Oh, Part Two? Part Two is a non-story. A false alarm. Crying Wolf. Part Two is a small glimpse into what happens when an anxious mind gets a foothold, a place to lace its fingers into and choke the rational thought into submission.

So here's the back story to the non-story: I haven't had a significantly informative doctor's visit since the years started with a 19. My most relevant medical experience in the past decade has been sticking my arm in an automated kiosk at Walgreen's/Target/CVS to get an estimate for a blood pressure reading. Which, coencedentaly was a high reading (okay, readings.). And that was enough to plant a seed in my head. A a fertilized plot to grow anxiety. But that was years ago. Since then I've made lifestyle changes to address the issue (although if you try and take anymore booze away from me, you will end up with a pen lodged sideways in your throat.). And much like any super villain, I turned my attentions back to trying to take over the world and assumed that everything went to plan.


Besides putting my liver and social life through the equivalent of Spetznaz training, I've actually been prepping myself to participate in the Cleveland Half Marathon in May. As such, I figured it might not be a bad idea to see how those Plans turned out and get a baseline idea as to what some basal life metrics might currently be sitting at. So I shuffled myself off to a free health screening at a Clinic hospital to get an idea as to where I stood.

Cholesterol? Rock. Solid. Glucose levels? Rock. Solid. Resting heart rate? Rock. Solid. Blood pressure? Well...I wouldn't say it was reading through the roof, but that's only if we're talking about the roof on the Terminal Tower- My BP would be looking out from the Observation Deck.

And that was all it took to loosen the shackles on my Monsters, the insecurities that can wreak havoc on my normal, mundane activities. I immediately lifted the embargo on seeing a medical professional, even though I sure I was inviting certain uninsured financial doom upon myself. Work outs because an exercise in diminshing returns. I could almost start to feel the anxiety squeezing the sweat out of me. Every little blip. Every little twinge. All seen through the microscope strapped to my perception. By Thursday I had to cut my run in half; having a small panic attack on a treadmill 30 minutes in is not what I'd call A Good Time. On Friday I cut my work-out short because I could have sworn that I was going to pop, right then and there, Scanners-style.

And then I went to the doctor. He was a fine gentleman; someone that I had never met before. We talked for a while, he did a few basic tests, then noted some observations. And not once did my blood pressure read above 136/80. Elevated, yes. But almost 40 points lower than what I was reading earlier in the week. And you know what? That's what I'm going on now. Professional v. Volunteer. Human v. Machine. Right v. Wrong. That's what I'm using to wedge apart the those nervous fingers gripping the Oh Shit handles in my brain. That's...Sometimes, when sailors are sailing, they think twice, about where they're anchoring. And I think... I could make better use of my time on land. I'll drink less, 'cause lord knows I could use a warm kiss instead of a cold goodbye; I'm writing the folks back home to tell them  Hey I'm doing alright!