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Essays on Issues, Ideas and Reflections on the Times. Published now and
then. Opinions pro or con are welcome.

Gotta Do It But I Don't Have to Like It

North Miami Beach, FL 11-07-2005
A.H. Schectman

I am due to have my right carotid artery opened so the gunk in there along with a threatening “ulcer” can be removed. I joke about it that the doctor liked operating on my left carotid artery in April ‘05 and wanted to immediately, after some rest, go into the right one.  He liked doing the left so much that he just couldn’t wait to do the right one.  Well, we went on a cruise to Scandinavia and survived Hurricane Wilma and it is now eight days until he will get to do his act.  He is quite confident about his own skills and I only wish they would rub off on me.  But, hey, my arteries are not hardening, only filling up with plaque.

I have been speaking with friends about our experiences with doctors and this may mean that I, along with them, have reached the age where doctors are not only our destination but our occupation.  So we talk about them and what they have done to us in order to keep us alive.

It is a funny thing; the doctors’ mistakes don’t talk about them. The next funny thing is that they peek into us with machines and decide they have to cut.

One of the things that mar the upcoming doctor’s invasion of my artery is the puncturing of my skin with needles.  I am unabashedly needle phobic and fear that more than being anaesthetized and put asleep so he can do his work.  Sleeping off the experience is a good thing and if everything goes as well as the first one I will not only be lucky but better than before.  That “ulcer” thing bothered the cardiologist, the internist, the neurologist and the surgeon who happens to be chief of Thoracic Surgery at Aventura Hospital.

I wish I could say the same thing about my eating habits that may have contributed to all that plaque collecting in my arteries.  I got down briefly to 189 pounds after being serious about losing weight before both my knees were replaced about a year and a half ago.  I made the mistake of buying a lot of slacks with 36 waists and shirts with 15 ½ neck sizes.  I am back up to 210 and would like the feel of my belt having lots of holes in it – do you think that the operation will take all that excess weight off?  I would like to lose 20 pounds.  I was up to 240 before I used all the will power that was available and left ice cream, bread and butter, and other starches, fats and sweets alone.

I exercise and feel good and wonder why I need an operation since I cannot see what all those good doctors say have the potential to kill me.  All of this is just to say that I am scheduled for blood tests this week and the week after that I may miss a few days of writing THINKING ALLOWED essays.



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