Today I accompanied Nat to his 6-month endocrinologist appointment, where he would get a checkup to ensure all is as-it-should-be with his testosterone plan. The sterile exam room we waited in was certainly not built to be soundproof, because we could hear every word from the room next door, as “Bob” caught some serious hell from the harpy he had brought with him. Bob, unfortunately, is not doing well at all, we learned as the woman screeched in ALL CAPS! He is diabetic, fer Christ’s sake! And his blood sugar was over 240! This is absolutely IT! No more pie! No more cereal! (Frankly, if I were Bob, I might need a bunch of pie to live with this woman, too!)
We were outliers in the office, as the vast majority of endo patients are diabetics. Skewed towards this demographic, the exam room wall was plastered with depressing, albeit colorful posters laying out all the various chronic conditions that befall the modern American: diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and so on. I commented to Nat that I found something hilarious: the nightly news tells us to be very, very afraid of seriously rare occurrences, like our kids being abducted by a stranger, or terrorists striking our city, but in actuality, we all stand a good chance of dying of something bloody mundane, but of our own doing. If all goes according to plan, Nat and I will be outliers in American culture, too, simply by staying healthy.
Many days, I whine about the work we go through to eat well: we go to multiple stores to get what we need, and even after all that, we have to cook the stuff! 🙂 I generally work Monday and Tuesday nights, and since I’m the cook that means that I have to make something big on the weekend to get us through til Wednesday, and I have to whip up something for the next couple days that night, too. We generally eat cooked-from-scratch meals for 20 out of our 21 weekly meals, and it can feel like a drag. I also fuss about how much we spend on all this food. How much? Roughly equivalent to what we spend on rent!
But today I listened to the plight of poor Bob, and looked at the posters, and felt really grateful. I care about myself enough to invest in good, quality food. While a bit more than many people spend, I also see it as a form of health insurance. (Nat wisely noted that while we might not need to use other forms of insurance, like car insurance, we all use our bodies, so it’s a wise plan to invest in!) I exercise smartly, and sleep, and nurture myself. I’m ensuring that I will be healthy as I age. And is a lifetime of good health an acceptable trade off for 5-6 hours of work each week? Of course! I have it so good that I needed a trip to see how the other side lives to remind me of this.