Countdown to Fifteen
I met with my new cardiologist and he took me to heart when I said I wanted to be very scientific in my approach to treatment. He showed me the statistical model used to adjust the treatment of persons with my condition. For men my age with the same condition and treatment there is a ninety-seven percent mortality rate within fifteen years.
Well, that was a little more of the harsh science than I was expecting. My first thought was that fifteen years only takes me to the age of sixty. Then I had the happy thought, "I don't have to save up for retirement!" Then, that passed.
What the stats really say is that, based on historical data, if you gathered one hundred men my age and condition, it is likely that in fifteen years there would only be two other than myself. To be honest, I can probably take them out too. Of course, historical data doesn't take into account the latest technologies and discoveries. When we factor in all the things that may develop in the next decade and a half, I probably do have to save for retirement.
When you see a number like that applied to your life expectancy, it definitely set one to thinking. Just what should I do with the next fifteen years? I don't really have the general sense of malice to become a super villain. I don't have the resources to spread my DNA like Genghis Khan. My acting skills suck sufficiently that I have no chance in becoming a renowned actor. Don't ask me to sing. No really, don't ask me to sing.
One might think that it would be a good time to tighten up on healthful living. The prescribed diet is the same as recommended for everyone else, just slightly less of it. The prescribed exercise is the same, but just a touch more. Even then, the internals may decide to fail for unknown reasons. The trick then is to make a good effort at the healthy living, with just enough cushion to keep life enjoyable and interesting.
After thinking a bit, it occurs to me that I should probably tighten up just a little, but otherwise keep with my current plan. I'll finish grad school and decide where to go from there. In the mean time, I will continue to learn and experience things I always wanted to and never did. Up until now, I've never been one to fit the normal statistics; why should I start now?