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4th of September

Buffets are Bad for Your Health


162

Or, Chest Pains Part II – the Return

I forgot to include a vital story within the heart surgery – to – diabetes transition of 2005.

It goes something like this:

Before working at Bellarmine University with an all-too-new diabetic condition in the summer of that year, my brother and cousin and I decided to embark on the open road. Our destination: Ocoee, TN – for some white water rapids (Home of the 1996 Olympics terrain).

Terrible idea.

Did I mention how bad I was feeling in the last post? I included the record quantities of Easy Mac and Snicker’s Protein Bars I’d consumed that semester, didn’t I? No. Well, they were there, just like the DiGiorno’s pizza and the passing out in the bathroom floor episode.

But, we embarked into the great Wilderness. We arrived at Ocoee, and somehow (with God’s strength and my ignorance) I survived Class 4 rapids and didn’t go overboard, into the currents, once.

Then, we decided to stop at none other than the place where dreams go to die –

Golden Corral.

The fish tastes like steak and the steak like dessert. And how does this happen we all ask? The oil. It’s all cooked in the same oil. Everything becomes a taste of something else. But, then there’s the amount of food, too. It’s a buffet. (My favorite pre-Type 1 diabetic word.) I could flat put it away. And that day, after the rapids, and the sun, and the fatigue, I did.

Jacob claims I ate an entire blueberry pie myself. And Jared remembers 7 large glasses of sweet tea going down my gullet. But, I recall all of those rolls…butter and rolls. Then, they practically excavated us out of there.

And we were on the road again. I was delirious. (Friends let this be a lesson on gluttony for all of us – it never pays back good dividends. Ever.) I requested we stop so I could go to the bathroom for the umpteenth time. While at a Citgo, I purchased a 32 oz. PowerAde. Go figure!

And as I fell into sugar-induced oblivion in the backseat of Jared’s Camry, I actually asked him if he wanted me to take over the driving.

They knew something was up, or, maybe they just didn’t like what they were seeing, because they sensibly said, “No. You just rest.”

And I fell into a stupor which landed me the diagnosis that next week. It was surreal and it was abrupt, but I’m thankful it was both things.

I don’t remember the exact blood sugar number, when they drew blood, but I remember the sound of the doctor’s exhaled breath through his teeth. And more importantly, I remember that “cross-eyed, always having to go to the bathroom, disoriented feeling” – a sensation almost otherworldly. Not a good memory.

In summary: Golden Corral is a place I still avoid. The distinctionless tastes just aren’t worth the pain, my friends. Don’t let the inviting words “All-you-can-eat” fool you, because buffets are always bad for us.

Even the salad bars.

There I said it.

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