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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Truth or Dare (08/28/08)

TITLE: Chocolate Cheesecake, Anyone?
By Judith Gayle Smith
09/02/08


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Urp! Way! Hey! Up she rises! The gorge also rises. Major reflux! Swallow the bitterness.
4 am. Scrabble in nightstand for antacids, snuggle back under covers.

8 am. Woozy, nauseated. "Breakfast? Not hungry, thanks." Diet day!

Lunchtime. Saltines with margarine. An entire strip. No breakfast - shouldn't hurt. Mindlessly scarfing salty crackers. I am so hungry.

HEARTBURN! Omigosh - major heartburn! Lie down. Sleep it off.

I'm sobbing now - why such incredible pain? Too much salt, that's all it is. Water might
neutralize the salt! No! Worse! Antacids! Handfuls! Doesn't work.

I'll sleep the rest of today. Lose a pound or two. Pray for tomorrow.

Better today - no heartburn! "Good morning all! Breakfast? Just cold water.
No, not nauseated like yesterday, thank our good Lord!"

No! Heartburn AGAIN! From a tiny sip of water?

My back hurts BAD! I'm being squeezed like an accordian! Lie down!
Sleep it off! I cannot sleep. I can barely breathe.

Sabbath approaching. Fitfully slept. "Hi everyone!"

"You made dinner? Great! No, none for me, thanks. Too much salt yesterday.
Thanks for your prayers! Much relieved."

Please don't fuss. I could stand to lose some weight!

"Water - thanks! I'm really thirsty!" Oh no! Not again! Breathless.
Such heartburn! Oh my back! "I'm okay, thanks."

(300+ causes for heartburn/chest pain. With back pain, one cause.)

Instant denial. Not this old gal's heart! No family history! "Yes love, I'm okay! Just going back to bed for a while. No, don't call the doctor."

Such a terribly long walk to the bedroom.

Worse lying down! No, sitting up! This horrid heartburn will be the death of me!
Should I go to the emergency room? No. Don't give in.

Sabbath is almost here, please don't let me disturb the Sabbath.

Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Thank You Lord.
"Mike! Help! Your ox has fallen into a ditch!"

New taxi driver apologetically forgets the way to the hospital.

So difficult to breathe! Pain's so bad! Bravery is a hard facade to maintain.
If I could only pass out to escape this.

Emergency Room is packed. People suffering dreadfully.

Wait. Can't. Why does heartburn BURN so bad? My back! Forms?
What? Now? Forms blurred by my teary fears.

Heart attack. TWO stents! Totally blocked. Almost died.

I'm told how, when and what to eat. Dire warnings. Four new prescriptions.
I listened for a while. I watched what I ate. Lost weight!

And fell back into old habits.

Chocolate cheesecake, anyone?


=================================================================

Author's note:

This is a true story of what happened to this morbidly obese writer in early April of this year. My first, and prayerfully last heart attack. It seemed appropriate for the subject topic "Truth or Dare" - as, knowing the truth, I still struggle to accept it, daring my body not to turn against me once again for my ill treatment of it. If anyone reading this finds themselves also tormenting their Temple, please learn from my foolishness, and begin today to take better care of what God has so graciously given to you.


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This article has been read 553 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Beckie Stewart09/04/08
Thanks for the bravery of sharing your story with us readers.
Sunny Loomis 09/05/08
Thanks for telling this story. Glad you made it through the heart attack. I have to remind myself that my body really belongs to God. Good descriptions.
Lisa Keck09/05/08
Thank you so much for sharing. It amazes me that we can care so much for others but not ourselves. This was a good reminder. Thanks again.
Danae Cowart09/08/08
I thought your stream-of-consciousness approach was very interesting and creative. I would have liked it to be clearer in work itself that you were talking about side effects of obesity, rather than just mentioning it in the author note.
Marlene Austin09/09/08
Sensible eating is always the best diet, yet always seems to be the hardest to believe. :) Loved to read that following the doctor's directions to take care of the heart, also lost the weight. With all the delicious 100 calorie deserts packages ready to buy off the grocery shelves - hope the cheesecake at the end was a joke. :)
Celeste Ammirata09/12/08
Thank you for sharing your story. It's very well written. Keep up the good work with taking care of yourself and keep the faith.
:-)
darlene pistocchi09/13/08
Fabulous piece of writing. I really got drawn into the inner thought of the character. Excellent reminder of how we all need to give ourselves over to the Lord, including the physical self. I hope you are faring well :)