My parents and I, along with a couple of friends from our church, tried a new restaurant today. We had never been there but had heard nothing but good things about it.

I was a bit worried, because it has been described as a typical Southern Barbecue joint. Congestive Heart Failure patients (like me) are almost always put on a low sodium diet; and the phrase “low sodium” doesn’t mesh well with a typical Southern Barbecue joint. You know, the type that has a sign out front with a cartoon drawing of a smiling pig. A smiling pig? Apparently no one has told this pig how barbecue is prepared.

When your body retains fluid (as it does in CHF) your heart has to work harder pumping your blood, and since the muscle is already losing it’s elacisity, that’s not good. That’s why we are prescribed diuretics and told to stay away from the salt shaker. In fact, I normally carry a 22 caliber two shot Derringer in my sock, in case I’m ever attacked by a renegade bottle of Sodium Cloride. Meanwhile, back in the kitchen, your barbecue is being prepared with the finest in high sodium rubs and sauces. But everything is ok, because I have been assured that along with the ‘cue, this restaurant also serves excellent steaks, prepared any way you like them.

Sure enough, the buffet is all barbecue, all the time. And it sure looks (and smells!) good. I grab a menu while everyone else sprints for the buffet, and pretty soon the waitress is ready to take my order. Miss, I would like a 6 ounce steak, with NO seasoning. And a I’d like some grilled onions, too!

She sighs. “I’m sorry. The grill is cracked, so we aren’t cooking steaks today. I can bring you a barbecue sandwich.”

Umm… think I better avoid that. With no other option available, my lunch was a trip to the salad bar. I did slip off to the buffet and get a serving of rice, but the rice had already been seasoned. Once you stop putting salt on your food, it’s almost a jolt to your mouth when you taste it.

One of my friends returned to the table, his plate piled high with God’s gift to the Southern palate. He took one look the garden on my plate and frowned. “You’re still on those food restrictions, huh?”


“Any idea when they are going to going to take you off of them?”

“I’m afraid not,” I said, not mentioning that the diet is a lifetime thing.

Everyone enjoyed barbecue — even the dog! Daddy took her the remnants of a couple of barbecued ribs, and she had a good meal tonight. As you probably know, it’s depressing to be left out of the fun.

But I look at it this way: I give up things now to get better things later. I still want the wonderful young lady; the 2.3 kids, and the picket fence. So if missing out on a few things here and there gives me a better chance to meet my goals, I’ll deal with it. Oh, I’ll probably whine a little, but it will all work out.

You see, I have plans. One day, the ACHA is going to go out of business. Eventually some smart doctors will figure everything out and CHD’s will be both curable and preventable. And on that day when they don’t need us any more, I wanna be the guy who turns off the lights and locks the office door for the last time.


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One Response to “Isolated”

  1. Recent Links Tagged With "sodium" - JabberTags Says:

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