Today’s daily writing prompt from The Daily Post has me thinking of Jalapeno Tree, my favorite Mexican restaurant, and choices.
I like spicy foods, they however do not always like me so much. Somewhere along the line I developed GERD, which stands for Gastro-Esophogeal Reflux Disease. What it means is that I have a lot of extra acid that hates it when I enjoy a really good meal. “Blah I say! Pain be damned! I’ll eat what I want and pay the price tomorrow.”
Unfortunately, gastric pains, anxiety or panic attacks, and so many other things can feel like a heart attack and I hate emergency rooms more than I hate not eating what I like. These days I usually take care to eat something that won’t make me feel these things since early one morning in July of 2013 when I had a heart attack at 47 years old. I was at church when suddenly I felt like a shock went down my right side from the top of my head all the way through to my toes. My jaw felt that it was about to lock up too. Because I have Fibromyalgia, and pain is no stranger to me, I didn’t think much of it until I became so nauseous that I had to excuse myself to the ladies room where I vomited pretty violently for a few minutes. Now that got my attention. Still, I didn’t want to alarm anyone or make a scene so I took my place next to my husband and sweated profusely until the service was over. We were about to stay for the business meeting until another wave of nausea hit and I felt faint. Tell me really though, who hasn’t felt hot and sweaty after a good meal at a Mexican restaurant? Of course, I hadn’t eaten anything that morning and had only drank one cup of coffee so I was pretty sure a good meal wasn’t the culprit.
One heart attack and two stents later, I still eat jalapenos on most of my food. I eat Mexican food when I can but often I make it myself and use turkey, deer, or very lean beef. I tried the fat free cheeses too but really, what is the point if it isn’t going to taste great? So I have trained myself to eat less when I do have a meal that may not make my Cardiologist, Endocrinologist, and Rheumatologist smile.
Do I really have to choose between enjoying the foods I eat or eating healthy? If food gives me pleasure, isn’t that important somehow? If I live to be a hundred and don’t have another heart attack but have deprived myself of any number of things I enjoy just to extend my days on earth, have I really lived? We all have to make choices about our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health as each plays a vital role in how we live. The bible says that everything is lawful but not everything is profitable and that means I have to make choices. I choose to enjoy the time I have left on earth and be wise while I do it. I mean, a girl’s gotta live, right?