Thursday, May 01, 2008
I don't smoke. I've never touched the stuff in my life, and I never plan to.
I don't drink often - maybe once or twice a month at most - but when I drink, I pull out all the stops. But any medical textbook will tell you that that kind of drinking really doesnt count.
But that's pretty much all I don't do.
I love to eat at fast food joints, I'd die without chocolate, and you all know just how much I love anything cooked with coconut milk. Meals are not proper meals unless there is a salt shaker just within reach, and I always dash a liberal amount. Apart from the occasional banana, I hardly actively look for fruits to supplement my diet. In my world, fruit is not counted as a dessert. Ice cream and cheesecake are.
I have had periods in my life when I've had regular exercise - but this period in my life is not one of them. I would love to swim regularly, but there aren't any pools anywhere near my house. Everything else is a no-no because I don't like to sweat and because anything that has to do with athletics makes me feel as graceful as a pregnant elephant.
This is a point of contention between my dad - the worst patient I have ever had - and me. He's diabetic, hypertensive, and his cholesterol is going through the roof. I constantly scold him about the contraband he insists on eating and the exercise program he refuses to start. He's always on my case about being a doctor but not living healthily. I glibly argue that I'm not the diabetic in the family - and by virtue of that being an irrefutable fact, he loses the argument soundly. Still, he refuses to toe the line.
But, thankfully, he's the only one who doesn't.
Apparently, this is one thing doctors get away with just by donning a white coat. My other patients don't really ask what my eating habits and lifestyle choices are like, so I guess they assume that as a doctor, I live clean. Their blood sugars and blood pressures are generally good and their weights are steady when I follow them up, so I assume they're following my advice to live a healthy lifestyle - even if I'm not living it myself.
Quite obviously, the advice works. I just haven't gotten around to following it to the letter myself.
I know that I have to start eating smart and improving my diet. I know I have to get my cholesterol and blood sugar levels screened soon. I know I have to get my requisite 45 minutes of exercise a day, three times a week regularly.
Maybe I'll start tomorrow. Or maybe next week.
But till then, I can still tell my patients with conviction, "I don't smoke."
For The Blog Rounds 8th Edition - Practicing What We Preach, over at Dr. Emer's blog, Parallel Universes.