Have you ever faced a serious illness or known someone who has? Chances are, you’ve answered yes. Why? Because we are human beings. Humans with bodies designed to breakdown. As complex as we are, it is a miracle more things don’t go wrong sooner rather than later.
Our age determines the sooner bit.
That annual age bar is constantly being compared to those who are ill around us. If our sixty year old friend is sick with cancer and we’re only 45, well then we have years to go before we worry. If he/she is younger than us, well then there have to be behaviors that exclude us from the same fate.
Such is what happened twice in the last two weeks.
My father has a spot on his lungs. I’m not ready to lose my father and so the news left me reeling. During his biopsy his lung collapsed. then the results came back nearly 2 weeks after they were supposed to be in. Precancerous but…
The but is a lifeline but due to extenuating circumstances it could be Valley Fever. Imagine the bargaining and praying for the lesser of the two evils.
Such was my mindset when I went to my writing groups board meeting. When asked what was wrong. I told them. Immediately I was asked about his age. Alas, this didn’t relieve the minds of all, so more details were needed. Smoker? Yes. Ahh, the magic word in this dichotomous key that distills our mortality. They were safe from this disease because they hadn’t smoked as long.
Then I spilled news of my husband and his upcoming MRI. You see, he’s been having blackouts. He’s sure they are heat stress related as his indoor job refuses to fix the AC in his area, and while he works at night temps often are over 120F in his area. Still, his mother died of complications from an aneurysm. His sister recently had 3 removed. He decided to have the test done in part to put my mind at ease and to prove that he hadn’t lost his mind, no matter what I might think.
When I told my writing friends of this second twist in my placid life, they against began with their questions and began eliminating this threat to their own mortality. Age. Hereditary. Symptoms. etc. And as they each performed the illness shuffle, I began to think how I could use their reactions in a book.
Guess we all cope in our own way:-)
Time to lose myself in a story.
UPDATE: Hubby is given a clean bill of health. Heat exhaustion is the cause of the blackouts.