Monday, June 1, 2009

Food, Fiber, Friends and CS Lewis


Last week it became clear to me that the endless bounty of food at the DFAC (dining facility) was not providing me with enough fiber. So I went to the only store in town--the PX--and found that they sell every conceivable sugared snack, but no high fiber food. Coincidentally, I got an email from my 20-year veteran uncle asking if there is anything I need. I asked for a case of Grape Nuts cereal.

I was already eating the top five high-fiber foods on the web lists. Then I thought I could go on sick call. But that thought only lasted a second or so. I don't mind going on sick call for a bone spur or an acute illness, but the medical unit is mostly staffed by women in their 20s. So I did not want to go on sick call and explain my problem.

As usually happens when I think about human interactions for more than a minute, something from CS Lewis comes to mind. I remember reading in more than one of his essays that we are apt to judge a man as having a spiritual problem when he really just suffers from chronic indigestion. So rather than go on sick call, I asked for help from a nearly-50-year-old ex-Marine who sometimes sits in the DFAC and yells back at the TV news when "Liberals" are on. It turns out he has had digestive trouble for many years and had lots of good advice plus a huge stash of fiber supplements. And he was happy to share. I am going home in 11 days, so I will be able to go to a real store and get all the fiber that America has to offer, but in the meantime, I got by with a little help from my friend.