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Posted by on Aug 20, 2023 in Retirement Humour |

Living Retired — ‘120/80’

Living Retired — ‘120/80’

Living Retired — ‘120/80’

By Gary Chalk


I am a believer in preventative medicine. I have the complete collection of Suzanne Somers healthy living books. (I have actually read parts of them, but certainly looked at all the photographs.)


At the grocery store I keep up with all the latest food fads by reading the magazine covers standing in line at the checkout. Oprah is often prominently featured in these magazines. One issue she is showing how to lose weight and drop three dress sizes, another month telling readers to just be happy at whatever you weigh and your current dress size. Just saying…


My diet consists of mostly healthy foods such as sodium-reduced bacon, no salt-added tomato soup, 50% less sugar ice cream, and 48% less fat Swiss cheese slices. I eat Jan’s homemade rhubarb pie without the top crust, and I scrape the chocolate icing off my breakfast Pop Tarts. Oh, and I order nachos with light sour cream, and I drink Bud Light.


So, with my emphasis on personal health, I had a surprise when I went to the doctor for my annual checkup. It began while I was still in the waiting room. Here is what happened…


I became alarmed — okay friggin’ upset! — when the magazine I was reading said we needed to immediately construct bomb shelters in our homes and stock up with food rations such as bottled water and canned goods like pork ‘n beans.


Reading about bomb shelters is when it happened. My blood pressure spiked! My heart raced! Just as the nurse called me into the examination room I realized the waiting room magazine I was reading was LOOK from 1964.


The nurse looked alarmed too. “Gary, you’re certainly racing right along! Your blood pressure has never been this high.”


“YOU THINK? I just read that I need to build a bomb shelter in our basement! And even worse is I’ll have to eat pork ‘n beans in a confined space!”


Long story short, I left the doctor’s office and went to a pharmacy to purchase the home version of a doctors blood pressure machine. Easy peasy, right? Not so fast Dr. Dreamy Eyes…


At home I suddenly realized if you want your blood pressure to soar read the 24-page instruction manual that comes with the machine. By the time I figured out how to program the day, month, and year feature I was so upset that my that my first blood pressure reading surpassed the ‘Elevated Range’ and was ticking towards ‘Seek Immediate Medical Attention.’


The last time I remember someone commenting about my blood pressure being high happened years ago. I was wearing one of those silly hospital gowns that you are supposed to strap together at your back, but can’t. I was showing more of my body than Brittany Spears does at a concert. I was being prepped for my vasectomy, when I overheard the nurse say to the assistant who entered my vitals on my chart say, “This guy’s blood pressure is high.”


“YOU THINK? The next person I see will be someone with their face hidden behind a mask, holding a knife!”


Jan drove me home after the medical procedure while I read the ‘Post-Vasectomy Care’ instructions.


“Jan, it says during the convalescence period for pain control I should have a bag of frozen corn niblets handy.”


Jan began laughing so hard that she could barely speak! Gripping the steering wheel, with tears streaming down her cheeks, she choked saying, “Gary, whose niblets are they talking about — yours, or the Jolly Green Giant!”



Living Retired is written by humour columnist Gary Chalk.


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