Mortality Pokes Its Nose in Our Lives Yet Again

On left: X-ray showing a pacemaker

L had to wear a Holter monitor for a full day last week to test for arrhythmia. The cardiologist told him yesterday that he needs to get a pacemaker and defibrillator. The implant would be the size of a wallet, he said, in front of his shoulder, and after he's used to it, he can do anything he normally does, like play basketball (and ride the train, on which he's left his wallet; too bad that can't be implanted).

If he doesn't do this, he could drop dead at any time, and not necessarily when he's exercising. The monitor showed an "event" around bedtime, when he wasn't exerting himself. At his basketball game tonight a 43-year-old guy clutched his chest and slumped down. The guys called 911 and the ambulance came in a couple of minutes and took him away. That's the second heart attack they've had lately. A couple of years ago one guy left early, saying he didn't feel well, then went home and then to the hospital. My father used to say that he didn't play tennis any more because when his friends played, they dropped dead.

The good news is that this time L got hypoallergenic adhesive for the wires, so that he didn't have physical reminders of the test for weeks and weeks.

He's going for a second opinion in June, the same date that I might be having a fibroid sliced and diced out of my womb. The doctor is waiting for the delivery of a special slice-and-dicer that makes things easier because she can remove the fibroid in pieces. Which means I can't make it into a cufflink, a la Meyer Wolfsheim.

(Wolfsheim's on Myspace!.)