A discussion with my middle son, Colin, prompts this particular set of memories.
Readers of Life With Arfur will realise that I can be quite cavalier when it comes to health. With good reason. Of all the things that have gone wrong with me over the years, I found the best medicine to be a two-pronged assault of “Who cares?” and laughter. It’s also, I believe, the secret of a long life.
Last week’s UK election is a case in point. We got the wrong decision… or the right decision… or no decision… it depends on your point of view. What about it? What difference will the fingernail diet make? None. So give over fretting and get on with your life.
Back to the tale.
About thirty years ago I was in dry dock for abdominal surgery. Can’t remember what the problem was, but I know it hurt when I woke up after the op, and it carried on hurting for days, particularly when I coughed. Bad news for a heavy smoker.
When they carry out that kind of surgery, they freeze your stomach to stop it working, and it can take a few days before it’s up and running again. I’ve owned cars like that.
So for a few days, they didn’t feed me. Tell you what, you can keep all your weight loss plans. I lost half a stone over those four days.
Anyway, they came one morning and said, we’re going to start feeding you again from lunchtime. Light diet only, just go get you back into the idea of eating to stay alive.
Great, I thought. A light diet is better than none at all.
I spent all morning salivating at the thought of something other than saline solution dripping in through my arm. The seconds ticked by ever slower on the clock despite my urging them on, and it seemed like lunchtime would never come.
And then it arrived. The familiar plate with the metal cover landed on my tray. I picked up the knife and fork and prepared to enjoy a fresh salad. I lifted the lid and…
Steak and kidney pudding and chips?
I told the nurse I was supposed to be on a light diet, and she said, “You didn’t order your dinner the other day.”
“Because I wasn’t allowed to eat the other day.”
“It’s all we have. Take it or leave it.”
So I took it. And I’ve been taking it ever since. Is it any wonder I’m overweight now?”
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