19 September, 2008

Health

Back in Sydney. Where it's warmer than Brisbane was - how wrong is that?

I went for my aged 45–49 subsidised Health Check today. Visual acuity magnificent (except for reading, where I really need it), heart good, blood yet to be tested (have to fast for that), head okay, but of course there is Too. Much. Grog. in my life. She took her special doctor's pencil and circled 'Risky or high-risk drinking' on the list. Not risky as in might-fall-over-and-hit-my-head, or assault someone, but risky for Alzheimer's, heart disease, blood pressure.

I was, of course, totally stunned and surprised (not).

'How much does it cost you?' she said. 'Lots,' I said. 'You could use that money to reward yourself.' 'But I use alcohol to reward myself!' I said. She didn't seem to understand. Funny old doctor-people.

So is there anyone out there who likes wine as much as I do and has found a good method of cutting back on it? I mean, I know what to do, but stickability is a problem. Has anyone achieved a comfortable solution long-term?

12 Comments:

Blogger Jeremy Kelly said...

The good thing about me is that if I have one beer, writing goes out the window. So, as I have recently begun to take writing a bit more seriously, I have had to find a solution and it is this:

Sun - Thu. No drinking. Only writing. Pretend that it tastes the same. Somethimes that helps.

Fri - Sat. Reward yourself.I usually reward myself too much. Actually, I think I drink the same amount as I ever have - I just cram it all into two days.

So...umm... I guess the answer to your question would be... no. Nothing sensible.

19 September, 2008 10:55  
Blogger The Scarlet Tree said...

Breastfeeding helps :)
I love a good drop of red, I pour myself a glass while i'm cooking but some always goes in the pot. Of couse I can only have a smidge at the moment and only once or twice a week, but when I'm not feeding.... Mineral water with lots of bitters helps. I can keep sipping for a long time. Also a big drink of water, like 500ml. I down it quick before I start my glass of wine so I am a bit full.
If all that fail, buy really expesive wine - it will cost too much to keep drinking it.
lol, i just found myself thinking...."I need to order a new case of wine"....sorry i'm nt much help either!

19 September, 2008 12:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alcohol intake levels are a bit like cholesterol levels: you go in one year and you're on the edge, the next year they tell you "sorry, recommended levels have dropped so take these pills."

Now I find that if I have more than three glasses of wine in an evening I'm binge drinking. Nope. I know what binge drinking is - I've done enough of that to know, and three glasses of wine over dinner sure ain't it.

I suppose they're now saying we need to have more alcohol-free days a week than drinking days. Bastards!!

Cough - puts teeth back in. Only read the studies which say that drinking in moderation is fine. Then apply your own definition to "moderation". And, by the way, never tell doctors the truth. They love giving "holier-than-thou" lectures. Reduces their stress levels no end.

19 September, 2008 12:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops, meant to sign that last comment as by

Perry Middlemiss

who is looking forward to a glass of red, or five, tonight.

19 September, 2008 12:17  
Blogger Misrule said...

I find not visiting the doctor solves the problem entirely.

19 September, 2008 23:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was always quite amused by John Bangsund - great Australian sf fan - who once said that he found the cost of his car repairs went way down after he bought a new in-car sound system.

Perry Middlemiss

And, yes, I "binged" tonight on red over a nice Vietnamese meal with the family. A Bendigo shiraz, and very nice it was too.

19 September, 2008 23:48  
Blogger Kirsty Murray said...

Red wine is liquid happiness. Nothing has worked for me in a BIG way but here are my small tips that work some of the time:
Decant set amount of wine into attractive clear glass decanter so you're not tempted to lie to yourself about how many glasses you've drunk.
Go for a walk straightaway after dinner, when the prospect of a totally sober evening looks the bleakest.
If you can manage two grog free nights a week, you should be very pleased with yourself - it's meant to be enough time for your liver to recover. Sigh.

20 September, 2008 18:51  
Blogger Susan said...

Besides massive dental work? That actually works well since between the vicodin and the Advil, you really cannot drink a thing.
Other than that, there are spritzer's (I know, watery wine doesn't really do it) or becoming very into all the different kinds of tea out there or the philosophy of a wise woman I know (I am trying to do this with food) is be good all week and then do what the hell you want on the weekend. However a weary liver may need more than just a week's respite.

21 September, 2008 11:44  
Anonymous Jennifer Hubert said...

That's a hard one. I actually took up running so that I could drink more beer and red wine and not worry about the calories as much! I've always subscribed to the school of thought that as long as you're having it with dinner, and it's more red than white, you're good to go. I mean, all those French people can't be wrong, can they? I mean, they eat CHEESE with their wine! And what do their doctors say?

21 September, 2008 22:55  
Blogger steven said...

I was just offered a bottle of wine for complaining about lack of internet access (in Amsterdam). So, Margo, can I suggest this method next time you stay at a hotel for a festival?

23 September, 2008 01:31  
OpenID julialawrinson said...

Give in to the newly defined alcoholism ... for what is a writer without red wine?

Seriously, though, AFDs (in varying ratios, depending on the stress of the week) seem to be the best approach in my book. Though I warn these can cause monumental grumpiness to the uninitiated.

23 September, 2008 20:12  
Anonymous Ellen said...

When my father was in the hospital, dying, he was having very lucid conversations about things that were not part of "the consensual reality." Dying, brain shutting down, lack of oxygen, and therefore, some hallucinations.

His doctor explained this to me by saying, "well, you know your father was an alcoholic, and has been for years. He's having DTs."

I have always wondered why Dad continued to see (and trust) that man.

Dad had a glass of scotch every evening, and often a glass of wine with dinner. Period.

He lived to be 85, and up until the last few weeks, was in excellent health.

So unless your drinking habits bother *you*, I'd ignore the doc.

25 September, 2008 02:30  

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