This past Thursday I had to go see the doc about my BP medication. I knew it wasn’t going to be a good visit because I have been eating out every day and not doing any type of work out. In a strange twist Doc has a Nurse Practitioner now so being uptight about what he was going to say was somewhat abated.
The NP walks in, introduces herself as “Bertha” and proceeds to take my blood pressure. OK her name wasn’t Bertha but it’s funnier than her real name. Bertha says, “Mr. Thomas, your BP is a little high. Have you been eating healthy?” This lady doesn’t know me and my mouth so I start off real light hearted. “Bertha, Look at me. Do I look like I eat healthy” as I point at my stomach. She laughs and I continue. “I have eaten out every day for the last two months. Burgers and fries.” She says, “You know there are healthy choices at all of the restaurants” to which I respond, “Bertha, When I go to the restaurant I am not paying them $30 for a bowl of lettuce. I want my steak and fries.” Again, she laughs.
I tell Bertha that Andrea and I have been renovating our house. The kitchen is completely torn out and we haven’t been able to use it for the last three months and that's why we've been eating out every day. We recently joined a gym so that we can return to our pre-marriage weight. “In fact we were supposed to start today but I remembered I had this doctor’s appointment.”
About this time Doc comes in but he doesn’t jump on me about gaining weight. That’s what Bertha was in there for. He tells me he has to go up on my dosage and wants to add another pill to the drug mix. I’m sitting there thinking to myself, “Here we go again. Gaining weight, eating is out of control; get your butt back in the gym.” I take the prescriptions and bounce out.
Friday morning, while on my way to the office, I decide to buy my team Krispy Kreme donuts. I get to the office and someone else brought Chick Filet so we have a sugar high and the Itis (Postprandial somnolence for folks not familiar with hood vernacular) and it's barely 8 am. I’m pounding back three donuts thinking, “Dude you just came from the docs, talking about exercise and getting off the pills. You can’t do that eating donuts.” So I’m beating myself up for the donuts and feeling really guilty when my phone alerts me to an incoming text.
“Did you hear about……?”
“No, what happened?”
“He died today?
“WAIT!!!!! WHAT???? HOW???”
“I don’t know. I just found out.”
“Let me know what happened when you find out.”
I’ve known the person that died about as long as I’ve known my best friend Ben. I know his Wife, Mom, Brothers. I can’t imagine how they feel. I’m sitting there staring at my phone and I have to admit I was kinda numb. This is only the second friend that I’ve known to have passed away. The last one was back in the early 2000’s. I really don’t know what I’m feeling…..or how to feel.
As I’m sitting there processing the text message, thinking about him, I get another text message.
“He had a heart attack last week.”
“Yeah, he succumbed to the heart attack today.”
“Wait, wasn’t he severely overweight?”
“Yeah, he’s always had a weight problem, every since he left the military.”