If It Tastes Good

Oh to be young again.

Has anyone found the Fountain of Youth? Because I’m running out of time here! And don’t give me that long-ass sales line about working out and eating a consistent healthy diet. I did that for 45-years being a very active young boy. Several athletic activities such as swimming, volleyball, baseball, and ultimately soccer/futebol that I pursued from secondary school, collegiate, and pro to semi-pro before retiring. During all of those years was that “strict healthy diet,” with occasionally light normal alcohol consumptions. It all worked rather well — complete physicals always ended with the doctor stating, An excellent bill of health for your age sir.

Then came the big 5 – 0.

∼ ∼ ∼ § ∼ ∼ ∼

Injuries sustained over a lifetime soccer career — both knees, one shoulder, one ankle, and 2-3 concussions… that I can remember — began limiting my physical activities, or at least the particular sports I enjoyed playing. Time to adapt.

I quickly discovered, however, that it really, really helps if you HAVE the time TO adapt! And as I also soon learned at that point, it all comes down to shuffling around, tossing out, plugging in various “priorities” within a 24-hour day. No more, no less. Twenty. Four. This is a workout in itself!

By the time I perfect this time-management, advanced calculus equation, I am 55-years old. My hair, what’s remaining on my crown and has moved en masse to my ears, nose, and neck, has turned essentially all silver-white. My daughter says I am now ready to be accepted into a band of gorillas as a silver-back — not to be confused with THE silver-back, she clarifies. Apparently in the years it took me to become a near replica of Sean Connery, in 30-seconds my daughter became a Primatologist with an acute sense of reality-checks. I will spare everyone the long list of “medical checks” and prevention measures men over 40 should (sometimes must) be alert to and inevitably embrace. Several methods are quite humbling and challenge even the most sturdiest of dignities.

Then with a vengeance came varicella-zoster. But at the time I had no idea why I felt like my left side head, neck, left tonsil, and left inner-ear were about to explode. My friend tells me I kept mumbling over and over It hurts, it burns, I see Kate Beckinsale with Jessica Biel. This was rumour of course, and after all I was running a 103° temperature. An aging man cannot be held responsible for an unhinged subconscious!

After 3-days of total hell consciously and subconsciously, I had had enough. I was a defeated silver-back-n-top. Despite my long history of fainting at the sight of syringes, scalpels/lancets, needles, blood, and the occasional speech impediment around Nurse Goodbodee in librarian glasses, to the doctor I went. As I expected, this did not go as expected.

The nurse performed all the usual pre-diagnosis rituals, showed me my examination room and cushy table to place my buttocks to await the doctor. A few minutes pass, he enters, he corrects me 3-4 times about “Pugach,” pops the rubber gloves on, checks my head, stethoscope to the chest and back, then sits on his stool-with-rollers. Your shingles the doctor from Belarus or Ukraine with an impossible last name to pronounce explained, will go away in 4-6 weeks. But that’s not your biggest problem. I immediately start remembering the earlier pre-diagnosis checks:  weight scale? Ear thermometer? Prostate check? Whew! Didn’t do that one. Pulse check? Blood-pressure monitor? The constant popping of 1500-2000 MGs of Extra Strength Tylenol for the Kate Beckinsale/Jessica Biel ailment? Are there severe side-effects for that? I just wasn’t sure what could be worse than my damn head and pain.

Your blood-pressure is high; abnormally high. I was slightly relieved when he said that. I thought of many things much worse! We’ll need to put you he continued on some blood-pressure medications right away. I think cool, not a problem. You’re closely approaching stroke-risk status. Great, let’s do it — the meds that is. We’ll also need to do some lab work too… to check on enzyme levels and blood electrolytes, lipid profile, etc.

Now we have a problem. Well, if we don’t do lab work you’ll likely have bigger problems than the one in your head and on your head. He winked at me with a smirk. I thought, that’s not funny.

In the room ladened with every sort of life-threatening utensils and signs warning not to touch, discard here, and In Case of Emergency Do… I managed to get through the whole slapping the inside of the elbow, sterilization rub, needle enters, blood gushes out, fills the vile, undo the rubber strap off the arm, and then band-aid with a candy-lollipop. I walked out of that office a proud survivor and veteran of many floor deployments!

glasses-neededA day or two later the lab calls with my results. Everything looks normal the kind lady informs me but your liver enzymes are elevated. Okay, elevated is not all bad with a man’s body, right? You need to cut-down on your carbohydrates, go on a low-carb diet, and probably cut way down on your alcohol consumption. I felt my body sink when she said the last part. Like… ALL alcohol, I asked her. Wine, preferably reds, in moderation — say two or three glasses per week or one 8 oz glass per day — should be fine. However, she pretty much said no liquors in excess or heavy moderation. When I researched the low-carb diet, it wasn’t too bad, although several foods I’ve loved all my life — cheeses, breads, whole milk, coffee with gourmet creamers — had to go.

This felt as if I was loosing my closest dearest friends and even the ones that get you into untold troubles and complications of particular day-after regrets. Bye-bye. Gone. Send a postcard.

Then my follow-up doctor visit happened.

Same routines as previously with the marvelous exception of items designed to poke, puncture, probe, or cause general discomfort such as fainting and peeing (in a cup or in your pants) all remained out of eyesight and out of my body. I was thrilled! The soft knock-knock on the door and my doc with the impossible last name enters. All my problems and ailments are in decline — the fun news. We then begin discussing the low-carb diet and what it encompasses. He covers the “Okays to eat/drink” first, perhaps wanting to make me feel better… as most doctors are supposed to do. He names off a dozen or so and all of them I enjoy eating. It’s quite a tasty list of options. Do you have our Low-Carb Diet pamphlet? No I replied. He walks over to the wall of pamphlets next to the big laminated poster entitled “Causes of Hypertension to the Human Body,” grabs my future meal plan and hands it to me.

There in green-ink I see the side of “Okay to eat/drink” list. Yep, check. Then on the other side of the page is the “Avoid – Do Not Eat/Drink.” In a most drabby voice I share my assessment of the diet, Umm, the red Avoid side is noticeably longer. He acknowledges my keen observation; apparently he has heard this tone before. Yes, a big reason for that are the enormous choices shoppers have at grocery stores and restaurants. Yeah, that’s true I say to myself, still mopey. I try to finagle some exceptions, or certain conservative amounts, frequencies, and volumes, but my doctor with the impossible last name is having none of it. He goes into a more extensive spill as to what exactly is best and what is iffy, wrong, and call the undertaker. I try one last attempt to skirt by, just on the edge, and he interrupts me. I guess he’s on a schedule?

Basically, if it tastes good, spit it out!

I look at him astonished with eyes bulging, mouth frozen. I’m unsure what to say. Then he begins chuckling, and explains he wanted to get me refocused on what is important. He then modified his hammering gavel to a softer If it tastes sweet, spit it out.”

Well there, I felt much better. My doctor (and I suppose my body) put me on top of the geriatric world, only after one-hour… a bit older listening to my exhilarating new lifestyle! Strike up the marching band, but leave off the flutes, clarinets, saxophones, trumpets, trombones, the entire percussion section, and the tubas.

————

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always — But Don’t Over Do It 😶

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31 thoughts on “If It Tastes Good

  1. Just let me know when you need one, and I’ll have a drink for you 😉

    All in all it could have been much worse. I hope your remedies don’t become more problematic than the ailments.

    My back dictates my abilities these days. So far no doctors have made me lay off of anything other than hard work, so I can’t complain…yet.

    Liked by 5 people

    • I’m sure I’ll take you up on the drink Shell. 😉 Yeah, overall I have more to be thankful for than troubled or upset about so it is all manageable… for now. LOL However, I am very happy that I do not have back or spine problems. I know those who do and wow, it affects a lot of things. I shall have to have a drink for you too Shell. 🥃

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  2. Even worse is the sea food diet! (If you see food, don’t eat it.)

    We go to doctors and are shocked when we are told they have found “something.” When I turned 65 my doctor suggested I get a baseline set of tests, one of which was a $4000 colonoscopy. They found and removed a small number of “polyps” two of which were “pre-cancerous.” The proctologist recommended another colonoscopy after two years, my doctor recommended one after five years and the medical society of those doctors recommend one after ten years if the test was “clean.” It has been seven years and I am not sure I am going to get another such test. They are expensive, uncomfortable and if a cancerous polyp were to be found, I might only have 10-15 years to live! I am 72 and in my family people tend to expire in their early 80’s so I have about ten years to live. So, why should I worry about any disease that could kill me in 15 years.

    I am sure doctors are well meaning, but if you took your car into a service agency every year, I am sure they would find things that needed fixing. That is what they do. In medicine, there is little evidence that all of the tests and procedures, etc. that are recommended to old folks are effective. There is scant evidence for many of the things recommended. But, if you have insurance … stop! Talk about a system set up for abuse. Doctors can recommend tests to patients who do not have to pay for them. The doctor makes more money, the insurance company pays more money and there is an entire industry (Industries!) out there stoking our fears of this or that disease. (For example, there is no systemic definition of “pre-cancerous,” which is scare term that generates additional tests, procedures, etc. In the old days such things were called abnormal, which isn’t so scary, no?)

    I am currently reading a book, “Natural Causes,” that argues that maybe going to extremes to stave off dying is not necessarily a good thing.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I have started that book off and on over the last couple of months, but I get bogged down in some of the chapters that delve deep into biology… It does make me think about things differently, though. Her discussion of the good cells turning rogue and joining forces with cancer cells is interesting and scary.

      Liked by 2 people

    • HAH! Steve, in many ways I agree with you. As I wrote that part in my post, “…wanting to make me feel better… as most doctors are supposed to do” I sort of chuckled. In this age of lawsuits galore if the pockets are deep and docs with very high malpractice insurance rates — the two FEED each other! — your right. They are HIGHLY motivated to not miss anything, ever! 😬 So who benefits? The doctor, the lawyers, the insurance firms, or the patients? A bit of a rhetorical question. 🙄

      Death is not to be feared — although I would prefer one that is not horribly painful and drawn out for weeks, months, or years — because every day we’re one step closer… IF others around you aren’t going insane trying to keep your body functions working despite your quality of life being shit. LOL Unh uh, not for me. I hope I have a bit of control of how I go. I should make sure my Living Will is up-to-date, huh? 🤔🤩

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Some people get hypertension, while others are just carriers and cause it 🙂 At least you’re not a carrier! And as far as systemic definitions of precancerous, that would be called the human body. Just depends on how long you live. Hope your out with the wood and down in the valleys 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hahahaha! So true about those “carriers.” Yes! I hope so too. But, umm, “out with the wood and down in the valleys” … conjures several things in my head… most of them good. 😄 And I’m not sure I want to ask you for clarification. I want to KEEP my images, correct or incorrect! LOL

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I feel your distress, Professor. On my recent visit to the doctor, I also got the bad news about my extra-high blood pressure. Blame Trump, I told her.
    Thank the gods, though, you don’t have to deal with pre-menopausal symptoms 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I did blame tRump, but also the marvelous World Cup games at the time. 😄 But even though tRump is the prime reason, I had to be honest, it was also the alcohol and less exercise. But then again, the alcohol was ALSO due to tRumpsky and being unable to comprehend his 8th grade level vocabulary explaining complex domestic and foreign affairs. HAH! There are TWO words (technically 3) I think everyone easily understands from his big mouth tiny brain…

      “YOU’RE FIRED!!!!!!” 🙄😩

      Liked by 2 people

  5. You were not kidding about the roller coaster ride you experienced. Usually, such life-changing events are wake up calls to many mortals to get on a more reasonable, body respectful diet, lifestyle and balanced wellness regiment to continue…Hopefully, you are feeling so much better now with spitting the sweets out. 🙂 I actually dig that idea, never done it, but now, thanks to a good unpronounceable last name doctor, I will do so. On the lighter note, your daughter has an excellent sense of humor, as she gets it from you, I take it….”band of gorillas as a silver-back” too funny… and for the record, you are not alone–my sympathies with your joint conditions post soccer years… mine are compliments of earlier strenuous gymnast years. D. Hope you turn the page and leave it behind you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Luda. 🙂 ❤ Yeah, the daughter and son both managed to acquire a good sense of humor. It just isn't AS funny when they use it on you. LOL But they do know how to smile, laugh, and hug even when it's at my expense. 😄

      Hey, in a sense you and I are both former gymnast, right!? 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  6. “Basically, if it tastes good, spit it out!“
    I was laughing at this part. Though I have been told “If it tastes sweet, spit it out.”
    This is sooo hard to do. It’s like telling me to abandon my life long friends

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan, it definitely is hard. Until you hit this age and really have to start paying serious attention to what is put, processed, fed, and manufactured into your foods, you are otherwise ignorant of just HOW MUCH SUGAR IS IN EVERYTHING man-made or assisted by man!!! 😮 And sugar can apparently come in 137 different chemical names and varieties! 🤪🤯

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What about sucralose, Professor, can it be taken freely without problem, do you know? I’ve been using it as a sugar substitute for years, although I’ve a vague inkling that it is in fact . . . sugar — just without the calories.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had to look that up Hariod. Wasn’t immediately familiar with it. Seems over here it is called Splenda and studies so far are inconclusive; more research is needed, particularly over long-periods of use. Here’s one article I read on it:

      https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sucralose-good-or-bad

      I’ve always been very hesitant to use ANYTHING other than raw, organic pure cane sugar, in very reasonable healthy amounts. However, it’s always good to stay current (well informed) on our foods, especially if YOU are not the actual gardner/farmer harvesting them and putting them in your pantry and kitchen, huh? 😉

      https://smartypantsvitamins.com/organic-cane-sugar-vs-other-sweeteners-how-they-measure-up-part-1/

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you Professor; I’ve just read the Healthline article with interest. It appears not to be too controversial, except for cooking with at high temperatures perhaps. I also read the Smartypants item on cane sugar, though as I can do without the calories I think I’ll stick with sucralose (Splenda). I’d switch to Greek honey if anything, as I love the taste, although our mutual friend Madame Esme, being a keen Vegan and scarcely a woman to take issue with (over anything), seemed rather appalled at the suggestion, so I should have to make the switch on the quiet of risk her opprobrium.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I have several years on you and so far, nothing major. I do have to keep an eye on a couple of things but overall, good health. However, my other half has not been so lucky. I won’t go into details but suffice it to say, high blood pressure is not something to slough off. It has led to several heart problems for him as well as kidney concerns.

    Do what you must to take care of yourself. 😍

    BTW, enjoyed reading about your health visit. I could definitely identify…except of course one particular exam. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahaha! Yes, those “full exams” are humbling to say the least, aren’t they? Just last week for another follow-up appointment, I did not know they were going to draw blood AGAIN!!! 😲 What part of me thoroughly explaining “PAST TRAUMATIC LIFE EXPERIENCES with BLOOD & NEEDLES did you people not understand!!!?”

      But I did manage to walk out of there without another floor deployment. 🙄 Thank you Nan for the encouragement and warning. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I know I’ve seen a picture of you somewhere. How the hell are you a decade older than me? I would have never guessed that’s your age. I hope that at least makes you feel better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Perhaps you saw one/them on my page Professor’s Looking Glass? Thank you Charity for the kind compliment. ❤ I guess it's youthful genetics, disciplined on fitness, diet, health, and then a lifetime of athletics until I retired from pro and semi-pro soccer. But there comes a day/year when life starts catching up to you — and I've had an abnormally high-stress last 5-7 years with a number of circumstances and then my Mom's aging… accelerated by my addict sister of 40+ years in her/our life/lives 😒 — so I've aged quite a bit now.

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