Friday 16 July 2010

Today's visit to the doctor didn't help

Just come back from my doctor - a regular visit to check on my blood pressure. (It's satisfactory) In our wide-ranging chat I told him that after a several-month pause I'd resumed occasional morning running again, which he approved, of course - and then I said I'd been wondering about the fact that I'm hardly ever ill from anything. The last time I recall actually even having a heavy cold, which had confined me to bed for maybe a single day, must have been a good 15 years ago. He put it down, after questioning, to the fact that I don't meet and interact face-to-face with other people. In fact any 'social life' at all has been completely non-existent since the early 90s. Then I wondered if it also had anything to do with my having been veggie for nigh on 50 years. I didn't expect the uncalled-for mini-lecture I then got on how it was more 'natural' for man to be omnivorous (like himself, he just happened to add) and that as human teeth are designed for eating meat (Designed? By whom?), my not eating meat (and fish) is more of a fluke to my being in good health than anything else. I wanted to riposte that my reasons for being so were purely empathic, in not wishing to partake, just for a few moments of 'pleasure', of the product of another sentient being's pain, distress and probably terror, often after an entire lifetime of extreme discomfort (to put it mildly!) and anguish - but I was so gobsmacked by his little tirade, albeit with a smug smile on his face, that I was left speechless. I left his surgery doubly irritated by his sanctimonious attitude (and it's us veggies who are usually lampooned for being 'oh so superior!') and also annoyed with myself for not coming out with a ready and justified answer to him. I bet that if he'd taken my B.P. at the end of the session he would have got a very different reading.


  1. Ray, glad you BP is doing fine.:)

    My doctor thought the reason I don't get sick very often is my very infrequent exposure to other people, so I'd agree with your doctor on that front. I do often get sick after we visit our adoptive niece and nephew, especially during cold and flu season. That's ok though, getting to visit with them makes up for it.

    Luckily my doctor is much more accepting of my vegetarian eating habits. I wouldn't have been able to be so nice if someone(even my doctor) admonished me for being vegetarian or negated many of the benefits of that choice.

  2. Thanks, Kyle. I'm feeling a little guilty at having got on a soapbox for this entry, but it's out of my system - for now at least.
    The more I read your own blogs and see your comments on mine the more I think we really are kindred spirits - and that makes me feel really good. Cheers, pal.

  3. Wow! Talk about lack of bedside manners!

    I had an episode like that with a doctor once. I went in to get a mole on my back looked at and removed. It was on a Tuesday. The doc bursts in, doesn't even say hi, tells me how fat I am and that I'm going to get heart disease and a whole bunch of other bad things, then he abruptly leaves. I jumped off the table and stuck my head out the door and yelled at him, "What about my mole?!" He looked at my file, saw where it said I was there for a mole, then slammed the file down on the receptionist's desk and told me they only did moles on Wednesdays!! I never saw that quack again.

  4. Cubby, sounds like he'd got the wrong side out of bed that morning. I commend you for not going back to him - something I'd find difficult to emulate unless the circumstances were really extreme.

  5. What is BP? What's wrong of eating all veggies? Buddhists eat veggies only and they're still strong and healthy.

  6. BP = blood pressure.
    Certainly it does appear that Buddhists and some Hindus and others who eat nothing but vegetables do maintain a healthy life. I believe that there is just one vitamin that isn't available from any vegetable source (B12, I think). I've always taken daily vitamin supplement tablets to make sure I'm taking everything necessary, which actually does include this one. Cheating? Perhaps, but it would be perverse to seek out or devise a formula which excludes just this element. In the total balance of things I judge it marginally acceptable.