It started on Sunday while I was posting, chest pains. Not radiating to your left arm, stop you in your tracks and keel over pains but on a scale of 1 to 10 about a 5. Running across the top of my chest. I had an appointment at the VA the next day so I planned around a clinic visit. They subsided and I moved through the day. I went to be at eleven and couldn’t fall asleep. At 4 a.m. I gave up on solitaire and grabbed some CDs and moved into the living room. I was sweating and a bit agitated. I read and listened to music until I fell asleep watching CNN. The Murph woke me up about ten to tell me that I got two calls from the VA. One was about a form I had to sign and deliver to them and that my appointment was cancelled. Great. I called my clinician and got the desk nurse. He relayed my call to Deb, my therapist. Fifteen minutes later I got a call. It was an officious, self-important a**hat I’d dealt with before. He told me that I couldn’t come to the VA. I explained that the situation had been dealt with. He climbed up onto his high horse and began to preach at me. I lost it. I cursed a bit, no, a lot. I told him that I was coming to the walk-in clinic because of the chest pains. He insisted on my going to The Hospital of Central Connecticut. I said no. Every time I get close to the ER in that place I stay for a long time. Eventually I gave up and decided to go to the ER. I have been admitted to hospitals before, emergency and otherwise. In hindsight, I should have packed some underwear, socks and pajama bottoms. I didn’t, okay? I found the ER. Not after getting into a verbal altercation with an obese Hispanic woman who wanted the same parking space I did. I parked on the lower level. When I checked in the Puerto Rican Rolling Thunder continued verbally assailing me. I ignored her. Maybe I flipped her off. I checked in, giving the clerk my license and VA card. I was called within five minutes. I brought my Kindle to amuse myself. I was stripped of my jacket, shirt and tee. The nurse wired me to an EKG. Then came the admission interviews. It was then I discovered that I’m “that guy” you know, the one who occupies your time telling you every detail that concerns the situation. I couldn’t shut the hell up. Maybe I’m lonely. They got all of the information they needed. I was on a gurney in a hospital gown watching CNN and getting more and more uncomfortable by the minute. The basic thought in my head at the time was that I wanted out of there. The ER doctor came around to tell me I was being admitted. AND I could leave AMA. Visions of me dropping dead in the parking lot danced in my head. I signed the papers. Three hours later I had a room. I was in Tower 1 North on the fourth floor. In 2003 I was in the same tower except on the fifth floor. I got a bed and a roomie.

I was fed stuffed cabbage with mashed potatoes and pears for dessert. I got to know my roomie. He was 92. He had the mental skips one would expect of someone that age, you know minor crap. I was tested for Blood Sugar and EKG’d about every four hours. I called my niece and the Murph telling them what I needed. Carrie agreed to deliver the package, underwear, glasses and books. She arrived with her husband, he gave me sites that I could use to help me navigate the internet and a place I could post my stories. Oh yeah, they’re pregnant. You’d think being a teacher would kinda sour her on having one of her own, but I’m a guy. What do I know? Watched TV until 10 p.m. and read until my 4 a.m. EKG. Blood sugar and the daily schedule. I got breakfast, French Toast, but they took it away from me. I had an MRI scheduled. Talked to doctors, mostly about my Type 2 diabetes. MRI was boring but lunch kept my attention. A turkey sandwich on whole grain with soup and pears for dessert. Didn’t get it. Had an echo-stress test scheduled for the afternoon. The last one I’d had was administered by Herr Hitler at the VA who thought I was training for a marathon/dash. Went down to the test area and was given an echocardiogram. Then I was on a treadmill. I’ve been doing treadmill at the gym so I didn’t figure on crashing too early. The initial echo showed that I have a valve that closes every other beat. On the treadmill I watched my heart rate go up, drop some and plateau. My blood pressure was pretty much normal. They stopped before I did. The other echo showed some weird s**t. The farther I went into the test my heart improved. The valve worked right and my heart tightened up. The cardiologist was impressed. When I got back to my room, the Murph showed up. He brought my car keys back. I’d given them to Carrie because I really didn’t want to leave it overnight. Supper was Salisbury Steak with mashed and pears.

The next morning I got breakfast. A good sign. It was a cheese omelet. The doctor showed to talk about the tests. I WAS GOING HOME!!!! The only thing was when. I met more hospital suits and signed discharge papers. I dressed and waited. Finally at three a driver came by to wheel me down to the lobby. Down there the concierge called me a cab. I wanted the easiest way home. The cab came. He couldn’t find the street on the GPS because the concierge spelled it wrong. And I couldn’t remember the cross-streets.

While I was in the hospital I became whiney and I wouldn’t have blamed the nurses if they smacked me and told me to grow a pair. I complained about the food because I lost perspective. They cook for hundreds, I cook for one. I hope my roommate gets through rehab and the neurologist can fix him. I apologize to the nurses and staff. A letter of apology is going out in tomorrow’s mail.

My new adventure is joining three dating sites. You know who they are, they advertise, a lot. Two are for seniors and the third is kind of a generic one. I’ve gotten a lot of hits but personally I think a lot of them are blind hits matched by a computer. Why I did it? I’m lonely and have zero social life. I don’t drink so bars are out. I can’t dance so clubs are out. I’m not woman-stopping handsome so all I’ve got left are words. Face-to-face attempts haven’t worked out all that well. So I keep trying.

ODD BITS:
On 3/16/68 the My Lai massacre occurred. It’s importance should be noted in the fact My Lai isn’t spell-checked.

On 3/16/2003 Rachel Corrie was killed by a bulldozer trying to prevent Israeli troops from razing Palestinian homes

3/14/83 was Taylor Hansen’s birthday. Um Bop, anybody? Justine?

A recommendation, Pibgorn a comic by Brooke McEldowney. It’s funny, right now he’s doing Romeo and Juliet. Occasionally he gets a bit political. Not specific but just the general gripes we all have. Sign up at Uclick.com

See you in the funnies. Be nice to one another. Spay and neuter your local politician.