08:38:21 am on
Saturday 17 Aug 2019

I Was Right
AJ Robinson

A few months back, I had a minor health problem. I haven’t spoken of it due to the fact my mother was in hospital, at the time, and my brother, David, was sick, too. The family made the decision we should not tell our mother that another of her sons was ill.

► Et your veggies.

Given the state of her health at the time, my mother probably wouldn’t have made it. Well, thankfully, she’s doing much better now, as is David. Now, I can talk about it and claim final victory in the issue of vegetables.

As a child, I received all the usual lectures about behaving, working hard, studying at school and eating right. Oh, my mom would torture me with eggplant, spinach and countless other vile veggies. Well, not anymore and not merely because I’m an adult and living a couple hundred miles away. Ah, that last point is the critical one, just in case you were wondering.

My health scare was one common to people my age. I had a kidney stone. It was small one, but it still caused considerable painful and hit me one evening, as we were getting ready for bed.

My wife, Jo Ann, took me to the local hospital, thankfully, less than a mile away; we went into the emergency room. After the usual check-in processing, an attending physician saw me and sent me to imaging for a CAT scan or MRI, really can’t recall which.

The important point is they found the stone. Now, given its size, it was unlikely to pass on its own. I headed for surgery.

Fortunately, these days, opening up a patient to remove a kidney stone is no longer necessary. Instead, what they do is a non-invasive procedure. I feel I must take issue with that term.

► The very definition of invasive.

As a man, I’m unable to come up with anything more invasive than the current medical technique for removing a kidney stone. I won’t torment the male audience with any graphic details. Let me just say that they insert a device into the available orifice, slide up to the bladder and, in my case, hang a left to reach the kidney. Nuff said.

Fortunately, I was asleep for the entire process. I woke up a few hours later and was able to go home that night, which was quite the relief. I rested over the course of the weekend.

Come Monday morning, I managed to get into work, but was a bit draggy. Still, it felt good to be on the mend. My greatest joy came when I met with my physician and he went over the findings of the chemical analysis of the stone.

Apparently, they review the chemistry of the stone these days, to figure out what you’ve been eating that caused the stone in the first place. Well, in my case, there were a number of foods for me to avoid in the future and some surprised me. No more blueberries, lay off the dark sodas, no green leaf tea, ease off on the red meats and, drum roll please, no flat green vegetables.

I didn’t understand the flat green veggies, at all. The physician explained. He said I needed to avoid kale, most types of lettuce and spinach.

Ha, yes, victory was mine. At t long last, I knew I was right, spinach is bad for me. Took me more than half a century, but I was finally able to tell my mother that I would not eat her spinach.

► Eggplant is next on my list.

It’s a bit of a hollow victory. Despite not caring for some of her dishes, my mom is and always will be a great cook. I’d gladly suffer through one vile concoction if it meant partaking of another of her fine meals. Still, it does feel good to say goodbye to that one particular veggie. Now, if I could only find a medical reason not to eat that damn eggplant.

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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