Life Stories me and a cuda

Published on February 6th, 2014 | by Healthy Gay Lifestyles

Healthy Lifestyles for Dummies

by William Berry

I would like to think that I am a smart person. I can take a classic car apart and put it back together, diagnose computers and software, even remodel a bathroom. But when it comes to my body and how it works, I haven’t a clue. When I had a near-death experience in a Florida hospital from a burst appendix (honestly, I thought it was my diverticulitus and besides, I had already bought the plane tickets) I decided it was time to educate myself to the dangers of ignorance. After that operation I lost 20 lbs and walked like a 90-year-old-man for a month. But the fun wasn’t over yet: My big-hearted employer fired me, my roommate moved out, I was going through a nasty divorce and I had only come out a year before. This confluence of disaster made me more than a little depressed.

Not knowing what to do, I went to a doctor and he gave me some anti-depression pills. Like most anyone, I do what the doctor tells me to do, because he’s supposed to know. What resulted was more severe depression, the worst ever. Realizing I was having a reaction, I flushed the pills down the toilet. After reading the doctor the riot act, I did my own research and found that these pills (don’t ask me what, I’m medically stupid) were having the same result with many people. Some were told to continue the meds, but common sense told me to stop.

A former coworker introduced me to vitamins and nutrition. Thanks to Google, I started reading. I found that men in their 50s tend to lose vitamin B. So I started taking a B-Complex. What happened was miraculous: I started feeling better. My depression subsided. What had plagued me since adolescence was nothing more than a vitamin deficiency.

I started to read more. Five years earlier, I had started taking shark cartilage, then Glucosamine for my knee pain. That, coupled with bicycling and losing 50 pounds has almost eliminated that problem. Not a TV watcher, I listened with interest to the Dr. Oz show and noted the sensible approach to treating some of the problems clueless people like me had been running to the doctor for.

Doctors are great advice givers, but we have become a “magic pill” society and I think advice should be taken with a grain of salt, not pills. We should educate ourselves, using this vast internet knowledge base available to us, so we can make sensible (and less costly) choices in our lives. Just as I would not take my car to the shop without knowing a probable cause and possible solutions, I would not go to the doctor without making the same kind of analysis.

To carry the automotive metaphor further, the better I maintain myself, the more miles I’m likely to travel before I hit that great junkyard in the sky.


William Berry is a self-employed businessman, former computer nerd, classic car enthusiast and father of two. He finally quit smoking for good, and only recently discovered that Cholesterol is not really a New Age garage band.

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