Joe Hudson

Joe Hudson

I was on the front porch when you drove by and I waved, thankful for modern medicine and salad bars.

It’s a blessing to have medical professionals in your family and circle of friends, as in my case --- two registered nurses, a surgeon, a dentist, and a physician who doubles as my Sunday School teacher. We dreamers and political junkies need occasional contact with hard science.

Recently one of the medical professionals in my circle stated that the practice of prescribing medicine and screening procedures is influenced from the high cost of American health care, that doctors feel pressured to give the patient something tangible because of the costly office visit. This was an opinion that I found interesting. It was like hearing somebody with a new take on toothpaste. I’m pro-pills, especially muscle relaxants, and I enjoy that cleaned-out refreshed feeling you get from a colonoscopy procedure, and since insurance always paid the postage, I never thought much about it. Interesting.

My oldest sister is a registered nurse and so available for immediate consultation. I emailed her my blood pressure readings and she said they were fine, not to worry. I figured as much, but it’s good to hear it from someone who actually passed anatomy.

My trust in modern medicine saves me from searching for alternatives such as artisanal teas, essential oils, Joel Osteen, and pity. If a person with a stethoscope around his or her neck, wearing a long white coat, with “Dr.” in front of their name, handed me two Jelly Belly beans I would soon feel much better. I sit in a doctor’s office and the sound of medical words whispered in the hallway and the smell of disinfectants bring me comfort.

This faith in medicine helps a person stay positive as they age.

My adolescent years saw attempts at writing stories and songs that were dark, then my acne went away, I grew up, started reading newspapers, kissed a girl, acquired a steady job, became active in church, found a good doctor, and my attitude brightened. I’m now 66, have a legal will and own a cemetery plot and think about death less than I think about the 1803 Louisiana Purchase.

We’re bombarded daily with bad news and hysterics about global warming, disappearing rainforests, pestilence, famines and predictions of our country overran with swarms of lawless drifters. The prophet Ezekiel was a vocal no-nonsense guy, not a person you’d invite to your pool party, who wrote “…I will judge thee according to thy ways…the sword is without and the pestilence and famine within.”. It’s noteworthy that the evening news and scientist periodically announce modern Ezekielisms, sometimes in bold headlines.

Recently my pizza was delivered by a millennial with a degree in liberal arts. Like many, he graduated with a load of debt for an education designed to offend no one, and now the only job he can find is delivering food, which is hard because he attended a progressive school where traditional teaching methods for math were forbidden and so he can’t add numbers to make change without his iPhone. Meanwhile news outlets carry stories of asteroid near-misses and Democratic presidential candidates increase like lemmings.

How to cope with all this?

Here’s what I do. Read the morning newspaper while sipping coffee. Chill out. Count your blessings: GPS, email, a strong pulse in your wrist, the vast assortment of fresh items and artisanal cheeses now found in supermarket salad bars. Delicious!

Get an annual physical check-up and always return for seconds at the salad bar because that and good medical professionals are modern blessings. Feel better? Have a great day.

Readers can write to Joe at and Facebook (View from the Hudson). He is author of “Big Decisions are Best Made with Hot Dogs”.

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