“You are up twenty-five pounds since your last visit three months ago…. Is everything OK?”
The woman on the exam table was texting away furiously, trying to get the last word in with some unknown specter. It would haunt her, so I waited patiently while she wrapped it up.
“Doc, I can’t. I just can’t.” She shifted in her seat uncomfortably, clearly exasperated. “I just don’t have time.” Her phone buzzed again and she went back to texting.
“Why don’t you tell me about it.”
She looked up, surprised. “You know…. Work. The kids. Life. We have karate, soccer, ballet, gymnastics. Church on Sunday. Church on Wednesday. I just don’t have time for exercise or for cooking healthy.”
“But you have diabetes.” I motioned for her to put the phone down, offering to put it up in her purse for her. She gave it up, reluctantly.
“I know. I’ll try to do better next time.” She said it without commitment.
“Are your kids going to earn college scholarships or go professional with their activities? Truthfully?”
“Uh, no,” she admitted.
“In the long run, what is going to be more valuable for your kids? Those activities? Or you.”
“But they enjoy those things!”
The phone vibrated loudly in the corner. She glanced over at it anxiously.
“They probably don’t enjoy it as much as you think and given the choice between hanging with you and kicking a ball around on a field, they would rather be with you.” She looked thoughtful. I was reaching her maybe. I went in for the kill. “Look, cut back on the crap. Teach your kids how to eat healthy and be healthy so when they are your age they are not sitting here having this same conversation with their doctor. Diabetes is partly genetic, as you already know…”
We went on to have a lengthy conversation about diet and exercise and counting calories and kids and life.
She left, head bent over her smartphone, typing as she walked.
She almost ran into the wall.
At the end of the day, after a hospital admission and a few emergency calls, I was running terribly behind myself. I grabbed my kids from school late and ordered a pizza on the way home. I buried myself in blogging between bites as we ate. That was the third fast food dinner that week.
Three months later, she had not lost any weight and neither had I.
Doctor, heal thyself.
The hypocrite in me says these rules don’t apply to my own life.
But they do.
So this weekend I turned off the push notifications on my blog. I cooked more. I played more. Exercised. I cried some. Working again on that work/life balance that can be so elusive at times…