A scoop of ice cream won’t hurt, or will it?

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First, I want to thank everyone for all of the cards, letters, texts, emails and phone calls after my recent stay in the hospital. Surprisingly enough, most of the correspondence was even from people to whom I did NOT owe money, so I know those were sincere  — and appreciated. 

I feel great, but recovery from heart surgery is a slow process that is especially tough on someone who wants to be outside doing things, and feels like they are capable of activities they know they are not ready to undertake. 

The doctor’s orders were strict, including very specific instructions that prohibit me from lifting, pushing or pulling anything, greater than 5 pounds for the entire first month post-surgery. That order, along with many others, are being enforced by a nurse (my wife) that is even more stringent than the meanest doctor alive, so I don’t have many options. I did, however, have a little setback, a few nights ago.

I had been at home for about a week, after being discharged from the hospital, and I hadn’t had much of an appetite. That hadn’t bothered me since I could afford to lose a lot more weight than I had at that point, but Judy thought I needed to slow down my weight loss. It was almost bed time when she asked, “How about a bowl of your favorite ice cream?”

One of my mother’s favorite sayings quickly spewed out of my mouth, “A scoop of ice cream never hurt anyone.”

Judy went to the garage to retrieve an unopened, half-gallon of my favorite from the big freezer and since the big freezer keeps everything frozen harder than the one in the house, she instructed me to let it sit on the counter for a few minutes before trying to scoop it out into a bowl. I have about as much patience in eating, as I do in healing, so after a couple of minutes, I found myself with an ice cream scoop, bearing down on the frozen treat with a force that far exceeded my 5-pound limit. At first, I felt a little discomfort in the area of my breastbone, then a quick, short pop in my sternum made me realize doctors probably know more than I give them credit. Judy had to help me to the bed, and I required an extra pain pill to get rid of the discomfort that I had inflicted upon myself.

One of my neighbors called the next day to see how I was doing, so I told him the story of my ICI (ice cream injury) from the night before. “Well,” he began, “I guess you learned your lesson.”

“Nope, I just learned that Judy needs to scoop out the ice cream for me. After all, everyone knows, a scoop of served ice cream never hurt anyone.”

Jerry Crownover farms in Lawrence County. He is a former professor of Agriculture Education at Missouri State University, and is an author and professional speaker. To contact Jerry, go to ozarksfn.com and click on ‘Contact Us.’

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