How bout them apples?

The dog and I both adore apples. We eat one nearly every day—usually slathered in peanut butter at the dog’s request. At one point I was young and naïve and easily convinced of the old aphorism that An apple a day …

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Now that I am older and … older, I now know that statement to be pure bunk. An apple a day does nothing more than deplete the jar of peanut butter in the fridge. It also creates an incredibly distracting background track of canine lip smacking for about ten minutes after breakfast while I attempt to focus on writing, but as he is a living example of ‘good to the last drop,’ I try not to find fault with him and get on with the business of work.

Regardless, I have found the apple myth a frustrating one, as with each year that passes, I find myself in more waiting rooms, examining rooms and pharmacy lines than the collective number of hanging fruit in an entire orchard. And I know I have eaten the suggested serving—and then some.

The dentist–after his five second, “Let’s have a look-see,”–says to me, “Looks great! See you in six months!” And then whispers to the nurse on his way out something unintelligible. She then informs me that, “Dr. Q says things look lovely apart from the two antique fillings that need replacing and that itsy bitsy root canal that needs to be done. So as you’re paying up front, make sure you get on the appointment calendar ASAP. Have a good one and don’t forget to floss!”

Of course those appointments can’t be done in one fell swoop. They must be broken down into three 75 minute procedures. And by then it’s time for my next cleaning.

The ophthalmologist I see once a year, but I see the members of his staff in charge of handing out supplies–every three months. Somebody in my family wears contacts and rarely remembers to pick up her stockpile. After the third *ahem* polite reminder phone call, I go get them.

My OBGYN and I are pretty tight, as anyone you give permission to poke and prod all your bits and pieces should be with you, but I’d have to say I’m even closer with the nurse practitioner who apologizes profusely just before she stretches some of those bits and pieces halfway across the room prior to slamming them between two encyclopedias. She cries a little at this, and I feel bad at the weekly therapy she likely pays for—an expensive repercussion of her concern for women’s health.

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My General Practitioner likes to see me every year to do four things.

1. Make eye contact with me in order to have legal permission to continue calling in another year’s worth of all the prescriptions she’s written into my chart as “age appropriate” and “preventative.”

2. Have me pee in a cup. *shiver*

3. Draw a gallon or two of blood. I’m serious. I have a lot of blood in my veins just waiting for the chance to pop right out of my skin. No nurse practitioner ever takes me or the note in my chart seriously when hearing or reading the words Careful. She’s a gusher. People have to go home and change uniforms after lab work with me.

4. Prescribe one more thing that either the medical profession or Prevention magazine has universally recognized as the next “age appropriate” and “preventative” wonder drug.

Which then brings me to the pharmacy line and my friendly neighborhood pharmacist, who at this point can barely keep up with my weekly order. We’re thinking about putting some of my meds on tap for easy access and refill.

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But it’s not just me and my appointments that fill up my calendar, there’s also all the physicians who care for the kids, the dog and cat, and my car. They’ve all got nose to tailpipe care that must be scheduled as well.

Skimming through a journal whilst waiting for somebody to walk back through a door marked “Patient Care,” I came across an article that discusses the latest finding about apples and lung health. Apparently, according to the study, eating four or five apples a week is linked to slightly better lung function. I rolled my eyes and threw the periodical across the waiting room.

The next day I was folding laundry and heard the hound begin to bark. I guessed someone had pulled up to the house. He and I both abhor visitors so I let him go to town with his efforts at raising the alarm. The doorbell rang and the dog ratcheted up his labors to a fevered pitch. By the time I rounded the corner and reached the door, whomever it was had decided to split.

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“Well done, bud,” I said to him. “You’ve driven away another unwanted caller.” I walked past the fruit bowl and tossed him an apple. “That was some impressive lung function.”

I’m not fussed because I finally found some truth to that tired saying: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. And you can bet it was a doctor, as they’re basically the only people I know.

~Shelley

**Gotta Have a Gott**

In January, Rob and I announced that his sketches will be available toward the end of the year in the form of a 2015 calendar! And our readers would get to be the judges and voters for which doodles they’d like to see selected for each month. We’ll reveal the winners one by one, and come November, If you’ve Gotta have a GOTT, you can place your order. Click here to see the cartoons in competition and to cast your vote.

Don’t forget to check out what we’re cookin’ in the Scullery and what we all talked about down in the pub. Plus, you can see more of Robin Gott‘s humor–all from the only pen carved from a human funny bone.

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43 thoughts on “How bout them apples?

    • I’m right there with you, Raj. One only has to sniff around and peel back the layers of some of these “studies” to discover the tight-lipped, buttoned-up researchers are providing some pretty convincing results for the industry that’s funding the collection of data. Sheesh, that stuff makes me want to pop my top.
      You hang in there. Some desserts are worth it. 😛

  1. I’ve finally added Rob’s website to my bloglovin’! Woohoo! 😀

    Love the sketches on this one, and the stories crack me up. But, as hard as it is to believe, the dentist in Japan is worse! It took me six visits to get a root canal taken care of. SIX! All in 15-20 minute intervals. Pretty sure the dude just loved watching me open my wallet. 😛

    • It’s gut-wrenching, isn’t it, Alex? All those visits and the wasted time. And even worse is the deplorable experience of seeing money hemorrhaging from your bank account. UGH!

      On the other hand, I’m so glad to hear Rob’s cartoon’s will brighten another person’s week. A few minutes a levity can do wonders for all our aches and pains. 😉

    • Thanks for following my website, Alex and even though I can’t promise that my cartoons will take the pain out of root canal work (NOTHING can do that!) I hope they can at least bring a sparkly smile to people’s faces 🙂

  2. Haha, I love the way you find humor in life! Shoot though, my mom always told me the same thing and I was still too young to know differently until this post. 🙂

    • Poor moms. They really get the brunt end of a lot in life. I’m pretty sure I owe mine a Hallmark store worth of thank you cards, and likely dozens of sorry-for-being-such-a-schmuck cards. The plan I’m going with right now is to continually gift her bottles of hard liquor when I visit so that I can keep her memory somewhat fuzzy while we chat. So far so good.
      Thank for reading, Sasha, and especially for sharing.
      Now go hug your mom. (and tell her a good joke) 😛

    • I can only imagine the pure bliss and indulgence of having your own orchard. I’d likely wander about from tree to tree feeling like I was in my own little version of Willing Wonka’s chocolate factory. And I’d likely never see the hound come in the house again. He’d plant himself at the base of a tree and wait for the harvest.
      Lucky you!

      • We have an apple, plum and elderberry tree, plus a rhubarb root. If there aren’t any fruit trees in our next property, hopefully we’ll be able to plant our own.
        At least we can still grow our veg!
        My parents had an orchard, 3 pear trees, 2 plum trees and 3 apple trees. The plums were huge, and the wine…………….oh the wine………!

  3. As I get older, much older in fact, I’m finding that any fruit I like, including apples is a good thing. They have that stuff they always talk about on those TV commercials, FIBER. If you’re not giving your insides enough jolts every day, which is the case for most of us seeing that we sit way to much, you need all the fiber you can get in your diet. Our pets know most than what we give them crdeit for. 🙂

    • I totally agree, Glynis. If ever I am stumped with something in life, I turn to my faithful hound. If he doesn’t know the answer, we flip a coin. Heads we plow through the problem, tails we take a nap. 😛

    • You are a lucky one indeed! Maybe it’s that ‘extra’ apple a day that’s doing the trick? Or it could be that you pulled the lucky lottery ticket in the game of genetics. Maybe you should write a thank you note to your folks. 😀
      Fingers crossed it all stays that way.

  4. Well, go figure. I haven’t been able to eat apples for years and have had no health repercussions. Previously, in my apple eating days, I had four surgeries in 5 years!! I’m not giving up my peanut butter, though they may have to bury me with the jar in my hand!

    • I’m beginning to think they might just be a vehicle to transport peanut butter for me at this point, although when I find a perfect one, I may struggle with the thought of giving up that kind of bliss.

      And I love the visual of attending an open coffin wake where every one starts whispering, “What’s with the jar of Smuckers?” ❤

  5. Okay, so because I am currently obsessing over all things health related – including which prescription meds are good/necessary versus which ones are pimped by our GP’s because evil big pharma lines their pockets, I have to ask, what are ‘age-appropriate and preventative meds’? I busted my ass with a year of daily exercise to get off of daily blood pressure meds, so today I’m prescription-free, but now I’m wondering if I’m missing out on something positive/good?? 🙂

    • Chances are, Nancy, your regimen is totally sufficient. My last visit to the ophthalmologist was one where I was borderline not passing the macular degeneration test so I was advised to start (for one year) taking lutein and zeaxanthin (even though I eat more than a sufficient amount of leafy greens – I just don’t absorb them properly), GP says Omegas 3/6/9 (same thing here – I’m a huge fan of salmon, but out of luck with the absorption bit), glucosamine – as I am regularly harsh on my joints and I’m trying to keep injury-based arthritis from limiting my desire to jump on the bed and leap over furniture for fun, low dose aspirin – cardio care for all folks. Bits like this. Specific to me, but not all.
      Congrats on getting off the blood pressure meds. What a great battle to win. 😀

  6. As is so often the case, Shelley, I feel your pain (even as I’m laughing 🙂 ). Not only do I have two mooching dogs who LOVE apples and peanut butter, but it seems I’m constantly heading to one doctor appointment or another. I’m picky about which apples I like, so I don’t eat them every day, because sometimes I just can’t find my favorite kinds of apples at the store. I do try to eat fresh fruit every day, and I imagine it can only help. Just think, Shelley, if we weren’t eating all those apples and other fruits, we might be bedridden by now! And I figure the dogs can use the apples as well. They’re seniors, both 13 years old this year, and I’m taking them to the vet almost as often as I’m taking myself to various medical appointments.

    • I think about the health and welfare of my hound probably way more than I do that of my own. Somehow I don’t mind the extra time and effort spent on his behalf, as he is certainly adding to my longevity and happiness factor. It sounds, Miranda, like you and your posse are similarly close.
      And I remember the days when packed into my lunch bag was the most boring and detestable of all apple varieties, yet the only one our Podunk town’s grocery store stocked: Red Delicious. And they weren’t. Going shopping today is magical with the bucketloads of choice. I feel spoiled and try to spread the love and gratitude around.
      Happy crunching–to the three of you! 😛

      • Oh, yes, the dogs are doted on and spoiled, because as Andy Rooney said, “‘The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.” Red Delicious apples are the WORST! I’ll take a Granny Smith over a Red Delicious any day, but my favorite is a Pink Lady. We are indeed fortunate to have so many tasty apple choices now.

  7. My Father, Grandfather, and Uncle: All doctors.
    Don’t trust doctors.
    Might be a Freudian thing.
    Oh, and Grandmother was a pharmacist.
    Don’t trust drug dealers either.
    Mom was a grammar school teacher
    (don’t like teachers)
    Maternal Grandmother was a librarian
    (Don’t like Librarians)
    Maternal Grandfather was drunkard and a boxer.
    Like drunken boxers, especially when they are trying to shoot me.
    (shameless plug below)
    Cheers,
    Lance

    http://wp.me/p2Yfgl-du

    • How bout writers? You okay with our lot?
      Self-love, Lance, right?

      And that is one doozy of a story. Worth holding your breath through the entire telling. I hope folks head off to read it. Glad you’re around to tell it. 😉

  8. Great post…I particularly like the illustrations here (I always do, but I can never eat another Golden Delicious apple without thinking of ‘Golden Delicious’ as a guy who wants to be the Fonz;))

    • Now there’s a visual.

      I’d have to say that the day I get my posts back from Rob are my favorite day of the week and my favorite piece of mail. What unfolds in his brain while reading my essays is always a surprise – I can never second guess what he’ll sketch. Unless it’s me. I’m actually a lot better looking in cartoon form than in real life, so I’m incredibly grateful there.
      😛

    • Yes, it’s true, there is certainly a place in our world for much needed and much appreciated physicians. And I certainly hope you’re getting your recommended apple allowance for each day. It would be a terrible shame not to have the results of your walking and photographing all you see in the natural world. Good health to you!

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