Monday, March 12, 2007

John Coltrane -' My Favourite Things'

Today is the birthday of THE definitive sax player. And this is one of my favorite things of all time. 'Trane takes a deceptively simple folk melody by Rogers and Hammerstein and changing it into a modal composition, he transforms the piece into something unforgettable.

Heart of My Heart

The news today is entirely personal.

At 9 o'clock this morning, I was on a treadmill at UBC's cardiology department. I lasted 14 minutes with steadily increasing pace and elevation and got my heart rate up to 142 beats per minute. This is a lot more than my customary 57 or 60 at rest.

All of this in aid of my semi-annual "stress test," which is necessitated by what is laughingly called "an episode" in June 2005. The episode (chest, shoulder, throat and lower jaw pains) was a textbook case of angina and that resulted in the inevitable angiogram and angioplasty. The latter is the now almost routine procedure in which a "stent" is inserted into a plaque-blocked artery. The day I had my operation, 20 more such procedures were performed at Vancouver General alone.

I "passed" today's test with flying colors, as they say. No hitches, glitches or sudden spikes on the pages of red and grey print-out graph.

I've now made a commitment to go back on a "statin" drug. I've been advised that my excellent diet and disciplined exercise regimen is doing all it reasonably can to lower my "bad" cholesterol, and that only such medication will really aid in getting the numbers to the lower levels I should have.

Such is life.

Twenty or so years ago, all of the above would have statistically been a fairly immediate death sentence.

With luck and good food and those regular walks and swims and bike rides and tennis games and the first rate attention of Dr. Izzerow and his gang, I might just last another 20 years or more.

But, no fear.

I'll still be the cranky, miserable s.o.b. I've always been. Nothing beats consistency.