April 16, 2012

Last week I went to the VA Hospital for my quarterly check-up. I was kinda dreading this check-up because it was a check on my diabetes and, to be honest, I have been cheating a bit lately. M&Ms are gonna be my downfall. For the last two check-ups everything has been good except for my sugar levels. The doc wants them to be at 7.0 something-or-other thingys and the last time we checked it was at 8.6 something-or-other thingys.

As she looked at my blood test results from the week before, I tried to read her face - but it was no dice. After about an hour of staring at my charts (maybe it was a minute or so but it seemed like an hour) she turned to me and smiled. "This really looks good," says she. "You cholesterol level should be below 200 and it is 90 - about where it was last time. Very nice. But your sugar level ..."

I was beginning to sweat and I could see a parade of M&Ms marching out the door of my life forever. I didn't want to hear what she had to say next.

"I want to see your sugar level at 7.0 and it is now at 7.2! You're doing great."

7.2!?! Take THAT, you delicious M&Ms!!

I was so relieved! The doc went on to go over the rest of the test results and concluded that I was doing very good except for my weight. I haven't lost any since my last check-up ... but then again, I haven't gained any. She has me on a diet where I should eat on 60 carbohydrate thingys per meal and I have adjusted so that I won't starve on it. That's when she got nasty. "I want you to cut your carbs." (She looked at Lady Laura and told her I was going to be unhappy for a while).

"I want you to cut your carbs to 50 per meal. Maybe that will help you lose weight. And I want you to get more exercise."

Lady!! Er ... doctor. I'm 65 years old! Your gonna starve me to death and I don't want to go that way!"

But it was settled in her mind and that was that. She then checked my pill supply - of which I take more than average.

Your doctor would like you to take a pill because you go too far up and too low down. She promises that if you take this pill you could stay on a nice even keel. But maybe life is not about even keel. Maybe life is about spinning madly in circles, whipping around the world, going over the falls, and then coming back to rest at home.

Here is my exercise program. It might help you cope with the modern world, whether you are frantically in motion, or lying in a heap on the floor - tangled in impossible knots. It's called Walking The Dog.

You come home after a full day of work, completely exhausted, wrung out, tense and stretched to the limit at the same time. All you want to do is grab a nap and then pig out. But first you are greeted by your ecstatic best friend who has been alternately resting and scratching at fleas all day long, anxiously awaiting your return.

This is the moment of ultimate release, fresh air, sunshine, and best of all, a chance to pee and poop to his heart's content. Yes, before you can do anything else, you must walk the dog. Get familiar with the tugging of the leash; watch how fruitlessly every command that you give goes unheeded by your disobedient obedience school graduate, as he focuses on chasing everything that moves, smelling every foul object that's been deposited on the ground, and sniffing the crotch of any person who foolishly comes within a leash length.

Practice humbly apologizing for your failure to ever establish authority over a mutt who weighs less than your thigh. Realize the insubstantial nature of importance. You are no more important than a dead bird, a live squirrel, or an old hamburger wrapper. Try to take your place in the universe, as the official cleaner upper of dog poop, and the barker of dog signals.

Then you will lose all the weigh you want.

Yeah, right! Where's my M&Ms?