Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Matters of the Heart

For all the times I've wondered if I even still have a heart - at least the $4,000 or so in testing I've had in the past week proves I have one - though it appears to be a little troubled. The good news is I'm good, I'm fine - the bad news is (and really in the right light it's good news because now I know) something did come up in all the testing.

What came up is called "Bicuspid Aortic Valve" - an irregularity to the valve that pumps blood out of the heart to the aorta. Normal people have three cuts in their valve at the opening that allow the entire opening to press open as blood flows out of the heart. I have a single cut that divides the smaller opening into two leaflets. This heart condition affects 1 - 2 percent of the population. It's not gonna kill me - but as I grow older it may lead to difficulties that may result in my needing heart surgery. As for now the biggest inconviences are dental visits and surgery - apparently this condition leaves me at a high risk for a bacteria infection called "endocartis" - the risk of this infection is that it can go undetected until it causes one of several fairly severe even deadly results from blod clot to heart failure. For now on I need to take antibiotics before and after a dentist visit or any other invasive procedure. In the meanwhile I have to start reconsidering the way I lead my life: booze, drugs/stimulants, caffine, over-exercising and supplements are all no-no's. Will I go cold turkey ??? Come on - it's me here, but once again I can't shake the feeling I'm being warned and given a chance to shape up a bit. Of course - I really, really could have dealt without this warning considering I don't have health coverage right now - yesterday's visit alone cost me $1,200 and the cardiologist wants a follow-up exam in 30 days. Suppose I'll save alot of money on booze, drugs and supplements - guess I can use that to cover the ER bill when that shows up.

Oh well - I'm oddly like - "ok, well deal with it - it's way better then it is worse"

As for the other matters of the heart. I'm not sure what to say about Lucky's call. It hurt. He was happy and sweet and cheerful and concerned - he wanted me to know he wouldn't want to be in this space with me if something really bad had happened and would want me to know he's in a good space and wishes me well and cares for me and understands if I don't call him back (ok I know this is a run-on sentence, but so was the message he left).

I'm not sure how to feel. I used to love his happy voice chiming over a message checking in on me - but this left me cold, flushed and sick to my stomach. "It takes something horrible" I thought, "for him to see what he had and lost". I remembered last summer - three months into the break-up, like now, when Mike died - it brought Lucky and I back together. He wanted so badly to be back in my life - he was at a good place and realized my worth in it and his in mine. All I could think is "why can't he ever see these things when he's with me and now that there really is no going back, not now, not ever". Second to this I realized I was dealing with good old Catholic guilt - he couldn't have this on his conscience any guilt he may feel, he wanted to feel clean, redeemed - so he made the call to make himself feel better. That thought hurt even worse - stinging harshly of the truth.

I weighed my reaction and in the end purchased a card. On it, it said:

To find the way out, we must go through

On the inside I wrote: "Thank you for your call. Please understand that I just can't"

Will he understand any of it ???

That the only way out of this relationship, this cycle, this heartache, this pain, this sadness is to just feel it without drugs or booze or sex (and without HIM) - to just crawl through it til I'm on the other side feeling every cut, bruise and rip in my heart along the way. And that when I say "I just can't" it's just the beginning of a sentence that shouldn't need to be finished to be understood.

I just can't love you anymore without hurting,
I just can't be your friend and not feel betrayed,
I just can't look at you without stirring up old feelings,
I just can't leave this space to make you happy,

I just can't.

I suppose it will have to be enough that I know.