Friday, May 25, 2007

No Worries

Medical researchers are constantly learning new things about our bodies, disease, and what is good or not good for us. However, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, much of the information that we hear about how to maintain good health is contradictory. For instance, foods like chocolate, coffee, and wine have both benefits and drawbacks. How do we know how much we can have and receive the benefits without the harmful effects? We’re constantly told that we need to keep our cholesterol low, but this morning I heard that people who have low cholesterol are at higher risk for Parkinson’s disease. So now all those people who were afraid of heart disease and did all they could to lower their cholesterol are now afraid that they’ll get Parkinson’s because their cholesterol is too low.

It’s really frustrating to constantly hear all this changing information. It’s confusing. The media purport to give us all this information so that we’ll stay informed, but the real result is that we’re just confused. We’re afraid and confused. We’re afraid of the bad things that might happen to us, and we’re confused about how to prevent those bad things. This causes us to worry which, in turn, has a negative impact on our health. We’d be much better off if we stopped listening to the media reports about what may or may not be good for us and quit worrying about the diseases that may or may not afflict us.

Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble (Matt. 6.31-4).

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Nutcracker Suite

Yesterday, my morning began with something I have been dreading for nearly two months. My gynecologist, whom I have known since fifth grade, is a very good doctor, and she always makes me feel good about what I’m doing to take care of myself. However, when she wants to prod me into doing more (for instance, exercising more), she has a way of using the pronoun we instead of you. She likes to use phrases such as “We’ve reached that age. . .” and “At our age, we really need to. . . .” So, at my visit with her early last month, it was with this tactic that she persuaded me to undergo my first mammogram. She assured me that it wasn’t really all that bad and that she didn’t dislike it nearly as much as that other part of the yearly checkup. I wasn’t exactly convinced, but I decided to go along with it.

Some man who hates women must have invented this torturous procedure. While it didn’t hurt as badly as I imagined it could have, I have nonetheless decided that I will likely not do it again. Surely, a monthly self exam is good enough. If a self exam is good enough for men—you know, guys, that you should examine your testicles periodically—then it should be good enough for women. However, if the medical establishment insists that an x-ray image of the breast is the best way to detect those little breast cancers early, then it stands to reason that men would need to detect testicular cancer early using the same method. In fact, in the interest of promoting healthy families, couples could make appointments together, and her mammogram and his “testigram” could be done at the same time, in the same room even. First the wife could have her mammogram, and then the husband could get his testigram done on the same machine. Besides being a great bonding experience, it would be very practical to do them together because after the exam, the wife would have to push the man back to the car in a wheelchair and drive him home.

On second thought, maybe that much togetherness is not a good idea. After all, when you have to go through a mammogram first thing in the morning, the last thing you want to do is take care of an incapacitated man that afternoon. No, a day of shopping and a nice lunch is a great reward after the torture of the morning.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

For What it's Worth

Recently, Husband decided that he wanted a new car. I told him that he could have one if he stops doing hay in the summers and sells his hay equipment. He agreed, and while we have sold some of his stuff, we still have for sale a John Deere 735 MoCo (mower conditioner). (If you are aware of someone who needs some hay equipment, I'll be happy to point you to the ad.)

I sort of thought that we'd sell all the equipment and then buy the car, but I guess men don't work that way when they want a new car.

I became interested in the Mustang when the new body style--a real, honest retro style--came out a couple of years ago. I dragged Husband to a dealership right after they came out because I just wanted to see one up close--I appreciate a beautiful car, and the new Mustang is a beautiful car. I had no thoughts of buying one. Husband, however, got the fever, and though it subsided, he never quite got over it, and a couple of months ago, I broke down and made the deal with him.

Now when Husband decides to do something, he does it all the way. The way he thinks, if he's gonna spend the money to get something, he might as well get exactly what he wants the first time. He does his research, and in all the time I've known him, he's never made any bad deals. This time has been no exception; however, I think we both got a bit more than we bargained for when we bought this car.

He picked out a Roush 427 Mustang. This car is a real head turner. No more than fifteen minutes after we'd driven away from the dealership, a guy yelled at us with admiration for our car and took our picture as he drove alongside us. Later on down the road, some young kid parked on the side of the road with his souped up Honda gave us two thumbs up and then bowed in a posture of worship. We laughed and laughed. Whenever we go out to eat, we see men stop and inspect the car and sometimes take pictures. It's absolutely amazing.

I can't help but wonder what people think of the owners of this car. To me, it's a pretty car, and it's fun to ride around in it. But many people attach a lot more to ownership of a car and make judgments about people by the cars that they drive. I've done it plenty of times myself. I know better than to do that now. While some cars are more aesthetically pleasing than others, they all have one thing in common: They are all a hunk of metal that get their drivers from one place to another. We get into trouble when we begin to measure the worth of a person by the value of his automobile, or house, or clothing, or any other material possession and think that the person who has the more beautiful possessions is the more valuable person. Possessions can be fun, but their value is only in the eye of the beholder.

Friday, May 11, 2007

I See London, I See France. . .

If I see one more news announcer holding up a pair of granny panties and saying "poor Paris" I'm gonna scream.

Of course, it would be punishment enough for her just to wear granny panties without going to jail.