I went to the heart specialist for an annual check up, you know, stress test, echo scan etc. I am always enamored by the conversations one can't help but hear. Most are confessions of past transgression and refusal to follow recommendations by doctors.
I suppose my story is the same. He tells me I should weigh 180 instead of 295. I agree that 225 would be a good weight, but at 180 I'd look like a refugee from an concentration camp. I haven't weighed in at 185 since I was 15. I digress.
One conversation was about being 50 and having had a heart attack at 41. She was asked to lose weight, stop smoking and exercise. Her take on the heart thing was that not to be able to eat everything you want, and have a cigarette when you want, would make life unbearable...adding she didn't care for exercise, anyway.
Another involved a hyperactive lady who said she was so nervous she would burst into tears every time her Mama called her on the phone, or her husband would walk in the house after work. She said she got so nervous in the grocery store she'd have to go out in the car and smoke a cigarette to calm her nerves in order to finish shopping.
Apparently, getting a multitude of tattoos and piercings, and a wild tri color haircut was not traumatic enough to comment on. She said her Mama had her first heart attack when she was 38, and she was getting nervous because she was 37.
There were a couple of very young patients in the waiting room who looked as though they didn't belong there, but were called back for consultations. I was curious about what brought them to the heart clinic...not curious enough to ask. I was asked by one older lady why a big old man like me was doing there...that I didn't look like I had any problems. I thanked her, and told her I hoped not, too.
There were conversations about bacon a sausage and fatback. Others about how many people in the family were sick and which of them were real sick, and how many had died, despite the doctors. One old lady remarked her Daddy lived to 85 with a heart problem because he was too stubborn and mean to die.
I want to be just like him.