Why This and Not That?

Over the course of a normal life, what happened last night was insignificant. At the moment, however, the difference between bowls of Italian wedding soup and chili was noteworthy. I ordered chili and then immediately regretted my decision once a bowl of wedding soup sat deliciously next to me … to be supped up by another. My immediate comment, while staring down into a tapestry of kidney beans, ground beef, and tomatoes? “Why this and not that?”

The previous 48 hours were unhealthfully challenging. A long twelve hours ER stay after a personal health challenge made decision making foggy. This restaurant visit was a first after being poked and picked over like a fresh berry bush. Sleep had been spotty, of course, with food and fluid intake starting and stopping as if in a nutritional traffic jam. Nothing normal.

My side still hurts from something … not sure what. The mysteries of our dark, inner spaces remain. This was of secondary concern, as it sat marginally away from what was primarily messing with my malfunctioning vascular-goober system. I don’t understand any of this. Melodic tunes make more sense to me than medical tubes. I know more how music beats, less about the electrical impulses of a heart.

In the time it would have taken to play a few Bach Inventions, I was erased out of awareness the other morning. Preferably, the former would have been my choice. Life had other plans.

Why this … and not that?

I had a choice between chili and wedding soup; however, there was no choice between consciousness and blanklessness at 7:15 a.m. on a beautiful Thursday morning in early November.

In addition, there was no option when a doctor you’ve trusted for years says, “Off to the ER you go. I am your doctor first … and friend second. You look horrible, your blood pressure is way too low, and I don’t have the facilities here to treat what may be wrong with you, …” (When I finally got in to see him five hours after getting off the floor…)”… let’s call and ambulance for you.”

In the ambulance, a paramedic gave me no choices. Sticker shock, diabetic checks, blood draws, wires, straps, beeps and blips. Oh, and rather pleasant conversation during the 15 minute bumpy ride to a local hospital.

We don’t have choices sometimes – especially when our health is involved. Last Thursday was a downright surprise. No warning, no “head’s up” …

I have some idea the cause … maybe. It might be easier to reverse engineer Mahler’s 3rd symphony, however. At least those notes are – if you’ll allow me some leeway here – black and white, stagnant, immovable, and predictable. Our bodies are living, breathing, aging, interlocking cellular game pieces constantly changing the rules as they move around the board.

According to medical notes, doctors I met in the ER made their best guess and discharged me after 12 hours. They made a choice. I had to agree. Hoping all my “numbers” met their approval, a tired, weary, hungry self of mine headed home…

And so, after a full day’s respite, I was faced with this: a bowl of chili … and not that: a better looking bowl of Italian wedding soup – realizing we make choices and end up with a result that is second best; Or, don’t have a choice what happens to us and do the best we can.

Best summed up as: I wanted life to be this, but got that instead, or why this and not that?

There are worse situations than what I went through … I’ve witnessed them in person. These wake-ups tweak a different part of my brain – that part where two bowls of soup take on a different meaning. I am reminded our choices in life are important. Acceptance of what happens to our health is also paramount to a healthy outlook.

Ok, maybe not soup, but some this and that’s circling about do make a difference. Choose wisely when you can, stay hydrated, and eat healthy foods.

That’s the best I’ve got for you on this day. At least until I get that bowl of Italian wedding soup.

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