Thursday, August 10, 2017

Update: What if I suddenly become high energy?

The first thing I did upon awakening after last week’s partial thyroid extraction  was text our 16-year-old daughter a good/bad news equation.

“The good news is I’m going to be fine. The bad news is I was going to give you my car.”

This was funny because my jalopy is in tragic condition, way worse than even me. It has 181,750 miles on it, has electrical short issues and is beginning to rely on multiple duct tape applications to hold it all together.

I don’t know anything about cars, but I sense it could probably use a new thyroid.

But I can’t afford needed improvements so until my liberal congressional friends come up with an automotive equivalent to Obamacare we’re both screwed.

So how am I feeling?

Pretty good, considering eight days ago they’d sliced a 3-inch gash in my throat.

I had a very pleasant time in the Latrobe hospital.

I like to point out that hospital is from the root word hospitality. I’ve said for the sake of accuracy, hospitals should be called docitals or discomfitals, but the Latrobe hospital was very hospitable.

I slept great.

I always try and get eight hours of sleep. It took spending a night in the hospital for me to realize the best way to get eight hours of sleep is to devote a full 24-hours to the process; three hours here, two hours there … 

I learned the key to perfect peace and relaxation rests in upholding a vow to never leave the bed. It helps, too, if you have a squad of caring strangers who’ll bring you ice cream and ask you how you’re feeling.

It was all so splendid I began game planning how long I’d need to remain before one of the nurses favored me with a hospital sponge bath, the lazy man’s Xanadu.

I calculated I would have needed to stay another 12 hours. I’d have done it, too, but 12 hours would have put me smack in the middle of Burt’s night shift. 

I liked Burt. We bonded over Bucco baseball. But when I close my eyes and dream of getting my first hospital sponge bath the face I see isn’t Burt’s.

To me, the most interesting aspect of this whole affair is what happens next.

See, besides removing the potato-sized lump in my throat and half my thyroid, the purpose of this treatment is to boost my thyroid production with synthetic doses (synthroid) of the stuff.

The doctor said I have low thyroid, i.e. low energy.


I’ve never once felt low energy.

Sure, I’m reluctant to do things like mow the lawn or other common household chores, but the rationale behind those dodges are philosophical, not physical.

I believe the whole idea behind “the pursuit of happiness” is flawed. Find a comfy enough chair and happiness'll find you.

So what if I suddenly become high energy? What if I become enamored of manual labor, forever landscaping our now-disheveled yard like a green-thumbed maniac?

Maybe I could expend some of my new surplus energy on learning how to repair crappy cars.

I could start taking more civic-minded actions, fetching cats stuck up in high trees, helping widows cross dangerous streets, maybe becoming an industrious and relentlessly positive force for good in the community.

But, geez, I can’t stand those people. 

I like emphasizing the leisure aspects of life, indulging in time to read, enjoy movies and spending long hours reveling with family and friends.

If I lose any of that I’ll have lost so much more than a tiny chunk of my thyroid.

So if you see me behaving a tad too energetically, I invite you to crack me over the head with handy 2-by-4 or some other blunt instrument — and by blunt instrument I’m including things like tubas.

Your inhospitality will likely lead to a splendid stay in a hospitable place.

I wonder if Burt’ll still be on the night shift.

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