Wednesday, July 10, 2013

An apple a day

Not me
This weekend I worked on replies to some questions sent to me by the lifestyle section of one of the local online papers. This forced me to take a long hard look at my routines and face the fact that I am not a super healthy person: Do you have a gym membership? No. Do you own a bike? No. Do you eat lentil patties? No. What do you have for breakfast? Nothing, ever. These replies got me so stressed that I ended up in hospital with an extreme blood pressure surge.

One of the things that came out of the blood tests while there was that I have a dangerously low potassium level. I partook this information and pills to fix it. A very nice nurse told me that I should also eat bananas, which was unfortunate since I don’t like them and would rather munch on the pills. But she did mention that I could google it and find other things that contained potassium and would be more to my liking. Without mentioning it to her I secretly hoped it would turn out that coffee was made mostly from potassium.

Well played devious broccoli, well played
So I googled the subject and found to my dismay that this was not the case. I might just as well have googled “bad tasting vegetables”. They all lined up as great potassium providers. Why is it so that everything that actually tastes good is bad/not good for you?  

Next thing I wanted to know was what happens if you don’t have enough potassium. And this rather long winded prelude brings me to what I would like to dwell on this Wednesday around. One small tangent – does anyone know what “Wednes” means? Was it a day to get married? And come to that, what is the origin of “Wed”? Here a marriage is called “gifting” which originates from giving or gift as the bride was given to the groom. The groom was gifted, the bride the gift.

Low potassium levels turned out to end up in all sorts of complications, none that I have thankfully so far experienced. But what grabbed my attention was a warning which reminded me of other instances when doctors choose rather radical examples to show people when it is a good idea to seek medical help. In the case of potassium deficiency it was the something akin to the following: If you find yourself vomiting violently for several days you should see a doctor.

Now I think it goes for most people that if you have been vomiting violently for days on end you do not need to refer to such a recommendation in order to go see a doctor. It just goes without saying that this is the obvious thing to do.
This is going to go well
Same thing a few years back when I was visiting a skin doctor – please note that I do know these doctors have some other more awe inspiring name but it eludes me. So this skin doctor wants me to know how to tell if a blotch on the skin is cancerous or not and brings out some pictures to assist me in noting the difference between a normal spot and a bad one. The photo of the cancerous spot will remain with me until the end of days. It showed someone’s knee covered in a black and crackled monstrosity that looked as if the owner of the keep had knelt on an oven range. It even appeared to still be smoking. Now I do not need to see a picture like that to be able to recognize the signs of skin going in all the wrong directions. If something like that happened to my knee, the only possible explanation for why I would not have been to a doctor long before it reached that stage would be that I had been lost for months and months, deep inside a rainforest. Tied to a tree by an anaconda.

I also hate the plastic jaw and teeth set the dentist brings out every now and again. One half nice, white and shiny and the other half all messed up with blackened teeth falling out and the gums greyish and receding. Oh please, I show up every six months like clockwork despite that little hook thing you tend to brandish and you think this is a likely scenario for me? Makes you wonder, who are these people catering to?

So, toodelah. Next Wednesday, whatever that means, I will be posting from Manchester – on my way to Harrogate.

When the stewardess passes my by and offers me coffee or tea on the flight over, I will be forced to reply with a question of my own – namely, do you carry brussel sprout juice by any chance? Preferably shaken, not stirred.

Yrsa – Wednesday  


  1. Of course that's you, oh wondrous woman. I've seen you in the outfit...or maybe it was my broccoli deficient eyes playing tricks on me.

  2. Yrsa, Your statement about the relationship between flavor and health benefits of food echoes my sentiment that calories are things they put in food to make it taste good. My conviction is that people don't live longer if they eat health food. It just seems that way.

  3. I'm with you on this, Annamaria. I was once persuaded to use a cycle machine for half an hour a day for a few days. However, when I demanded a guarantee that I would live AT LEAST an extra half hour per day in order to compensate for the half hour lost, it wasn't taken seriously.
    As for Wednesday, I believe it came from the Anglo-Saxon god Wodin who was some sort of relation or mispronunciation of the Norse god Odin. So back to you, Yrsa.

  4. Have to say those broccolli muffins look delicious - especially if the yellowish stuff is strongly cheese flavoured...
    Personally I will never run short of potassium as i love all the strong bitter tasting veggies. But I do agree with the delicious calories statement - few things are really good without them - and even the veggies are better with plenty of butter or cheese.

  5. I know of what you speak. Fats (and salt) make food taste good. Commiserations!

  6. One of my favorite snacks is a mint or raspberry Milano cookie with my tea or coffee. While wandering around my local supermarket the other day, I picked up a pamphlet that assigned a health number to various foods. Of course fruits were in the 80s or 90s, broccoli etc. were also very high. At the very bottom of the list, explicitly included, were my Milanos with a grand health number of 2. Sigh.