This time, however, she wasn't denying something illicit.
She was telling me that my blood pressure was far too high for someone my age.
I don't remember the exact reading, but it was enough to cause the triage nurse to do a double-take.
"What's your blood pressure like, normally?" she asked.
"Horrible," I said honestly.
"Diet?", she asked while raising an eyebrow.
"Diet, mostly," I answered, "but I'm also under a lot of stress."
As I was at Urgent Care due to a horrible cough (which turned out to be an upper respiratory tract infection), we didn't get into cardiovascular details. Suffice it to say, her words really hit me like an Acme anvil.
The Wheeler Curse is creeping up on me.
Many health issues run rampant through my paternal lineage. Heart disease, Diabetes, Alcoholism, Manic Depression, to name the worst. While I have a (relatively) clean bill of mental health, and my drinking is limited to a couple of cocktails a week, I am still a high-risk candidate for the other two.
In fact, considering my lifestyle until recently, I'm surprised I'm not already afflicted.
In just under three weeks, I'll be turning 40, and Jill and I have a baby on the way. At the rate I'm going, I may not live long enough to see my child graduate high school, land their first real job, have children of their own, win the Nobel Prize, or become the most wanted terrorist in the world.
So, changes were needed, and for a change, I've stuck with the changes.
I've been eating a bit better, avoiding the huge bags of chips, chocolate bars, processed foods, and litres of soda I'd normally take in over the course of a week. It's tough when I work next to a Tim Hortons and a convenience store - snacks and unhealthy lunches are a few footsteps away. My lunch hour is fraught with temptation, so in order to stave it off, I had to come up with a plan.
Remember my now-cancelled plan to turn my garage into a four-season gazebo, complete with wet bar?
While the plan may have fallen through, there were a few things I'd acquired in the meantime... such as a bar fridge.
One that would fit perfectly under my desk at work.
Pictured: Room for a bar fridge
The downside is it'll eliminate the exercise I get by running to buy the aforementioned crap. I guess the solution is to take walks after I've finished eating. While I've pretty much tapped the immediate vicinity out in terms of photography subjects, there are a lot of old buildings and examples of walkability in the blocks to the northeast of here... and the area (Logan Ave. east of Keewatin St.) isn't one that's photographed too often.
That's the beginning of my new health scheme, and if it works, I'll build on it and go from there.