The driver who collected me from the airport this morning was concerned about his health:
As I got into the car he was connected to someone at his Doctor’s Surgery who informed him that there weren’t any appointments available today. Apparently he had been waiting in a queue for 30 minutes. He seemed slightly disappointed but not surprised.
I don’t know what his symptoms were. Fortunately he didn’t volunteer any details and I didn’t ask. Even I have learned that’s not a question to ask close relatives let alone complete strangers. Given I was in his hands for the duration of my trip to the office, and that we were breathing the same air, I hoped it wasn’t anything too serious!
As he drove however I was treated to a monologue on his general state of health and associated concerns. One of the major factors seemed to be his father having a Heart Attack last year, something I could obviously relate to…
Driving a taxi isn’t the most physically active of jobs. Since he started driving about 18 months ago he has put on a lot of weight. In fact, he said he’s put on over 20 kilos. This seems an awful lot of weight to put on in such a short period; it just goes to show what a combination of negative factors can do for you.
Doritos are his major weakness. He eats two family bags a day; one to pass time while waiting on his car, and one at home as a pre-bedtime snack. He felt that he was “unable to give them up”.
Eating healthily is a challenge for him. He doesn’t like vegetables. Apparently he’s scared of them. To be more accurate, he’s scared of the idea of the taste of vegetables and therefore doesn’t eat them. As he continued to talk about his fear of vegetables, it transpired that due to this fear, he has only ever tried two types.
To his surprise, he actually liked both of the vegetables he has tried; grilled tomatoes and okra. I would therefore put him in the “likes every vegetable he’s ever tried, but hasn’t tried many” camp.
Over the weekend he had been required to help push a friend’s car. He struggled; feeling generally weak, he tired quickly and it wiped him out for the day. An ex-smoker, he doesn’t do very much exercise. He’s often exhausted after a hard day at work, and tends to relax in front of the TV to unwind.
As our journey went on the number of risk factors increased. On one level I felt sorry for him as he was obviously worried and is stuck in a rut. Many aspects of his lifestyle are not that different to how mine used to be pre-Heart Attack.
On another level I wanted to shout at him; he seems fully aware of what he’s doing, not doing and the potential risks, but is seemingly unable to do anything about them.
I sincerely hope he does get an appointment with his Doctor, and I hope his Doctor is able to help him get back on track.
For me it served as a reminder of how easy it could be to slip back into bad habits. Any thoughts of skipping a trip to the hotel gym this evening due to fatigue were quickly erased.