Tuesday, December 8, 2009

there is nothing fast about fasting

It doesn't even cross my mind most evenings. No big deal. But tell me I can't eat, and it's a whole different ball game. I had to get blood taken Monday morning and this required that I fast for at least 12 hours. Twelve whole hours.

My dad had a heart attack when he was 43. Blocked artery due to high cholesterol. He didn't have a high cholesterol diet or anything, was a fit healthy guy. But his body lacked the ability to properly rid itself of excess cholesterol and so the inevitable occurred. He's fine and dandy today and will celebrate his sixtieth birthday next August. This little tidbit into my personal background is why I had to starve myself for twelve hours and get blood taken. To try to avoid the whole heart attack, near death experience and all that. The starving part is the reason I haven't done it sooner.

We are generally late eaters. I only get home around 5:30, so supper isn't on the table until 6:00 at the earliest. You would think that eating a full supper at 6:30 and not eating again until breakfast would be no big deal. You would think that, but you would be wrong. As soon as the clock passed 7:00, the fast began, and regardless of how long ago I ate, my stomach growled. My kids were helpful and oh so kind. They kindly ate their bedtime snacks next to me. Taking their time. (I think they took their time more to avoid bed than to tease me, but still.) I was a dog at their feet, trying not to look, but sneaking a darting glance and swallowing quietly.

The next morning I woke early, dragged my butt out the door and drove the 20 km to the hospital, only to realize as I arrived, my papers were sitting on the side table by the door. Forgotten. So much for getting this done early. I turned around and went home, fetched the papers and drove back. I wasn't fasting again. The idea was to get this done and enjoy a nice breakfast before work. Instead I was waiting in the hospital ready to chew off my arm, certain my stomach was starting to dissolve its own lining, going on hour 14 of my fast. Poor suffering children of Africa, I feel for you, on my pathetic journey of not eating for one whole night. I hadn't even missed a meal yet. But the mind is a powerful thing.

There are good things and bad things about small towns. Bad thing: we have no family doctor. Good thing: there are no people, and therefor, no line ups. I was in and out before Breakfast Television even broke for commercial. Had the best breakfast ever! Only a bagel, but the best bagel on earth I am certain. I even got to work on time. My ordeal was over. Since I no longer had to fast, that evening, after a wonderful supper, I never ate another thing.


Carol said...

For me it's the no-water thing. Some of the blood tests I have taken require NOTHING TO DRINK for 10 hours before hand. That means no water from 8:30 pm onwards. HOW AM I EXPECTED TO SLEEP WITHOUT A DRINK OF WATER?

misty said...

Yup, you know the pain.