In some ways, all hospitals are the same. The hallways lit by flourescent bulbs that are just dim enough to take the edge off of the cute Garfield scrubs on the overweight nurse behind the counter. I had to drive fast to get to Intensive Care in time for visiting hours which ended at 2:00. By the time I got there, Garfield the jolly nurse was ready to walk me to another wing. My dad was transfered to a standard room.

The good news starts there.

I think my last dozen posts have been on proper perspective. It’s funny how major events in the SOMEONE ELSE’S life can give us an impression of the big picture. Still, I think gaining perspective from someone else’s life is a lot like TV ads for high def. “LOOK HOW CLEAR THIS PICTURE IS!!” as they show a HD picture on the low tech box you already own. We’re limited by the framework of our own experience. No matter how often we encounter the tribulations of others, we view them in the same detached way that we watch Rwanda or Enron or all the other things that totally screwed someone else. It sucks… my life isn’t that bad… I really OUGHTA have perspective.

That’s not how it works.

On Wednesday last week I was set to meet the wife at the doctor for some important test results. It’s been something we’ve worried about for some time and, as I’m prone to do, I managed to postpone the real concern until the slot gacor last minute. By that night I was nervous. Then, that same night, my mom called from a hospital in Kentucky. Dad had a stroke. At the time we didn’t know how badly he’d been affected. I was scared shitless.

Needless to say, I skipped the famous G-Vegas “Medium Game” on Thursday. I think Otis crushed the table.

So let’s get to the beef before we all choke on the bun. I’m not trying to be too dramatic here. It used to be a poker blog and I hope it will be again.

Dad had a stroke in his cerebellum. He’s thinking and speaking as well as ever, and he can crush some physical therapy to regain the functions damaged by the stroke. Meanwhile, we got him out of the garbage Eastern Kentucky hospital that recommended, “Let’s be conservative here. We’ll watch the symptoms for a few days and then start physical therapy. We still don’t know what caused the stroke but that shouldn’t be a big deal.”

Turns out he has a hole in his heart. He’s at the Cleveland Clinic now awaiting surgery after they perform more tests. They have to perform more because the film from all the previous tests just disappeared in Kentucky.

The wife got mixed news while I was away. I don’t want to detail that right now. But we’re still waiting for more doctors and more tests which is the pinnacle of grand suck.

I came back to G-Vegas on Friday, once it was clear dad was headed to Cleveland. I think I’ll catch the Indians versus the Mariners on Thursday if any readers need company up there.

I got back into town at about 6:30 and called Badblood for support. I needed therapy as much as anyone and I gave him the million dollar guilt trip about a game that night. We hit a fairly decent raked club for $200NL and played for a few hours. He wasn’t in the mood to play live, but drove me there and sat in because he was helping a friend. That was nice.

I won about $140.

The first big hand, I had pocket aces, which normally scares me to death. I was cool as Otis’ scalp in December. In early position, a player raised the $2 blind to $10 and was called by two others. I popped it another $25 and all 3 called.

On the pure low card, uncoordinated garbage flop, I was again in a place I’d normally be worried. People lose buyins in 4 way posts with pocket rockets. The original raiser pushed his short stack, another $35, and one player called. I raised another $50 to find out where I was and the caller ducked out.

My rockets held. I won a nice pot.

Thing is, I would usually have tells running across my face like when a crack junkie finds out he’ll need to pass the SAT for a fix. The hand was right there but a huge risk was involved. My blood pressure never moved.

What’s more, I’ve never played a more patient game. I didn’t fall into bored calling station mode. I just played position and the players and won every time I went to showdown. It’s funny, but by focusing on cards, I was able to NOT focus on all the other bullshit. I became a better, more confident player… not DESPITE the rest of my life… but BECAUSE of it.

What doesn’t kill us, or the ones we love, makes us SMARTER.

I’ll leave you with this. One of my managers just stopped into the newsroom. I’ll go ask her now about her husband who had surgery for bladder cancer last week. I found out my grandfather has bladder cancer too.

If you see me playing, beware, my charmed life is getting rough… and I’m playing the best poker of my life.

This is still a poker blog.

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