Monday, 2 January 2017

#178 Beat after beat

When I was eighteen, I visited the doctor complaining of chest pains and was told that I had a heart murmur. An unusual but completely harmless whooshing sound that followed every thump of my pulse. The sound is caused by a slight leak in one of the heart's four valves. The chest pain was unrelated and probably due to stress or something.

2016 was a year of avoidance. It had long since occurred to me that I should get checked to see if this thing had got any worse. Leaky valves often do deteriorate over time although the process can take decades. If a person is really lucky, it might never happen. People often tell me that I should get it checked. Afterall, if it did turn out that there was something wrong, wouldn't I want to know about it?

No, not really.

Instead of going to the doctor, I spent eight months and about two grand visiting a therapist every week to talk about it. It only takes so long to say "a part of me feels like I should go see a doctor but I'm too scared" though, so instead we talked about everything else under the sun. Work, family, dating, philosophy, how the mind works according to whatever textbooks she read to become a psychotherapist. No wonder I enjoyed it.

Now it's 2017. The year in which I do actually go to the doctor, to find out whether I belong to the paranoids or the paramedics. I expect that I dramatise everything a bit too much, getting selfishly wrapped up in my own little story. If only to have something to write about, for the one or two Facebook friends who might take a look when they have nothing better to do.

It wasn't a bad year. I completed ten years at the company and then tied it off and set to work on finishing and editing my book. Stayed in touch with friends and family. Moved house. Dated. Ate burgers.

The beat goes on.

12 comments

Self raising flowers said...

Yay!

Self raising flowers said...

What book? Where do we get it?

Dan said...

Hey Cath :) I'm still editing it but it's mostly done. It's completely anonymised though and won't be sent to friends and family as it's utterly filthy.

Happy New Year :)

Self raising flowers said...

Is it a novel?

Jonathan Bandit Copping said...

Great Blog - best reading of anything online! Love Dad

Self raising flowers said...

I agree, very promising writer, more please!

Dan said...

it's novel length

Self raising flowers said...

Cool! Was all the dating for research?

Dan said...

The dating was because I like dating :)

Self raising flowers said...

I can't tell the difference between research and real life as a writer. It all comes out of my subconscious.
Right now I'm listening to Billy Joel, and I know it will come out in my stuff somewhere, even if only as a shadow of a thought.

Dan said...

Since I've started thinking about storytelling every day, I have started to wonder whether it affects my behaviour. When I have a choice to make, I'm aware that I'm not just wondering what the right or wrong outcome is. I'm also interested in what's going to make the best story. I say every day because I don't think everyone realises how much I write. Besides the blog and the book, I'll do a substantial diary entry every day before turning the lights out as well as countless paragraphs here and there just to myself on the tube or the bus, partly to organise my thoughts and partly because it's fun.

Self raising flowers said...

Well, as a writer, I think those are all v good habits.

If you were in a desk or other job, you would do the necessary research for each problem that you had to solve, eg if you were working for a newspaper, a doctor with an unfamiliar disease in front of you, etc. If you're writing an adventure or crime story, maybe take out accident insurance on yourself though!

You might be a good one to also write down your dreams.