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The Samurai's Heart by Walt Mussell

The Samurai's Heart

by Walt Mussell

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Beer and Kansas State

I did something last night I don’t normally do. After putting the kids to bed, I sat down and had a beer. My wife was surprised to see it. She knows I don’t normally drink, except on Saturdays during college football season.

The reason I drink on Saturdays has to with my alma mater: Auburn. I love watching my team play and go through the emotional swings of the game like most other fans. However, as most Auburn fans well know, Auburn tends to play to the level of its competition. This means wonderful, tense games such as last year’s contest against Florida. It also means games where the first string is still playing into the 2nd half against a team it should have put away in the 1st quarter. Most Auburn games are either 1-beer or 2-beer contests, with the lone exception being the annual 4-beer showdowns we have with LSU.

So…with the season opener against Kansas State still a few days away, why did I feel the need to pop open a brew? It had to do with the last few days of my life. For the last few months, I have been dealing with a low-grade headache that I could not get rid of. I had viewed it as being similar to a sore muscle, an annoyance that just had to be worked out.

Last week, though, the pain hit the point where I felt I needed to see a doctor. I was convinced that I had a migraine. My doctor, being medically trained, disagreed with my diagnosis. She knew it wasn’t a migraine. However, being unable to identify the reason for the headache, she took the next step: she set up two appointments for me, one with a specialist and one for an MRI.

The acronym “MRI” surprised me. I knew the purpose of it was preventive. The doctor was not requiring an MRI because she thought I specifically had a tumor; she did it as she needed to eliminate that possibility as a cause of my headache as soon as possible.

Yesterday, I got the results: brain scan normal. I was relieved. My wife was, too, though she did not concur with the diagnosis of my brain being normal. It had been a week since I had originally met with the doctor, a tense seven days of worry. So, after it all, I just decided to have a beer.

I do wonder what this problem is. Maybe I need to get my eyes checked. My wife thinks I just need more sleep (and less time on the computer). Whatever it is, I at least know it won’t require another beer…at least until kickoff at 7:45 p.m. EST this Saturday on ESPN.

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