After reading previous posts regarding my plight as the lone man in a household that runs on estrogen, my dear wife took pity on me and decided to dignify my role as “man of the house” by making me a special treat. (She actually reads my blog! What the what? Note to self: Be more careful about what I write, LOL.)
What did she make for my special treat? Man Dinner!!!!!!!
Man dinner basically consists of all the delicious foods my cardiologist wants me to avoid. Specifically, she served up kielbasa, bacon, Jimmy Dean sausage, a hard-boiled egg and a bagel with enough cream cheese on it to cover my front yard. (Basically Casey is either spoiling me rotten or trying to kill me. The jury’s still out, but regardless, I’m at peace. In my book, good food is good food.)
In a word, my meal was heavenly (I just drooled on the keyboard thinking about it). Ironically, after eating it, heaven may in fact be where I end up! Allow me to explain ...
Last year I was diagnosed with a heart condition known as a cardiomyopathy. I had gone to Johns Hopkins for a round of tests/consultations with my neurologist, pulmonologist, cardiologist, etc. (that’s a lot of “ologists”), and we were waiting for the results of an echocardiogram that I had done earlier in the day. Thinking we might be late getting home (the kids were with a sitter), and knowing I had never had any heart-related problems (except when the Lakers lost to the Celtics in the Finals and I almost had a coronary), we were set to leave without getting my results when the nurse called my name.
I went into the exam room and greeted the doctor. Anxious to leave, I cut to the chase and asked: “Is everything OK?” His reply was unexpected: “No. You have a serious problem.” Then he said: “I’ll be right back,” and he left the room (nice!). Casey and I exchanged a confused, surprised and scared look.
Upon his return, he explained that my heart doesn’t pump out enough blood per beat and that if left unchecked it’s going to fail.
Apparently the issue wasn’t caused by poor eating habits (MAJOR SHOCKER), but rather it was due to my muscular dystrophy (MD strikes again!). He rattled off a long list of foods I should avoid and told me to cut back significantly on my sodium intake. (Those of you who know me well understand that’s like asking me to stop breathing. I LOVE salt.)
Sensing that I might be in denial (not to mention that I may have been giving him some attitude), he put me in my place. Looking me straight in the eyes he said: “You don’t get it. If you don’t listen to me you’re going to die.” (Wow, tell me how you really feel.) I started taking heart medications the next day.
So after all that, how can I glorify gorging myself on a savory trio of salty meats? Because life is all about living, not just being alive.
I’m a good boy. I’ve cut back on my sodium, I take my meds religiously, and I’m doing all I can to ensure that my heart keeps ticking. I do so because I love my wife, I love my girls, and I love life. But sometimes a guy’s gotta get his kielbasa, Jimmy Dean sausage and bacon on!
I’m not a rebel and I don’t have a death wish, but I do believe there must be balance in all things. If that means taking a “timeout” to devour a special “Man Dinner” every now and again, so be it.
My life plan is simple: Be around as long as possible and spend my life living. Each and every day, I want to live. That way, when the time comes to say goodbye, I’ll be able to do so wearing a smile.
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