“How are you?”
How many times are you asked that question each day? They are meaningless words thoughtlessly tumbling from someone’s mouth as you meet them in public or talk with them on the phone. I have always responded in kind. “Fine. Thanks. How you doin’?”
But that all changed this year. There are people who really are inquiring about my health. They know that I have had some medical issues this year and they want to know my status. To them I answer truthfully that I am feeling stronger every day. Here is the challenge – how do can you tell the difference? Who is being polite and who is concerned? Who knows about this year’s adventure and who doesn’t, but should?
I was talking with Rachel on Tuesday. She works for a brokerage house that services a few of my clients. She asked me how I was and I replied, “Fine”. She then asked again. “No, how are YOU?” I got it. We actually talked for a few minutes before we got back to business. Sadly that is the exception, not the rule.
Frank, my rep with a well-known insurer, personally invited me to a lunch presentation in mid-May. The email invite arrived at the end of April. I let him know that I hoped to attend. “I will have to play it by ear. I’m up to ½ days now. The blog post dealing with this is Shedding Pounds By Shedding Organs.” A few weeks later, I made it to his meeting. He asked me how I was. I said, “Stronger every day”. And he said, “Why? Have you been sick?”
I just looked at him and said, “You didn’t read the blog”.
I don’t expect everyone in the world to read Health Insurance Issues With Dave. I am shocked and gratified that hundreds of people do read these posts (thank you Google Analytics!). And I’m also aware that my readers come and go. But, if I personally email you a link to a post about shedding organs, I would think you might find a couple of minutes.
Agitated? I had someone say to me that he saw the link but didn’t feel like reading it. “I’m here. Tell me all about it.”
I went to a presentation from a 9 / 11 survivor. This is his job. Fifteen years later he is making a living by traveling around the country and retelling his story of America’s darkest hours. He gets paid to relive the pain and horror. That ain’t me!
I externalize my pain, my grief, my negatives. I get it onto paper and out of my system. And once it’s gone, it’s gone. Visiting a post is like visiting my old house in Shaker Hts. It was mine. It isn’t now. And you don’t need me to be with you when you drive past it.
I have had this prostate issue for almost two years. I kept waiting for it to turn out to be nothing. I wrote several introductions to the blog post that would detail the false alarm. But that never happened. I had more than enough time to write, edit, and re-edit this story while I was flat on my back in the darkness of that hospital room. And when I wrote it, a few days after my discharge, I had to fight the lingering fog of the general anesthetics to get that story out of my system. I couldn’t sleep. I had to get this story out of me so that I could get better.
And once the piece was written and the post was published, I was done. And I do mean DONE. I don’t want to be dragged back to that hospital room. When someone insists that I retell my adventure of April 13th to 20th, they are asking me to relive it. Blessed with an excellent memory, I can recall the claustrophobic room where I almost bled to death. I slept with earplugs but I can still hear the alarms that shattered my sleep. And I remember being alone, in the dark, connected to those machines, and willing confidence and never letting doubt enter my room. Why the Hell would I want to go through this again?
I had a successful trip to the hospital. If you get to go home in a car, it is a successful trip. My interest is strictly in the future. If someone really has a sincere interest in my health, there is a quick, comprehensive, and mildly entertaining answer. Just read the damn blog.