By the time you read this, I could be dead. If so, I am going to get a second opinion.
Fortunately, that shouldn't be necessary because I recently got a first opinion from my doctor, who not only said I probably won't die in the next five years but predicted I will live to be 151.
I began to wonder about my longevity when I read that researchers in the United Kingdom had created a survey that can calculate a person's chances of dying in the next five years.
I took the 14-question survey, which inquired about my age (61), my gender (male), if I am married (yes), how many cars I drive (one at a time), practically everything except my underwear size (34, in case you can't afford to buy me another car), and the results were encouraging: My chances of dying in the next five years are only 2.7 percent, and my relative age is 53, which means I seem eight years younger, physically, than I really am. Mentally, I belong in kindergarten.
Soon after I took the survey, I went for a physical to Dr. Antoun Mitromaras, who has a practice in Port Jefferson Station.
"You are in excellent condition," Dr. Mitromaras said after examining me, perusing my blood test (good thing it wasn't an algebra test or I'd be on life support) and looking at my EKG. "Are you active?"
"If I were any less active," I responded, "I'd be in hibernation. Why?"
"Because," Dr. Mitromaras informed me, "you have the heart of an athlete."
"I hope it's not Babe Ruth," I said. "He's dead."
"You are very much alive," the good doctor declared.
"Speaking of which," I noted, "will I die in the next five years?"
"I don't want to say anything because you might get hit by an airplane," Dr. Mitromaras said. "But otherwise, you should be around for a long time. I predict you will live another 90 years."
"I'm 61 now," I said.
"That means," Dr. Mitromaras said, "you will live to be 151."
"Will you still be my doctor?" I asked.
"Of course," said Dr. Mitromaras, who is 73. "Do you think I am going to die? Never!"
This was very reassuring because Dr. Mitromaras has impeccable credentials.
"In addition to being a physician," he said, "I am a head and neck surgeon."
"I'm a pain in the neck," I told him.
"I can fix that," he said.
"And my head is empty," I noted.
"Then I guess there is nothing to operate on," Dr. Mitromaras said.
"My heart is in good shape, but what I really need is a brain," I said, echoing the Scarecrow in "The Wizard of Oz."
"Maybe you can get a transplant," the doctor suggested.
"Here's what I really want to know," I said. "Have you ever seen those medicine commercials on TV in which the announcer says how good the product is, then spends the rest of the time warning how it can kill you?"
"Yes," Dr. Mitromaras said. "They're very entertaining."
"And the announcer always says, 'Ask your doctor.' Has anyone ever asked you about these medicines?" I wondered.
"Yes," Dr. Mitromaras said.
"What do you say?" I inquired.
"I say that if they can kill you, don't take them," he replied.
"Sound advice," I said. "The only thing I take is cholesterol medicine."
"It's working because your cholesterol levels are good," Dr. Mitromaras said.
"As they say in those commercials, after I take it, I shouldn't operate heavy machinery," I said. "You know, like a steamroller."
"I wouldn't drive one, especially in traffic, because you'd get high blood pressure," Dr. Mitromaras said. "Then you'd need more medicine."
"Thank you, Doctor," I said as I shook his hand. "You are a credit to your profession."
"See you next year," Dr. Mitromaras said.
"And for the next 90 years?" I asked.
"Yes," he promised. "I'll be here."