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May 11, 2013

What Would You Do at 2am? And My Friday Doctor's Appointment: Saturday Morning Coffee

by Rev. A. J. Iovine

clock pieceAround 2am, it was raining pretty heavily. The only reason I know this is because I was awoken from a deep sleep at 2:05am. Ugh!! I flopped my arm across the bed to the nightstand and picked up the phone to see who was calling at such an hour. Staring a the 201-number and not knowing the number, I tried my quick best to clear my head and my throat as I unlocked the phone by sliding my finger across the screen.

“Good morning,” I grumbled. “Pastor Iovine here.”

“Oh, I think I have the wrong number. Sorry.”

Ugh!!

Double ugh!!

As I pressed the “End” button and turned off the phone, some not so very nice things were going through my mind. As I dropped my head back onto the pillow, I closed my eyes hoping sleep would return. But as those hopes were in running around inside my head, I listened to the water cascading down the gutter. Turning my head to the window, I looked outside to see the rather heavy rain pounding the street.

And as I returned my head to it’s regular sleep position, I couldn’t fall back to sleep.

Ugh!! So I guess my Saturday started at 2am.

Doctor’s Appointment

Yesterday was a rather busy day on my schedule. I had an early morning doctor’s appointment that lasted longer than I anticipated. My later-than-scheduled lunch with a friend and congregation member in Yonkers was nice — we went to an Indian restaurant (I love their no-oil but spiced up chick peas). Following a hospital run, one home visit, and a visit to the AT&T store at the Garden State Plaza, my day was finished. Suffice to say, I was tired as I went to bed last night following the New York Rangers loss to the Washington Capitals in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and thus my inability to fall back to sleep earlier this morning has caused me to feel generally wiped out this Saturday morning as I type.

My doctor’s appointment could be called “routine,” but it was long. I had to take a physical to which they failed to tell me that this was the primary reason behind my visit. Honestly, when they tell you “We need to take some blood, take a few x-rays, review your recent cancer tests, and talk about some health-related issues,” I fail to see, “Don’t forget to wear workout clothes” anywhere in there. When I arrived wearing a short-sleeved clerical and the nurse says, “Oh, you’re going to take a physical in that, Father?,” I just shook my head. The nurses were nice – they gave me a pair of doctor’s scrubs to wear as I walked and climbed on a treadmill.

Meeting with a doctor who is involved in the health study I am taking part in is what took the most time. Earlier in the week, he told me that I needed to read a new book by Dr. T. Colin Campbell for our meeting. I would have finished it if they book was published sometime BEFORE this past Tuesday. I read through page 51, which was about 300 pages short of completion. As we sat in his office to talk, I sheepishly mentioned my failure to complete the book.

“No, you didn’t have to finish it. I just wanted you to bring it with you so we can talk about specific parts that I want you to focus on.”

Ugh!!

Physically, I am still fat, but the most primary reason, according to the doctor, is weight gain caused by medication, not because I am eating too much kale. Over the coming months, he said I will begin to lose the weight naturally. But I still have to keep an eye on what I am eating — I eat a low fat, whole foods-plant based diet. I have to increase my exercise level, or as I was thinking as he gave me the instruction, “I have to start exercising.” Plus he told me that I needed to spend more money: He said I needed to buy one of those smart scales I can weigh myself every morning. And I needed to buy a wireless blood pressure monitor. Oh, and don’t forget, I need a specialized pedometer that tracks my walking and sleeping patterns.

He should have just said, “Give me your debit card. I’m taking $350 bucks for health toys.”

When he went out to the beverage center in the office to pour two cups of “organic and naturally steeped green tea,” I sat in his office, pulled out my iPad and ordered one of the health gadgets – the $150 smart body scale by Withings. Of course, I felt sick spending that much money on a scale. I still can’t figure out why my $30 scale I have now is outdated. I stand on it and it tells me how much I weigh.

But no, according to the doctor (who, by the way, has an office that is very Microsoft-centric, so not like my oncologist who, like me, is an Apple fan person) the smart body scale will tell not just my weight, but also my body mass index, my heart rate, and whether or not there is too much carbon dioxide in my bedroom. Plus, he said, this scale is wireless and connects to a website where I can track my progress. In addition, the scale connects via Bluetooth to my iPhone, so wherever I am, I can see my numbers that will tell me the window in my bedroom needs opening. And since I have to now daily report my weight, BMI, my heart rate, my blood pressure in the morning and evening, track and report the amount of steps I walk and the exercise I do, as well as inform him and the study partners what I am eating at each meal, all of these health toys will make my life easier.

To me, I still couldn’t get beyond the $150 cost of the scale.

Afterward, and $150 poorer and knowing I needed to get to a Best Buy to buy some Jawbone UP wristband that will cost me another $120 , I was thankful that traffic on the FDR Drive was light. I didn’t want to get more stressed sitting in bumper to bumper traffic.

Oh, wondering what I had for lunch yesterday at the Indian restaurant, the same list I sent to the doctor last night?

Curried chick peas, steamed chick peas with potato, a small salad, and steamed rice. And to wipe up the curry sauce (made with water, vegetable broth, probably corn starch, and spices), I ate two pieces of warmed pita bread that had a drizzle of olive oil on them. And I drank three glasses of water.

Church at 5 Today

Just a reminder — this afternoon at 5pm, we will hold our weekly Saturday evening (though it is technically in the afternoon) worship service. We celebrate Easter 7 following the celebration of the Ascension of Jesus to the Father’s right hand last Thursday. And because it is Mother’s Day, or as I heard  news anchor Bridgette Quin say on WCBS Newsradio 880 yesterday as I was driving around in the late afternoon, it is actually “Mother’s Day weekend,” we will be celebrating those special women in our lives.

Calendar Notes

1. This coming Monday, we hold our monthly Voters’ Body meeting at 7pm in the Upper Classroom at church.

2. Next Saturday, is our First Annual Food Pantry “Thank You” Dinner — tickets are free and it starts at 6pm. Sign up in church or click here.

3. Next Sunday, May 19, is our New Milford Fire Department worship service as the members of our local department join us.

4. And finally, June 8 — our annual Wine Tasting at The Garden Cafe. Tickets are $25 per person. Money will go to expand our youth and family ministries at church.

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