hope you keep that valve clapping with joy for a long, long time.

Comment by twinsetellen 09.14.11 @ 8:05 pm

I have had waitress’s when ringing up my bill at our local haunt give me a “senior discount” I smile and say “I have about 10 years or so before that kicks in, or “Gee, I didn’t think I looked that bad this Morning” I have had a Aortic valve prolapse, taken care of. I hear it clicking every once in while. Take Care

Comment by kristy phipps 09.15.11 @ 3:13 pm

Glad you are ok, and Os has been getting offers for AARP since he was 41.
I’ll be 49 in less than a month and have yet to receive my first offer!

Comment by Diana Troldahl 09.15.11 @ 4:54 pm

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