RT Cunningham


Battling with My Demons and with My Health, One Day at a Time

demons I’m battling with my demons every day of the week. These are demons of my design, not something supernatural. You could say I’m battling with my mind and you’d be correct, but it’s not that easy.

I have some bad habits, but that really depends on how you define “bad”. Just because someone tells you something is “bad”, it isn’t necessarily true. It’s one of the reasons I avoid doctors and hospitals.

I Can Name My Demons

Before I continue, you have to know the last time I spent time as a patient in a hospital or doctor’s office was in 1978, about three months before I joined the military. After that, I didn’t go to a doctor when I was sick and I didn’t go to a doctor when I was injured. I should have gone when I was injured, but the only specialists I ever saw were physical therapists, each time, and those physical therapists weren’t doctors.

You see, I don’t like doctors. Most doctors learn what they need to learn to get their degrees and licenses. Rarely do they keep up-to-date with the latest… I don’t even know how to word it. I’ll try to explain what I mean a little later.

I smoke too much. I’ve always smoked too much (since I was 15). Oh, I’ve had periods of weeks at a time when I didn’t smoke at all, but I always went back to doing it. I’m going to defeat the tobacco demon once and for all and I know how to do it. The first step is to set up a reminder at hourly intervals (and only smoke at those intervals), then lengthen those intervals every 10 days (I’ve already installed an Android app to assist me).

[2020 Note: I quit smoking after I wrote this article, in the same year, which was 2016. I have not started up again and it’s been nearly four years. I think I beat that demon for good.]

I don’t drink too much. At least, I don’t think so. I rarely get drunk. I’m very particular about what I drink. It has to be good rum and it has to be mixed with one kind of soft drink or another. I don’t like beer. I usually use cola with plain rum and cream soda with spiced rum. I avoid soft drinks when I’m not mixing them with alcohol.

Look, I usually max out at two drinks in any given day. If someone wants to call me an alcoholic, so be it because I can go for months without drinking any kind of alcoholic beverage. My last break was more than a year and it didn’t bother me at all. There’s no alcohol demon residing here.

[2020 Note: I don’t drink mixed drinks anymore. I switched to straight whiskey to avoid the carbs.]

I’m not in good health even though I eat healthy foods and drink mostly water and fruit juices. I avoid junk food. Although I’m overweight by about 50 pounds, I’m called obese in this area of the world. I’m not a spring chicken (I’m 55), so I shouldn’t be expected to be at my ideal weight. I was between the ages of 28 and 38 when I was.

The only reason I’m as heavy as I am now is because I can’t exercise like I used to exercise. I’m working on exorcising the fat demon as I write this and it’s very slow going.

My lower left leg is swollen and it stays that way. I badly twisted my left ankle in 1994 or 1995 (I really don’t remember) after stepping in hole while running in an area that wasn’t agreeable with running. I was in the Marine Corps and I had to stay in shape, so I had to go running where and when I could.

I badly twisted my left knee sometime before I moved to the Philippines in 2006, after falling down a flight of stairs. A couple of my young relatives had left their shoes on the stairs, where they weren’t supposed to be, and I didn’t see them.

My lower left leg didn’t start swelling until sometime in 2007, presumably because I’d put on a bit of weight. I started wearing diabetic socks to keep from getting skin ulcers. It’s a condition I don’t like talking about and this is the first time I’ve mentioned it outside my immediate family and close relatives.

Yes, I can name my demons. I’ve mentioned a couple, but a few more demons are just as bad. Their names are “self-loathing”, “depression” and “anxiety”. You may not call them demons, but I think they’re just as destructive as real demons are purported to be.

I don’t like having my picture taken. I avoid cameras that are pointed at me unless I don’t see them. It’s hard to do when a bunch of people are using their mobile phones to take pictures. I don’t like looking at pictures with me in them. I get depressed a lot, but not what some would call a medical depression. I never go that deep. And anxiety, I can’t describe other than I dread certain things that keep coming up.

Uneducated Doctors are the Real, Human Demons

When I say uneducated, I mean not even close to being up-to-date in their education. After decades, cholesterol has been proven to have nothing to do with heart disease. The same goes with saturated fats. And yet, doctors are still prescribing cholesterol drugs and nutritionists are still touting low-fat diets.

When they first “discovered” that cholesterol was bad, their target was the incredible, edible egg. That was before they found out there were two types, both good and bad cholesterol. Years after that fact was verified, doctors were still telling people to avoid eggs.

As I said earlier, most doctors don’t keep up-to-date with things. I know refresher training is offered regularly because I worked a temp job at a major hospital in Phoenix back in the late 1990s. Most doctors say they’re too busy to attend refresher training. I think they care about the money they make and not the patients they’re supposed to serve. They’re human demons in disguise.

Share: Facebook | Twitter

By RT Cunningham
February 16, 2016