As you know from reading my last few journals, I’ve been wrestling with the issue of undergoing an angiogram test to get a better idea of the ease with which the blood flows through my arteries to and from my heart. Until a recent visit with my cardiologist I was content not to undergo the test for reasons cited earlier, most of them age-related. I could live with a heart that was operating at half its efficiency. This time around ( on November 20) the cardiologist was more explicit. According to my recent echocardiogram, my heart was actually operating at about 35% efficiency which struck me as another matter altogether. It means my heart is struggling even harder than I thought to pump the blood through my body. With an angiogram, the doctor would be able to detect and stent any blockages, thereby increasing my heart’s efficiency to maybe 50%. The doctor, at the same time, would replace my current pacemaker with a new, improved model which would also act to ease the strain on my hard-working heart. There are several unknowns here: there’s no way of knowing whether my arteries are dangerously clogged and need one or more stents or whether, in fact, my 92 year old body could handle the stress of the hour-long procedure. By any standard, angiograms are relatively safe, with less than 1% fatality. Was I 20 years younger, I doubt I would not hesitate. Now, however, I have continued to resist. Everything within me, says “No, don’t do it! Work with what you have.” I’m living a full, deeply satisfying life with Sherry at my side and surrounded by family and friends. Why put it in jeopardy? Then, as if to top off this reluctance, I had a middle-of-the-night experience a week ago that felt like it came to me as a knowing, something, clear and authentic, about which there was no debate. The message came in the form of a vision of the number 104. I was made to see this number as the age at which I would die and pass to another domain. So strong was this vision and the accompanying thought that I no longer felt I had to consider the angiogram test. It is suddenly irrelevant and unnecessary to my quality of life as I am now experiencing it.
Will I actually live another dozen years? I like to think so. As long as I have my wits about me and can move with some level of mobility, I’m all for it, particularly with Sherry beside me. Could this revelation of my journey’s end be erroneous, a fiction concocted by my self-serving imagination? Yes, of course. But I choose to believe its truth because of what for me was such a deep and profound moment, unlike anything else I’d experienced. So, 104 years of age it is! 2031 here I come! Ready to celebrate my life with Sherry, all human life, all life, at the drop of a hat. Like any decision, any declared intention, however, there is a price to pay, a part to play in getting from here to there. In my case it means doing all I can to maintain my health, getting plenty of rest and exercise, eating smart, reading and writing and doing what I can to improve the quality of life around me, starting with myself and reaching out to wherever it takes me.