The consultant at the Acute Stroke Unit looked almost disappointed when I told her how little alcohol I take every week. And actually grateful when I told her my cigarette consumption had crept back up to twenty a day. Finally, something she could give me advice on. I put one sugar in my coffee, and have been having up to seven mugs a day during the work-stress of the last few months. I make one smoothie a day, 50% of which is green vegetable matter. I juice when I can. My cholesterol was well above where it should be, because I fall into bad habits on long work jags. But, mostly, I have an underlying issue with high blood pressure that so far evades understanding, even after the full spin in the MRI with the dyes, the angiogram, chest and head and kidney imaging and all the other good stuff. Spend more than half an hour in an MRI and you will find yourself identifying every electronic noise from the last fifteen years of techno music. The MRI is the ursprache of the sound of the 21st Century.
The first time something like this happened, fifteen years ago, I wasn’t even smoking or drinking coffee. I did not have a stroke, or a TIA, and I have no neurological or cardiac damage. Not even clues. I have a haunting in my veins. They shrugged and gave me a statin in the end. And I’ve cut my cigarette consumption in half, switched entirely over to unsweetened espresso, and am eating every fish and leaf in the kingdom.