I’m Going to Die? Of course, I’m listeni…(did my phone beep?)

The problem with health food addicts or safety experts or ex-smokers is that they – we – sound like crashing bores. It’s almost like listening to a religious fanatic right after their first conversion. It’s boring, it’s rote, and it sounds bloody irrational.

Well, I was converted to a healthy diet in January of 2013, and the same way a lot of religious freaks become converted.

I died.

Like literally and for real.

For three and a half minutes I was not breathing.

And no, I am no an old fart or senior cit or boomer or whatever you want to call such a person. At the time of my “death” I was 35.

And a die hard bacon or death, BBQ swilling, pork pulling, burger-chomping chip-bingeing soda-guzzling junk food junkie.

What I ate came in boxes or cellophane bags, was brightly colored, and could usually be “cooked in about 5-8 minutes using friendly Mr. Microwave.

Then my body rebelled.

Violently.

On January 26th, 2013 I was admitted to my local hospital weighing 98 pounds (down from 149) after 26th days of being utterly unable to eat anything at all, and after experiencing my first fullbore holy shit case of anaphylactic shock.

The first of many.

I stayed in that hospital for 4 days, and when I got out blood tests showed that I was allergic to all but eleven of the foods on this planet all of which I hated.

Two years and monthly treatments of desensitizers later I am up to 21 foods, two of which I like.

What happened?

No one knows.

Theories range from this being a side effect of an infection I had at the time to a side effect of the drugs for that infection. A T-DAP shot, a overly heavy stress load, and leaky gut syndrome have also been blamed.

But what do you care. You’re bored already, right?

You quit reading after the sentence about how I was released alive from the hospital.

Why?

Because health and recovery is dull as dog shit, and health and nutrition is worse.

You are expecting a sermon now about how you should put down the junk food, drop the sodas, skip the sugars, and quit with the alcohol.

Nope. Not going to waste my breath.

Because the sad truth of the matter is that this is one of those things that Americans, especially, but most Westerners can’t seem to talk about much less understand.

And that is really what this is all about.

I want to talk about the fact that we often can’t talk about things, and I’d like to take a moment here to wonder why.

We also don’t talk about race or sexuality or wife beating or politics or any of those things all of which have a greater bearing on our daily life than “the big game”, who is fucking who, our cellphone packages, or the many funny cute cat videos we see daily.

Even our news programs – hands up all of you that still watch TV – are usually datamined from the internet, three or four days old, trending, and social media related. We don’t actually do news anymore.
We do local news (short), local scandal (short), weather preview, world scandal (short), weather preview, sports preview, local “breaking” news (short), weather, sports preview, preview of most popular viral video on the net, sports, viral video, good night.

And this just strikes me as odd.

When did we as a species decide that is a thing did not affect our survival or our cell/net connection in the next 5 MINUTES then it was not at all important?

It leads to all sorts of weird stuff – a woman nearly killing me at Trader Joe’s today with hand sanitizer (which is bad for her according to the CDC and bad for me because I’m allergic to it) and me apologizing for weirding her ignorant butt out, to people who text, honk and park in intersections on busy city streets.

There have been so many fatalities in my city due to the latter one – despite signs about parking in intersections and text and drive laws – that the local news has added a brightly colored music heavy PSA about paying attention while driving between the sports and the viral video.

Not that it helps.

So again, when did we decide that our individual survival, just us – screw the other guy – was more important?

And more interestingly when did we decide that even OUR PERSONAL health and safety outside of that 5 MINUTE window also was not important?

Point a gun at a guy and he’ll plead for his life. Tell him he has heart disease and needs to lay off the cigarettes, alcohol, and coffee and he can’t do it. Tell him to lay off the junk food and he’ll argue with you.

If you value your life right now then why not five minutes from now?

Let’s just start there – I won’t even ask why we don’t value other lives anymore. There are whole libraries of unread boring books about that.

I’ll just start with why can’t you look up from your phone for long enough for me to tell you that yes, you are going to die. We all do. Don’t you want to know how to keep that from happening a little while longer?

Don’t you want to know about healthy foods, safe water, seatbelts, or how not texting for the fifteen minutes you commute might let you outlive some of us smug bastards you hate so much?

What do you say, world?

Anything?

Um, hello?

 

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2 thoughts on “I’m Going to Die? Of course, I’m listeni…(did my phone beep?)

  1. For me, I have a genetic eye condition (Retinitis Pigmentosa) which means I’ll be legally blind by age 40. However, I will retain some central vision until I’m 70 or older. Because of this, I do not wish to live until I’m past 70. However, I do want to make the most of my time by not having physical ailments. There have been studies which show junk foods such as sugary foods and fatty foods alter our brains in ways that addictive drugs do. Don’t you think knowledge of the health risks of bad eating habits might not be enough to keep us away from the unhealthy foods?

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    1. I do think many of these foods are dangerously addicting but as a med school student (neuropsych) I also think that the knowledge of the addiction is the first requirement to fighting it. Or better yet, the knowledge that might keep you from getting addicted at all. Is knowledge enough, by itself, once you are hooked? Probably not. Supplemental aids are indicated then. But as AA, NA, and various other drug support groups will tell you, you have to know about your problem to ever begin solving it…and that brings us back to talking about these things.

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