By 5 p.m., I knew I was in trouble. By midnight, the pains were child-birth-big. It was time to head to the ER for the ritual of vein piercing and hydration. Afterward, I was a sad-sack hunk of flesh, still breathing only because of attentive nursing and good old Ringer’s Lactase solution. Needless to say, I was in hospital during those two perfectly warm days during which I’d planned to make my final harvest, haul dirt, and "put the ground to bed."
Still standing were two four-foot foot plus stalks of Brussels sprout and a bed of kale and one of beets. Only the beets, after my release from the hospital, were still on the menu—at least for the next few months, they said. After that, caution was advised regarding how much fiber I attempt to put through my system. My kind neighbor was happy to receive the sprouts. The dino leaves of Lacinto kale went into the freezer for some distant dish of Colcannon.
It was sobering to realize that ingesting a raw carrot could, in my case, become a flirtation with death. I'd confused a desire "to live normally,” with what was, in cold reality, possible. Simply "eating what I wanted" had wandered into the Kingdom of Denial. The episode was one of those humbling -- but inevitable -- reality checks that are part of aging.
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