“Oh, I’ve never heard a pulse like that before,” said the nurse. The words sounded ominous, but the nurse’s tone was cheerful. It seemed unlikely that she would deliver my death sentence in a perky clip.
“Most people’s pulses are boring, DUN-dun, DUN-dun,” she went on. “Yours is da-DUHN, da-DUHN.”
“Very bluesy,” I agreed.
A few minutes later: “You’ve got low blood pressure, though. Has anyone ever told you that?”
“No.” Though it would explain why I’ve been feeling dizzy and faint lately. I went home that afternoon to read through the information about a prescription drug I’d started a few weeks back, and sure enough, lowered blood pressure turned out to be one of its many effects. There was no mention of funky rhythms, however.
High blood pressure is a pretty common problem, but I didn’t know much about low blood pressure. I poked about online for a bit and determined that low blood pressure is not generally a bad thing, unless it kills you.
That evening I got a call from a different medical professional. The vet was calling me with the results of Bubby’s lab work.
Beelzebub is my thirteen-year-old lazy tom cat. Beelzebub is also the epitome of all evil in the Christian worldview, but I’m not the one who named the cat, don’t blame me. I’d hauled him to the vet (the cat, not the devil) the week prior to have them look at some gunk in his ear. They gave me some goo for the ear infection and brought Bubby up to date on his shots.
“But I’m worried about his weight loss,” said the vet. “Two pounds in sixteen months is a lot.”
Maybe, I thought, but he’s aging. It’s normal. And he’s always been hefty. This is a cat who can afford to drop some weight.
But still, I ponied up for some tests, to find out of something sinister was at play.
Three hundred and twenty four dollars later, the vet called back. “He’s fine.”
“Absolutely fine. Completely healthy.”
Wretched beast. I paid how much money to find out there’s not a single thing wrong?
“As for his weight, maybe you could start feeding him treats or canned cat food.”
Well that’s just dandy. Next time I go to a human doctor, I want him to tell me to start snacking more.
So I’ve been introducing Bubster to new culinary delicacies. He loves them. He loves them so much he yakked them back up on a pillow. I tried cleaning it but the water penetrated it pretty far, so now I have a mildewed body pillow.
Ah well, time for a new one, I guess. This time I think I’ll opt for the body pillow with a removable cover slip.
It can double as a shroud if I drop dead from my low-key jazz pulse.