June 10, 2006
a unique week.
This was, certainly, a unique week. Tuesday morning, I traveled back to the lovely city of Ann Arbor to go to the Preventive Cardiology office at the University of Michigan Hospital for my annual cardiology exam. I will be going to get a stress test/echocardiogram in late August right around when I'll move in to the apartment (I get to run and get ultrasound pictures taken of my heart). The more interesting and unique thing about my visit was that I was given a peculiar privilege: the ability to ride any roller coaster I want to. Previously, I was only allowed to ride small roller coasters (no Cedar Point for me), and according to my previous doctors I would only be allowed to ride small coasters for my entire life. The fear was that my heart would literally rip apart at the weakened surgery sites from the G-forces of the rides. It's one of those weird social things I've always dealt with at amusement parks: "Oh, that ride would be nice, but I'll just need to stay back and wait for you here." Luckily, I have had some wonderful friends over the years (and a wonderful girlfriend now) who have been willing to skip out on those rides just because I can't ride them. Thank you Shawn, Paxton, Eric Day, Elizabeth, and everyone else. It means a lot more to me than you might think for something so trivial. Anyways, that is now the past, and I can be a normal person again. It's a weird case of psychology messing with my brain, though, because for my entire life I have associated large roller coasters with images of the surgical sutures still in my chest ripping apart or the patched hole in my heart tearing open right at the bottom of a large hill. When I get on a large coaster for the first time, it will certainly be strange. I'm going to go to Michigan's Adeventure in Muskegon with Elizabeth in a few weeks to celebrate my new freedom. If anyone else is interested in going later in July or August, maybe.. to any amusement park anywhere, to celebrate.. just let me know. The ability to ride roller coasters is something most people take for granted (I know I would if I didn't have a heart defect). It seems like a strange topic to be writing about, but it's something of a good sign to me: less to worry about regarding my heart troubles.
This week has also been unique because today I received my first speeding ticket, which was also the first time I've ever been pulling over. I went to East Grand Rapids this morning with Elizabeth for a checkup appointment with my oral surgeon (from my jaw surgery for last summer), and on the way home, I drove on Business I-196 after I got off the expressway. In case you were wondering, Elizabeth came with because we don't have much time due to me working 2nd shift, and it was a way to spend time together. Anyways, there's construction on Bus. 196 Westbound after it curves after 7-11 and McD's.. for those of you who know what I'm talking about. I didn't see the signs for "Reduced Speed Ahead" and started slowing down when I reached the sign for speed limit 45 mph, and I was still going 60 because it's normally a 55 zone. The sheriff was pointing his radar gun directly after the sign, and clocked me at 60. So he pulled me over and, without any questions to me wrote me up for going 5 over. So that's a $90 ticket. Luckily, today was all overtime pay at work for me, so I made almost all of the money to pay off the ticket at work tonight.
Until next time,