Thursday, October 25, 2007

"Scared and thinking that maybe we ain't that young anymore"

I had dinner with my friend John in our favorite pub. The one we've been going to for more than 25 years. It was a typical evening for us. We laughed as we compared notes on Britney, discussed our jobs, gossiped about our friend, Linda … the usual.

Then, as we were leaving, he told me that his doctor has twice suggested he get a
implantable defibrillator. November 18 is the first anniversary of John's hospitalization, and his heart just isn't getting as strong as they hoped. He's healthy enough, certainly stronger than he was before they aspirated all the fluid around his heart, but he will never be strong. And the defibrillator will help ensure he won't "just drop dead." Huh? What? I didn't think it was still that serious. I asked him why he was stalling. He explained that:

1) Sudden death might be preferably to the alternative -- which is slow, painful death
2) There are rules that go with the
defibrillator (can't stand by the microwave when it's on and has to have the wand, not the metal detector, at the airport, etc.)
3) It will show and he's afraid he'll feel like a freak or a grandpa.

I told him I'll give him until after the first of the year before I start nagging him, but he's got to get this done. I offered to go with him and take care of him afterward if he needs me. But he's got to get this done.

I'm reeling. We're standing in front of our familiar old bar, and we're talking about how he wants to die! It's not right. It's surreal. I don't accept it. This is not a reality I want. Not John. I'm not done with John. I would miss him so.