Monday, September 2, 2013

That’s going to Kill You

An enjoyable evening on the porch
“I had an uncle that drank a quart a day every day of his lifeHeck, I spill more than that. No kidding, he could drink a quart and not even stagger. Heck, he couldn't even move. We told him, we says, ‘You better quit drinking that stuffIt's gonna kill you. Sure enough, it killed him. He died last year at the age of a hundred and two.  Well, don't laughWe dug him up last week. He looks better than y'all do now.” - 10 Little Bottles by Johnny Bond

I thought of those lyrics while reading a column in Whisky Advocate by Stephen Beaumont.  He was relaying a conversation he had with a gastroenterologist when he went in to his doctor’s for a checkup.  It’s Stephen’s job to sample and review varying beers and on average he has about three or four drinks a day.  On top of that, he also drinks on occasion for his own enjoyment.  Well, when he told the lady that she started giving him a lecture on how he was going to get cirrhosis and that what he was doing was not worth the risks to his health.  Notice she didn’t say might get or he ran the risk of getting cirrhosis.  No, she told him he was going to get cirrhosis.

Drinks at Pleasure Island
It seems that every time you turn around, something is going to kill you.  While it’s true that enjoying certain things like alcohol, cigars, coffee, or rare steaks, may increase your risk for developing some disease or another, it’s also not a guarantee.  That is why I thought the Johnny Bond song so relevant.  While he was joking, it has still been true that people who have enjoyed their vices have still lived long and full lives.  The key is moderation and balancing it with the other areas of your life, such as exercise and frequent checkups with your doctor.

Furthermore, just because you don’t drink or smoke and you follow a strict vegan dietary regimen, that doesn’t mean that you won’t develop one of those diseases.  While your odds may be better than those of us who do imbibe, they are not a sure thing.  And if you continue to lecture us about our scotch and cigars, your life expectancy may just get shorter and shorter.   Then where does that healthy living leave you? 

I don’t mind other people living their life in abstinence of what I enjoy.  It’s a free country.  By all means, do as you please.  However, stop there and don’t feel the need to lecture me on what you think I am doing wrong with my health.  I had enough of the Holier than Thou attitudes when I attended church, I don’t need it from some toothpick on a health kick.  Besides most people who tell me they don’t drink would have their personality greatly enhanced if they started having a cocktail or two.   Hell, some need the whole bottle.  Perhaps that’s why I drink now, in order to put up with some of the people around me.  Can I blame them for my poor health?

Okay, now this may kill me
There are too many health police on a mission to save me from myself.  Nobody gets out of this life alive and when I go, I plan on going happy.  Oh, I agree that we all want to hang on as long as possible and I take what precautions I can, but I also plan on enjoying as much of this life as I can.  We all take risks in the things we do.  I worry about my son every time he takes his surfboard into the ocean or my kids as they drive those long trips.  However, we can’t live in a bubble.  Eventually someone would pop it anyway, so why not live.  Do what you enjoy while still taking care of yourself.  Life is to be enjoyed.  Don’t allow anyone to make you feel guilty for doing what makes you happy.  After all, they’re probably just jealous that they don’t feel the freedom that you do.

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Other posts you might enjoy ~ I'll Have a Cup 
                                                 Supersize Me! 
                                                 Stand Up!

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  1. A Hot Toddy Is Born

    Once upon a time I'd get sick every winter with bronchitis. This started when I was an adolescent and continued through adulthood. My routine was going to the hospital for a shot to loosen up my chest, taking antibiotics and being confined, for one full week, to a room with a vaporizer running. One day, when I was all growed up and working in Home Health, I felt the onslaught of bronchitis coming on and sure enough, I got sick. I cancelled all visits this one day except for my intensive care patient I saw 4 days a week. Her husband was a retired Army Mule, a good man cantankerous as they come who occasionally got into his wife’s Belladonna & Opium suppositories, she was bedridden, and I had no idea how I was going to manage the upcoming week. I put a surgical mask over my face even though I knew she couldn't catch what I had, bur for his peace of mind, and of course joked about my setback but there was no disguising my congested cough. Since the army Frank had become a farmer and raised cattle for beef. He couldn't afford to get sick. He looked at me: "If you want to get rid of that, heat yourself up a coffee mug of whiskey and drink it down hot as you can stand it. Get under a pile of blankets and sweat it out. It'll be gone by tomorrow." "OK, I'll try it." I described what I usually have to go through to get better. "I drink Old Crow." When I left I went to the store. Old Crow is an elegant whiskey that costs about 6 bucks a case. I knew I couldn't just down a mug of the stuff - it'd come right back up, so I bought Harvey's Bristol Cream to temper my gag reflex, a 22 oz insulated mug from a Phillips 66 convenience store and went home. I brewed tea, added lemon and honey because I know they're good for battling colds, added the sherry and whiskey, stirred it around, got the couch prepared with pillows and every blanket I had in the house and down the hatch it went without burning my lips off. An hour or two later I had to expel fluid and tried to stand but that wasn't happening. I crawled to the bathroom, it was a wonder I could find it, took care of business, crawled back to the couch, got under the blankets and passed back out. My kids woke me when they got home from school. I stood up mildly light-headed, my chest was loose, and I could breathe.

    I made another not quite as potent before I went back to sleep. By the morning I was almost 100% well. Frank was pleased with himself and for me. "That Old Crow is some good stuff." "Been drinking it for years." For a long while I doubted I'd find a whiskey that wouldn't make me gag but I've always been one for research.

    My mom’s side of the family is 100% Italian. As an older kid I had diluted wine with my evening meal and Sunday dinner. Adults had cocktails and wine. When I was much older I was introduced to Manhattans. They were for special occasions like holidays and weddings and I could only have one over a glassful of ‘the rocks’. My grandmother used to say if you drink Bourbon in tea you’ll never catch cold…

    1. A Hot Toddy has always been a staple remedy around here and growing up. What is the saying? What doesn't kill you, makes you better lol.

      Thanks for visiting and sharing a great story!

  2. Thanks! And thanks for letting me stop by... :)

  3. Afterthought - I am disappointed my toddy-cure for bronchitis never made it into the medical journals. Why do you suppose they'd want to keep it a secret?