My belated superpowers

Unfortunately I can’t manipulate time to slow down or speed up other people, but evidently I am slowing down myself. Not that this will surprise many… ^_^

The report from the cardiologist arrived, and I left it on the fridge for a while. Turns out it actually contains more details than I got when I was there (or at least other details – while there, I got to look at the ultrasound pictures and cool stuff like that).

The report could barely have been more upbeat if it were ordered by an elderly presidential candidate trying to convince the world that he was not going to keel over at the start of his term and leave the country in the hands of a pretty but cheerfully ignorant vice-president. Not that such a thing would ever happen. Anyway, upbeat. Vague pun intended at heartbeat.

Did you know I have physical superpowers? My mental superpowers are a matter of record, of course. I mean, you see them here almost every day. Plus, I used to be an amazing programmer, back when it was necessary to be an amazing programmer. These days, you can make whatever you want in some high-level programming tool, and the super fast computers will run it at a decent clip even if it is sloppily written, as long as the logic is not insane. I don’t really feel there is need for me as a programmer anymore. But the good news, if true, is that I now have superpowers of the body as well!

I refer to the observation that my resting pulse, which used to be around 55 back in 2005 and 50 last year, is now evidently 44. The portable heart monitor came to this somewhat disturbing conclusion, at least. Disturbing how? Disturbing in the sense that this is the resting pulse of a national level athlete. Well, for small nations like my native Norway, I guess. World class athletes may have slightly lower, though not all of them do. Just the outliers, the ones most people (but not me) have heard about. Yeah, baby. Magnus Itland, world-class athlete without even trying.

Actually, it is not quite that easy. On the contrary, the good doctor admits that “the patient has however a lower physical capacity than one should expect”. Uh, not if one bases one’s expectations on the patient not having exerted himself for even half a minute for the previous 45 years, I think. But yeah, the pulse rises really fast if I actually exert myself. Jogging for a brief stretch raises my pulse to 140. Of course, I have never actually jogged before, beyond a few steps now and then, so there’s that. Evidently to translate that ridiculously low resting pulse to actual working capacity, I will have to actually exert myself. Perhaps one day!

While I was at the lab, I asked him whether my low pulse wasn’t a case of bradycardia (as the Wikipedia rather strongly implies it is). The doctor did not think so. He said it came from there just not being much resistance in my blood vessels. He showed me ultrasound pictures that indicated less rough surface and plaque than normal for my age. Overall, I seem to have a body that is several years younger than my chronological age. This makes sense, I suppose, if my heart has beat less times than the heart of people much younger than me. By that measure, I may be closer to 40 than 53. Someone please tell my hair.

In fact, I suspect this is a lifelong trait: I reached puberty later than all the other boys my age, and I kept growing taller for longer than all the other boys my age. That probably means I was also immature for much longer than other young men my age, which certainly fits the fact. If this keeps up, I may die from old age much later than the other boys my age too. On the other hand, the sad truth is that most people don’t die from old age. They die from cancer, or heart infarcts, or stroke, or blood poisoning, or the flu, or being too demented to realize that the cows don’t need to be milked and they are not on the farm and it’s below freezing outside and the nurses who should keep track of them are playing Facebook games. Stuff like that. So my 120 years birthday is far from secure, alas.

But at least my cardiologist is giving me a chance. Thanks!

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