Friday, March 14, 2014

making (up) history

During closing arguments, the opposing attorney attempted to rehabilitate his client, who had spent most of the trial making up most of his testimony, by describing him as "a bad historian."

I responded: "Doris Kearns Goodwin* is a bad historian; Mr. Smith is a liar."

For some reason, I thought about that little anecdote yesterday afternoon while talking with my friends Ed and Roxanne.  Roxanne had asked me how my health was, and I responded with my usual line of denial  -- "just fine; and yours?"

But that was not true.  And I told her so.  In fact, I had just come from my doctor's office.  I had stopped there because I had run out of my triglyceride medication -- the medication that appeared to be doing nothing when I last saw her.

She had a new theory.  Maybe my thyroid is off. 

I started laughing.  My mother has been saying that for years (along with several other things), but my American doctors had refused to test for an imbalance because I did not meet the insurance company protocols for the test.  We don't have any of that "objective evidence medicine" nonsense down here south of the border.

So, I am scheduled to have a blood draw this morning to see what my thyroid is doing.  The laboratory has drawn so much of my blood lately, I have considered installing a tap in my elbow.

Before I left her office, I asked her to test my blood pressure.  I have been feeling a bit dizzy lately, and I wondered if the pressure was low.

It wasn't.  It was higher than usual -- and the two numbers were far too close together.  I could tell that concerned her.

But I forgot to tell her one of the most important events of this past week.  And it didn't even occur to me until I was talking with Roxanne.

On Sunday or Monday night, while I was in bed, my heart started the same type of palpitations I experienced last November.  You may recall that was when my doctor diagnosed that I had suffered a mild heart attack.

In November, the palpitations lasted about 15 minutes.  This time, they went on for two hours.  I almost asked Mom if she would drive me to the hospital.  But I didn't.  I saw no point in being an alarmist.

And they stopped before I did.  The event now seems so remote that I completely forgot to tell my doctor -- the one who is dealing with my circulatory issues.  She might have found it to be an interesting piece of evidence.

I will tell her later today when I get the lab results on my thyroid.  But it goes to prove something I learned long ago.  People are terrible eyewitnesses -- even of their own lives.

Even so, that still does not make me Doris Kearns Goodwin.

* -- The reference to Doris Kearns Goodwin is a cheap shot.  I admit it.  But, at the time of that trial, she was under fire with charges of plagiarism in two of her books.  Her subsequent books are so larded with footnotes that she deserves credit for kicking the copying habit.  Or, at least, giving the appearance of kicking the habit.

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