His cardiologist says his ejection fraction is somewhere between 30 and 35%. Just below what is called the widow maker, a coronary artery is 95% blocked, another 70. His heart rate drops to thirty-something beats per minute, frequently. I’m concerned you could drop dead, the doctor tells him. Stents open the arteries. He is scheduled for an ICD – Implantable Coronary Defibrillator.
True to form, he loathed the traffic, which first stopped to 0 mph, due to a rock slide. He appreciated the side trip, although the stated main attraction, a waterfall, could be likened to a man with 50% reduction in his flow pissing off a cliff, the view of the ocean was 100% magnificent.
He appreciated less the 2 mph crawl from dusk to night fall wedged between cliffs and the ocean. Patience lasted less than five percent of a ninety minute crawl. If I knew anything about math, I would turn the above into some kind of word problem, but I don’t and that’s why I’m a psychologist and not a chemist or even a physician. Opportunity to practice light photography – you do what you can, stick the camera outside the windows, jump out the car when you come to a stand still, damn the percentages.
Pacific Grove had Monarch butterflies overwintering, or so he was told. Less than fifty-five degrees and they wouldn’t move. It was lower forties and they clung, motionless autumn leaves on evergreens – pine and eucalyptus. He was told there were 2000 and doubted it.
By the time he reached Point Lobos, after he hiked the Cypress Trail and saw whales breaching off the coast, after he crunched over rotting kelp on Sandy Trail and chased a Snowy Egret to see how it would fly, after he climbed up to Seal Lion Point and down to the beach, he lost track of the numbers and just watched the waves bear down on the rocks where the sea lions bathed.