Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Dear Mr. Franklin,…

Ben Franklin is given credit for the quote about two things in life are certain, “death and taxes”. Well, today of course is D-day for income tax filing and if you were one of the many rushing for the post offices by 6pm, I hope you made it.

For me, although as of late I have been an income tax procrastinator, today’s date means something more to me, and yes, it is the other certainty spoken of by Ben (as I used to call him as he walked the amusement park that I worked for back in 198whatever – Dorney Park), death.

You see, in the beginning of April of 2008, I made a telephone call to my family practitioner. She kind of knew who I was (only kidding, having been my physician for decades, she knew who I was, but I was a very rare visitor). I had been having an uncomfortable feeling in my chest during my workouts, mowing my lawn, and at work. It was a tightness that would only last approximately forty-five seconds to a minute, and then go away. And off I would go, continuing my workouts for the next hour and a half, mowing my lawn for two hours, or continued pushing and pulling 1000 pound pieces of equipment (it was on wheels, I am no Adonis).

But this symptom had gone on for well over four months when I made that call to my doctor. It had finally annoyed me enough to make that call. It was unusual for me to make any kind of complaint about discomfort as I have a high tolerance for pain. And it was for that reason, unbeknownst to me, that my doctor made the call herself (or her nurse) to set up a “nuclear stress test”. I had not idea what it was for. I just knew that I was to prepare for it on April 15th. I was told I would be exercising on a treadmill so I needed to have workout clothes and comfortable shoes, and definitely no caffeine.

For the second time in my life, I was being led down a path, which I did not know the direction, nor was I suspicious.

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