Some of you who know me, no doubt will do a double take. “It can’t be the Mike Foley I know.” Well, if you’re thinking in a religious sense, you’d be partially right, but let me say, I am a believer—and a regular church goer.
I labored most of my life under a Damoclean sword. The sword, being a heart murmur I’d had for most of my life. When I was 40, I wanted to prepare myself for the “end“. I felt that it was only right that I do what I could for my family’s future. I thought I needed to visit a doctor, and have him once and for all let me know…”Just how many years do I have left?….That is, providing my time left could be measured in years.It was near my birthday in 1977, when I made my appointment with fate.
I dreaded the doctor visit, but, I sucked it up, and was in the doc’s waiting room at the appointed time. Our family practitioner, Dr. LeCavelier, a French Canadian, spoke with a very pronounced accent. He’d treated my family for their ills, but never me.
I’m not going to go into detail, but by the time the procedure had reached the: “Put your clothes back on, Mike.” stage, I was surprised that he hadn’t uttered a few, “tsk, tsks”, accompanied with a pitying look. I felt I knew the problem better than he, so, I casually mentioned: “Well, doc, I guess you heard my heart murmur.” His reaction was not what I expected; he looked puzzled. “No, Mike, I deedn’t hear zee heart murmere.” I went on to explain. “Well then, you must have missed it, because I’ve had a murmur for years; in fact, I wasn’t able to participate in Phys Ed classes in school, and I was classified “4-F” when I registered for the military draft.”
“Take off zee shirt, I weel sheck you again.” I removed my shirt, and he carefully listened to my innards once more. After he replaced the stethoscope around his neck, he told me: “Mike, zere is no heart murmere, your heart, eet sound perfectly normal.” I was stunned. It took a minute for me to digest what he’d just said. “Do you mean that I could pass an insurance physical?” I asked incredulously. “Yes, Mike, you could.” I went on down a list of previously banned activities. When I mentioned jogging, even then, he saw no problem.
“Are you absolutely sure? I just can’t believe that my murmur is gone.” He went on to reassure me: “I will schedule you for de EKG.” The next day, in a cardiologist’s office, I was hooked up to an EKG machine. When the technician finished, she quipped: “I’ve seen worse”. “Ok“, thought I, “just how much worse?”
Dr. LeCavelier called me later that afternoon, to give me the results: Mike, don’ worry, your heart is perfectly normal.” And, with a pat on my shoulder, he added: “Now’ you go an’ have de happy birday.” When I returned home, Sharon had the champagne chilled, and we toasted our good fortune—-several times.
It was a very happy birthday, and I was truly, born again