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February 10th, 2024

That Sense Of Death Tapping You On The Shoulder

A neighbor across my street had to be taken off by the paramedics a couple nights ago. I just found out he’d had a really bad stroke and is still in the hospital, unable to move.

Him and his younger brother (both pretty old men, but 50s, maybe early 60s I’d say) live in one of the four single family detached houses across my street.┬áThe oldest brother who inherited the house was who had the stroke. He was into some sort of real estate business and possibly had other side work too. Whenever the weather was warm enough he’d be outside working on the front lawn or the side garden or the huge yard on the east side of the house with a Really Big tree and lots of scrub brush, which I saw him trying to clear out a month ago.

So he was active, if not a regular jogger or walker like me. I never once saw him smoking and he didn’t seem to be a drinker either. But I think his health wasn’t the best to begin with. He walked with some difficulty. Maybe it was the same sort of thing that had put his sister in a wheelchair.

The stroke scares me more than other possible health outcomes. For one thing I like to drive a lot and if it happens while I’m driving I could get other people killed. I’ve thought about that ever since I read the story of that school bus driver who apparently stroked out while driving the bus and crashed into a metrobus killing it’s driver and several passengers, plus himself. He’d apparently had a record of that happening before and should never have been given a school bus to drive. Luckily there were no children on the bus.

If I have the stroke, even one that doesn’t incapacitate me, I would need to give up my driver’s license, voluntarily if that isn’t the law. I won’t have that on me. But losing the ability to drive would feel like the end of my life.

I really don’t want the stroke. Unless it’s a massive one that kills me instantly. I can deal with that.


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