If I could tell you one thing I learned last year it would be that life’s too short not to live it in a way that’s meaningful to you. While I sat there listening to blocking out my doctor list off the terrifying things I was now at risk for, all I kept thinking (just prior to fainting) was “But I haven’t gone anywhere and now this thing might explode in my head so I CAN’T go anywhere.” I guess you could say it was one way to quickly figure out what was really important and, surprise surprise, it wasn’t clothing or shoes.

After I got home and finished having a mental breakdown on the phone to my ex-boyfriend (I mean sometimes you just need to talk to someone who couldn’t care less if you lived or died. HA! Don’t lose your humor, people) I sat there in a daze. What did she mean this was a warning sign? What did she mean there was a high likelihood of this happening again, but with far worse results, within the next 5 years? WHAT DID SHE MEAN I’M OLD? It was a lot to take in all at once, so I just sat and cried. You’ll see this has become a recurring theme of mine.

As someone who’s never really had a health problem in their life, I wasn’t sure what to do. <Another recurring theme: daze.> Amongst the advice I was given were these gems:

  • Don’t let yourself get hungry, it could trigger a headache that could trigger a stroke.
  • Don’t let yourself get thirsty, it could trigger a headache that could trigger a stroke.
  • Make sure you’re getting enough exercise, but nothing too strenuous because it could trigger a headache that could trigger a stroke.
  • Don’t get a headache.
  • Avoid conflict.

And my personal favorite:

  • Avoid stress.

Armed with a mighty arsenal of WTFs I set about trying to figure out how to avoid conflict and stress. Maybe I could be a shut-in? Maybe it was time to look into those ads in the PennySaver that say you can be a stay-at-home editor making $50/hr reading books? Wait! How about a stripper? Nope, there might be hunger, thirst and headaches if I didn’t get my 15 minute break.

Throwing my hands up in the air I went back to sleep for another 17 hours, doctor’s orders.

About a month later there was a loud knock on the front door. Shuffling downstairs in a pretty scary pair of pajamas, I opened it to find a huge box and the FedEx guy. When I asked him what was in it he smiled a big one and said ‘BIKE’. I smiled a big one right back. The one thing I knew I needed to do was get outside more. Even if I wasn’t in the best condition to go far places, riding a bike would get me SOME place and it did not have to be too strenuous getting there. Chris kind of laughed when I first mentioned riding bikes because his ass doesn’t know me at all. Back in ’76 I learned to pedal my gold Schwinn Stingray with the matching glitter banana seat on gravel, fool. See Exhibit A:

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He showed me he believed that one after all when he bought me my bike. Even though I couldn’t really balance at first and was a little worried I might never be able to, I take no prisoners on that sucker now. Eat my dust! It’s the best gift I’ve ever received and definitely the best therapy I got after getting sick. Well, after B. Franklin anyway. How’s that for a punch in the eye to stress and conflict? BAZINGA!

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