When I was released from the hospital after eight days, the medical professionals gave me some specific instructions.
First, don’t eat anything that looks or tastes good. Second, start walking and exercising on a daily basis, do not get sick, do not drive for a month and take your medications.
You will be fine, the doctor said.
He said that a lot.
Little did he know I had previously thought that Butterfingers were at the top of the food pyramid along with pizza.
At first I couldn’t do much; just a few minutes at a desk or computer wore me out, but my strength slowly returned.
I was able to read and polished off a number of books and quickly returned to reading 21 newspapers and three magazines a week, plus everything I received for my job as a Rutherford County commissioner.
I also could watch TV.
It is hard for me to describe how terrible much of it is. Cake Boss, Storage Wars and Basketball Wives defy description.
It is possible to watch people, catch gators, have babies, pawn almost anything, cook, flip houses, hoard stuff, catch crustaceans, drive over icy roads, buy or sell or “pick” over antiques, catch or kill snakes, ants, bats, argue about and maybe buy a wedding dress, have an intervention, beat the heck out of each other, tow cars, catch a cheater or a really big fish, chase ghosts or some really dumb criminals, or attempt to stop the Japanese from killing whales.
It’s all there.
It’s not much good, but it’s there.
I was amazed to discover that there are lawyers out there that will help negotiate my income tax bill downward by as much as 90 percent and I’ll never have to pay the rest and suffer no penalty. And here I’ve been paying every penny of my tax bill for decades.
There are other lawyers who will help me, at no cost, sue the government, truckers, doctors and drug companies for just about anything. They are especially good at class-action suits and, heretofore virtually unknown diseases and conditions. They had much rather you be really sick than dead.
Speaking of dead, TV will not let a person die. Even at this late date, there are still shows about Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Jimmy Hoffa, JFK and Michael Jackson.
TV will help you find a career, because there are careers that are easily attainable with only a few weeks training, in the medical, legal and law enforcement professions.
Despite what both Presidential candidates say, it appears there are many jobs.
There are a lot of good looking men and women on TV and many of them are reporting sports, weather, news and business reports. I’m not certain how they got the job, or if they know what they are talking about, but they look great.
Other people who were famous at one time are making comebacks in commercials such as Robert Wagner, Pat Boone and daughter Debbie Victoria Principal, Marie Osmond, Fred Thompson, Wayne Rogers, Chuck Norris and Fonzie.
TV can be very entertaining as well.
During the initial part of my recuperation, I walked throughout the house while watching the best World Series we’ve had in years.
Animal Planet, the Discovery Channel and the History Channel are great. Bill Moyers has a good news show and there are others, including some excellent decades old Billy Graham sermons and another show called “Tennessee Crossroads.”
You can learn a lot from quiz shows. I never knew that the first President born west of the Mississippi was Herbert Hoover (not Harry Truman), that Dr. Seuss used only 50 different words in “Green Eggs and Ham” and that high and low tides come twice a day in Daytona Beach but only once a day in Gulf Shores.
After six weeks of this, I graduated back to the real world and, by Christmas, things were back to normal. Well, except for not eating anything that tastes good and walking 15 miles a week. So far my good fortune is holding. Thanks to a lot of people, I’m on this side of the grass and I really appreciate it.
Support the American Heart Association, and join me in the Heart Walk on Monday, Oct. 28.