2019-03-13 / Editorials

Don Lively


The news stunned me.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, couldn’t fathom the depth of what had just been said.

It was nearly devastating.

My doctor was on the phone.

I had recently gone for my annual wellness physical. I was only a year and seven months overdue, par for the course for me. I figure that as long as I feel pretty good there must not be anything direly wrong with me.


I mean, granted, I do like to eat and sometimes my intake is not what you would consider to be healthy.

And, to be honest, I don’t get a lot of exercise.

I told a friend recently that the only time I ever run is when I start across a street and I misjudge traffic and have to sprint to keep from getting smacked by a pulpwood truck.

Sprint being a relative term.

But still, due to my bride being a healthy food aficionado, and the fact that I am often on the business end of a chain saw or some other power tool that brings forth sweat and muscle spasms, I consider myself to be in pretty decent shape.

That was confirmed by the first part of my chat with the doctor.

He told me that my “numbers were good”.

That’s always a good thing to hear.

These days, most health conditions seem to be checked and analyzed through blood tests. My physical consisted of the usual vital signs being checked, the pertinent questions being asked and answered, medications taken being discussed and blood being drawn.

When I heard the doc say that my “numbers were good” I relaxed just a little bit.

He told me that my blood pressure was good.

He told me that my cholesterol was good.

That my internal organ numbers were so good that I might consider having certain procedures done less often than I had been.

Yes friends, I was feeling really good about my health.

Till he got to the last part.

“There’s just one thing”, he added.

Uh oh.

“Your blood sugar is high. You are not diabetic or even pre-diabetic but you’re right on the edge. You’ll need to cut way back on the sugar and carbohydrates. Otherwise it’s just a matter of time before you’ll cross the line”

Cut back on sugar and carbohydrates?

I’m a born and bred Southerner, y’all.

How on Earth am I supposed to survive without sugar and carbs?

Doc didn’t know it but he might as well have pronounced me dead.

Here’s how the rest of the conversation went.

Me: Doc, is there any way that this could be a mistake?

Doc: No, the numbers are accurate.

Me: Doc, how can I possibly go the rest of my life without eating any red velvet donuts from Pineland Bakery?

Doc: Well, you...

Me: What about that lady who sells the divinity candy at Christmas? I know I shouldn’t have eaten the whole batch of it in just two days, okay, one day, but what if I promise to only eat one or two pieces a day, or three or four or five at the most?

Doc: See, that’s part of the problem...

Me: And what about Miss Debbie’s dirt cake? I can’t be expected to resist that?

Doc: Look, I understand...

Me: And carbohydrates! Doc, you’ve obviously never eaten my sister LuLu’s fried cornbread. Doc, it’s as good as Mama’s was! It’s like Heaven in a skillet!

Doc: Now listen to me...

Me: Oh Lord! This means I can’t eat any more hushpuppies at T’s!

Doc: Listen to me! There are still things that I know that you like that you can have. Like bacon, for instance.

Me: Doc, you might as well go ahead and sign my death certificate...wait...did you just say I can still eat bacon?

Doc: Yes, as long as you don’t overdo it.

Me: What about sausage?

Doc: Yes, in moderation.

Me: Steak? Ribs? Brisket? Eggs? Cheese?

Doc: Yes. My concern is sugar and carbohydrates.

Me: Pulled pork? I have to be Boss Hog at the barbecue festival in May.

Doc: Yes. In moderation. Cut out the sugar and the carbs and I’ll check your numbers again in three months.

Me: Just to confirm, you said bacon is okay.

Doc: Well, I said in moderation.

Me: Thanks, Doc. See you in three months.

Moderation is also a relative term

I just might survive after all.

Don Lively is a freelance writer and author of two books of Southern Humor, Howlin’At The Dixie Moon, and, South O’ Yonder. He lives in Shell Bluff. Email Don at Livelycolo@aol.com.

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