As good as I’ll ever be

by Brian Keaney

My idea of universal healthcare.

About this time last year, I was lamenting the fact that I have led a pretty mediocre life, but resolved within a decade to do something great.  This weekend, and more particularly today, it hit me just how long – and short – a decade really is.

Once again, for my birthday, I received as a gift the rental of a jet ski on West Dennis Beach (And a toy – a really cool one with which someone post-30 wouldn’t be embarrassed to play.  At least I won’t be.)  During my ride, in full view of my family, I hit a wave the wrong way at speed and went tumbling ass over teakettle into the ocean.  It was, quite nearly, exactly how I fell off a jet ski on July 9, 2002.  After that accident, which I still remember with painful clarity, I got back onto the ski, took it back to shore, and someone pointed out that my lifejacket was covered in blood.

That night, in addition to getting a cute nurse’s phone number, I also got stitches in my chin – sans Novocaine, as I don’t believe in medicine.  Aside from having my blood pressure taken during my several trips a year to the Red Cross, and an ice pack and a brief cognitive diagnostic when I hit my head skiing hard enough to cause memory loss, it was the last time I received any kind of medical care.  As I’ve said here before,

It’s been more than a decade since I have been for a physical, and even longer than that since I’ve taken any kind of medicine.  I figure that if I am sick, I will go to the doctor’s.  If not, I am not going to waste my time having someone poke and prod me only to tell me what I already know, that I am healthy.  Even when I got the flu for the first time in my life, and had a fever high enough to make me delusional, I still refused pharmaceuticals.  A couple oranges, a bottle of Irish whiskey, and I got better.

I still “ain’t as good as I’m gonna get,” but, at least medically, I’m probably as good as I’m ever going to be.