book shadows on galvanized steel table

After finding myself in a hospital bed this week, I realized that, other than the monitors stuck to my chest and the IV needle poking out of my arm, it felt rather like being in a hotel—room service, maids, attendants, complimentary travel-sized soaps and lotions, and nothing to do. There's something wrong with one's life when a hospital stay feels like a vacation.

But after a day of monitoring and blood tests, they couldn't find anything wrong, other than the symptom itself indicating a cause or causes. But because of the tests, the symptom is now no longer seen as life-threatening, though the symptom is by default a marker for action, for concern. So to ease everyone's minds, more tests are ahead, a specialist waiting in the wings.

shadows on galvanized steel

I was told by a young Asian-American resident in California years ago: "There's a saying in my culture: You only get so many heartbeats." I seem to be using up mine rather quickly. Another doctor, a cute young dentist, told me just this August: "You're like a hummingbird," which is essentially saying the same thing.

Is my body overreacting to normal stressors, and if so, why? Is my subconscious trying to tell me something? Or is there an indirect physical cause, a malformation, something gone off track, strange and hidden in the pulsing dark? In the meantime, I have little orange pills to slow things down. I finally got a flu shot. And I've been advised to take an iron supplement (the one thing they found on the side because I don't eat bloody steaks or any other animal flesh) and meditate for five minutes, four times a day—something my handsome young East Indian-American doctor said everyone would benefit from.

doctor's notes torn from a paper examining-bed protector

The week has been sobering, a reminder of mortality, an acceptance that I have wasted, am wasting, so many days on jobs I don't enjoy, on people who aren't worthy, on tasks that don't fulfill. Tick, tock. So what am I going to do about it?

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