Another visit to the lung specialist this morning. I haven’t had a hit of the good stuff for at least six months now.
By good stuff I mean my inhalers, the ones that keep sick people from dropping dead, and to which I pretty much assumed I would be taking for the rest of my life, like some kind of junkie who never gets high, but still has to spend a lot of money on pills and various drug paraphernalia—asthmatics have bongs, too, they’re just not any fun—until my lungs finally turn into the shriveled little raisins I sometimes imagine them to be. So this is all good news, especially compared to the other patients in the office, who actually seem sick. I’m enjoying the good health.
In class tonight, we’re learning how to break someone’s arm, when my partner screams out in pain and lies down on the mat with a cramped abdominal muscle. Even with the air conditioner running, it’s about ninety degrees inside the gym, and the sweat is pouring off of him as if it were blood pouring from a gash in his forehead. Anyhow, drink your water kids. Imagine having a charley horse in your stomach.
I’ve also been working on using my belt to tie my gi up into a little bundle. All the cool kids are doing it. One of the guys from class says, as we’re leaving, “Hey, man, you look like David Carradine.” I’ll admit, it felt good.
A while back, I mentioned that my pulmonologist had “cured my asthma,” while also making one of the weirdest, most medically inappropriate Freudian slips of all time. I suppose I should say that modern medicine only had a small hand in my cure, and in fact, something entirely different might be credited with my recent state of relatively good health:
Getting choked out. A lot.
Nothing, really, will make you appreciate how much air you can take in, like having someone take away your ability to take in any. And, in truth, this was all part of my Brazilian Jiujitsu training. In any case, I’d like to correct my original assertion that I owe my health to Pfizer and modern medicine, and state that, in fact, it probably has more to do with exercise.
So, thanks to everyone at Florian Martial Arts Center, both instructors and students, who quite literally choked the asthma out of my body. Just to make sure they get a little more free publicity: They are always running specials for new students, they give discounts if you’re still in school, and they treat everyone with kindness and respect, even if you’re not planning to enter the octagon any time soon, or ever. Also, it’s a female-friendly environment, which isn’t something you’d expect at a gym where people practice hitting each other. Anyhow, it’s a place you should go, to get in shape, and also learn how to hurt people, and maybe cure your random auto-immune diseases in the process.
About halfway through the ceremony of my cousin’s graduation from medical school, my wife leans over to me and whispers, “If you’re going to have a heart attack, now’s probably the best time to do it.”