Thursday, March 23, 2006

A happier health plan

I had a “health scare” Friday night. I have decided it’s not major – now that I’ve reclaimed my scattered wits. However, when I change how the Universe works, edict number one proclaims “No health scares prior to long weekends.” Mortality is jarring enough without the added anxiety of waiting 72 hours to hear from your doctor. Of course, being a professional-class worrywart, I exacerbate the condition by jumping to the conclusion that I possess a rare tropical ailment. (I am unsure why “tropical” maladies are more horrific than their “temperate” counterparts, yet I remained convinced they are.)

To deal with the anxiety of waiting, I opted for self-treatment as the primary course of action - seeming more appropriate than abject panic. In lieu of a more medically nuanced approach I chose “alternative medicine”; taking the form of several muffins, a lake of ice cream, and a truckload of cookies. (Every treatment has side effects; in this situation, it is a new expanded version of myself.)

Philosophical consideration: why isn’t “comfort food” healthier? Imagine the benefits of lowering stress by eating cabbage. Picture a world where one medicates unpleasant feelings with celery or lettuce: a peaceful calmer self – and a flattering new figure. We can dream, can’t we?

Or envision an alternative more fanciful universe. After a doctor’s exam for a pesky sore throat, she would pull her Rx pad from her white coat pocket and (with poor penmanship) write upon the paper: “Glacies Cremor Chocolate Yum-Yummis.” (For those who skipped Latin, rough translation: “Chocolate Ice Cream.”)

“Call this in to the grocery store,” she would advise. “Take one gallon three times a day. You get six refills. Take it until you’ve finished the entire treatment to avoid a relapse. If you miss a dose, take twice as much. And no generics, only the rich, expensive stuff, OK?” Really now, wouldn’t that be more healing than some scratchy tasting crimson syrup which evokes a gag reflex?

Marshmallow cookies would heal pulled muscles. French Fries would alleviate heartburn. For serious ailments we would be required to sit in front of the TV and eat an entire family-size jar of peanut butter mixed with chocolate syrup.

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