It started out like any other day since I retired. I did my usual morning exercises, walked the dog, and ate a nice breakfast. It was a beautiful sunny Sunday morning, so I decided to enjoy a couple of hours on the water at Swiss Valley.
I felt a flash of dizziness while putting on my waders, but it quickly passed. Must have bent over too quickly, I thought. John came across the parking lot and asked me a question about a place I had visited last summer. I turned to answer him, and nothing came out. The answer was in my head, but the words would not form. We both sat down in the back of my car, and John asked me some questions about how I was feeling, and all I could do was shake my head yes or no. Then, as quickly as it started, it went away. I called my wife, and we made a trip to the ER.
Long story short, after two days of tests, I had suffered a very minor stroke. There were no lasting effects, there were no apparent causes. I got a clean bill of health. But once you have had a stroke, the possibility of having another one increases. So now I’m on a regimen of preventative medications.
So what does this all mean? How does life change? While checking out, that’s exactly what I asked the doctor. The answer – life goes on. Take my meds, be aware of my health, watch for symptoms, but live life normally.
It did get me thinking about other things, though, things I can control in my life. Like a lot of guys, I’ve never been big on seeing doctors unless I needed to. As we all get older, things can start to go wrong. We need to visit the doctor on a regular basis to catch those things before they become a problem.
I enjoy spending time alone on the water. I’ve always let my wife know where I’m going, and how long I plan to be gone. From now on, those travel plans will be in writing, and will be more specific. Along with that, I’ll start fishing more often with a buddy, especially on new water. And the cell phone that I usually leave in the car while I fish will now be with me all the time.
As we all get older, as things change for us, we all need to do one thing differently. We need to live our lives SMARTER. Take care of ourselves, our family, our friends. Pay attention to what happens to us physically, and get it checked out if it doesn’t seem right. Be more aware of the world around us. Enjoy the good things, but watch for the things that can create problems, too.
But never, NEVER, quit living your life to the fullest. Enjoy every minute of it. Share it with everyone you can. Make it worth living.
Good health and tight lines to all.