True Story©... 24 Hours To Live!


    What would you do if you were told you had 24 hours to live?
Since my cardiac event that landed me in the hospital Summer 2018, I have been dealing with a minefield of doctor and specialists visits usually about every other month. Since the exact cause of my episode could never be pinned down, we keep an eye on everything from my blood pressure, to my asthma and even my kidneys. No stone gets left unturned and, when combined with my recent obsession with sobriety and my physique, shit works out pretty well on a month-to-month basis.

Three weeks ago, I got a phone call…

Me: “Hello.”

Nurse: “Hi, this is your nurse from Dr Samuel’s office.”

Me: “Okay”

Nurse: “Dr Samuel is going on vacation next week and wants to get you in as soon as possible. You have 24 hours to give blood at the lab so he can review it before he leaves.”

Did she say what I think she said!?

Me: “I have–… 24–… hours?”

Nurse: “Yes”

Me: “Well I guess I got no choice, lemme make some arrangements and deal with it.”

Nurse: “Okay, see you in the morning.”

    What am I gonna do!? I have been doing exponentially better, but now they’re calling to tell me I got 24 fuckin’ hours to live? He JUST got done commending me for my commitment to success the week before! What is this even based on?
Whatever, I have people and things WILDLY important and very little time to make sure shit is ready for my absence.

    I logged into my work computer and made sure my life insurance policies all had Wife Person™ as beneficiary, with SPECIFIC instructions on how to handle distribution to the girls at specific ages/conditions/needs.
I logged into every bank account and made sure she was set to receive my $75.43 immediately upon death.
I made sure she knew how to log into and pay the Rocket Mortgage account immediately upon disbursement of life insurance funds.
I placed all documents stating my desire not to be buried, but cremated as inexpensively as possible so as to not create any undue financial burdens in my expiration.
I called the florist and arranged to have ONE orange rose sent to her, one purple one sent to Ava and one daisy sent to Mari every day until such a date of the florist’s closing.

Okay, I have handled business… Time for some fuckery…

    Back before smartphones were a standard feature in the pocket of almost every 6th-grader, I used to have an “in” in the form of a friend who worked for a cellphone manufacturer. I would periodically – say every month or three – be offered a new phone that was not yet out in the US and likely never would be and I always took up the offer. All of those phones, due to being UN-trade-in’able for upgrade when that company changed direction and my friend moved on, are in a pouch in the bottom drawer of the file cabinet in my garage.
I went and fished out that pouch and plugged in the last of those phones that I used to retrieve some contacts’ information. Once I had the contacts’ numbers, I used that to search the web to see if that information would lead me to current contact info, on the chance that phone numbers and email addresses had changed.

Who are these people I am looking for? Exes! Specifically the ones who I felt did me wrong…
In possession of email contact information, I wrote EACH one a letter containing dates and times, screenshotted proof of transgressions and even attached a PDF of bank statements to one specifying why and how I felt they had done me wrong. I made sure to include that I had not been keeping score or holding grudges as I have (obviously) moved along and am married with a house and two daughters, three cars and three doggies, but this had somehow been weighing on me and needed to be gotten off of my chest.
I signed off on each one with “… and if this is my last day on Earth, please be sure to consider your role in what brought that to be.”

I requested read-receipt on each email, then blocked the recipient from responding once I received confirmation.

    Not to let y’all in on anything more than you need to know about me, but I used to be REALLY shy dealing with the opposite sex. Alcohol changed that, giving me the apparent courage to be as bold as I became with the face I am apparently saddled with.

This all leads me to my next task of the day…
Y’know what? I am sober now and the news of the morning has given me all the bravado I need to go’fer it. For every woman I still have contact information for that I MIGHT have shot my shot with, that I passively shot my shot with or even those who might have curved me, I crafted a text message (or DM when I didn’t have a phone number) about how in a different set of circumstances that things between us could have been different. Short, cryptic, direct to no point at all. Needless to say, I didn’t hang around to entertain the inevitable “what does this even mean?” responses. Make no mistake, they SENT those kind of responses, but I did not acknowledge or even open them.
They can stew on what that shit might have meant for the rest of eternity.

    Anyone who ever had jokes on me as a kid for shit I had no control over, anyone who ever passed over me for jobs, anyone who ever had a cross word for me… I found them on BookFace and Twitter, I found them on Instagram, I even signed up for TikTok to find them and I made them a reel offering a very specific list of “fuck you.”

    It’s late in the day… I’m wrestling with HOW to break this to Wife Person™ and the girls. How do I tell my mom? My brother will be DEFLATED. I know all of my doctors and specialists have a specific checklist of people to notify when I am in life-threatening peril, and that list includes to call Wife Person™ first, and then my mother. Have they been notified that I am on the ultimate shot clock yet? Are they already aware and have agreed to not alert me in order to prevent panic on my part and perhaps allow me to enjoy my last days here?

Before I knew it, I was sitting at my farm table in the garage crying with no clue how to handle it without ruining (or worsening) a situation.  I felt helpless.

    Still not willing to take this shit too far or mess up anyone’s day with the dark news, I KIND of did business as usual for dinner. I broke out one of my specialties, coconut curry chicken with ginger cabbage and coconut rice. This is the meal I probably made for you if you’ve visited my house for dinner and you left begging for the recipe. I happily obliged and you’re welcome.

When asked why I was pulling out all the stops on a random-ass weeknight, I welled up a little bit and explained how much I love my family and only want to be my best for them.

The rest of the night goes over without major issue, though I was so anxious about my appointment in the morning that I could barely sleep.

    Again, rather than darken anyone’s day with taking me to my final appointment, I opted to take a Lyft to it. That way no one would need to arrange to get the Nitro back to the house without me.
I said a little prayer when I arrive and walked in to address the nurse.

Nurse: “Good morning, Phillip!”

Me: “I dunno about good, all things considered.”

Nurse: “What do you mean?”

Me: “Well… You told me I had 24 hours to live, and here I am to face the music.”

    She was FLUMMOXED.

Nurse: “What are you talking about?”

Me: “When you called me yesterday, you said Dr Samuel was going on vacation and that I had 24 hours to live.”

Her perplexed look was replaced with near-laughter…

Nurse: “I said you have 24 hours to GIVE! GIVE, as in give labs, so Dr Samuel can review them and make any medication adjustments before his vacation.”

Me: “Oh fuck…”

Nurse: “What? Aren’t you happy? You’re FINE overall!”

Me: “Well I should be, but now I feel kind of sick.”

Nurse: “What’s wrong?”

Me: “Consequences.”

Nurse: “Hmm?”

Me: “If you only knew what I have done over the last 23-and-a-half hours…”

Nurse: “… because you thought it was ‘the end’ right?”

Me: “Yes”

Nurse: “Eww…”

Me: “You sure y’all can’t just, like, KILL me or something?”

Nurse: “Legally, no. They’re ready for you in the lab now.”

    So to answer my question to myself from after our initial conversation…
She, in fact, had NOT said what I thought she said. The further upshot of this is that now I am absolutely fucked. What I’mma do now!?


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