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Taking a second chance at life seriously
A message to all concerned, please do not neglect your health and, to employ the well-known jargon, your health is your wealth. Like so many of us, I took my “good health” for granted although many years ago I was diagnosed with hypertension and having an active thyroid.
Today it is costing more than a pretty penny for my folly of thinking because everything was “okay” there was no need to continue taking my prescribed medication. This was even though my doctor advised me that I must take all the medication without fail for the rest of my waking life. I faithfully promised to do so but two things caused me to break the routine: after a period of time I began feeling “better” and secondly, I thought about the side effects of all pharmaceuticals I was putting in my body and decided it was not worth the risk.
So, “smart” me began taking the medication randomly and things were going just “fine.” I stopped going to the doctor because I did not want to hear any adverse news after all everything was going down so nice with me. I was going about my daily routine—work, business and sharing the occasional constitutionals with the gangs at Belle Smythe Street in Curepe and in St Augustine.
I even lied to my family when asked if I was following the doctors’ orders on the subject of keeping up to date on my medicinal intake. Why spoil a good thing by having regular check-ups when there was no need to do so, I stupidly told myself. I went so far, after a couple of months, as to drop out of the gym which I joined on Stone Street, again telling myself I was feeling so fit and that it was a waste of money to “stay fit” when knocking back a few would do the job.
So I continued doing my own thing even to the point of ignoring the no-salt diet ordered by my dietician to combat the ill effects of my hypertensive condition. This type food was unpalatable to my taste buds and I couldn’t imagine how others could stomach such tasteless mulch. Ease up on the pork, callaloo and plain flour (roti)! I steadfastly ignored that, too. How could those doctors tell a true true Trini not to engage those staple foods? They had to be mad!
Whole wheat bread couldn’t reach as far as the tip of my tongue. White bread including the good old hops which I grew up on in San Juan, was the damn t’ing self. And so it continued until about eight days ago when I began to experience an ear-splitting headache, vomiting, light headedness, loss of appetite, a spot of diarrhoea, weakness in the knees.
Alone at home alone, I began to panic. “Oh God! I don’t want to die by myself.” Terror stepped in as I was too weak to drive myself to the nearest medical institution, Medical Associates. To make a long story short I got my cousin-in-law Gregory Bobb to pick me up and in the proverbial two-twos he arrived and in less than no time we got to MA.
After a series of quick tests it was found that the thyroid was acting up because yes, you guessed it, I was not taking my medication as I was supposed to, plus other medical infractions brought on by own negligence. While I am still holed up at MA (up to the time of writing early yesterday morning) I have adopted a more positive attitude towards my personal health. Saltless foods never tasted so delightful. Salads now form part of my daily diet. I am returning to my gym and you know who is scrupulously taking his medication.
I am not that much a religious person although I do believe in a divine being and I intend to make much of what I believe is a second chance at this thing called life by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. So fellas, when you see me down at Bellsmythe Street or in St Augustine, please serve me coconut water and other soft drinks. I wish you too could have the same.
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