Several years ago I played a round of golf at Tidewater with John Ribar, the late longtime golf writer for The Sun News.
John, about 90 then and still an avid and capable golfer, had recently spent some time in a hospital.
“I lost 25 pounds,’’ he said. “But I like to tell people I lost 25 yards.’’
It was a reference, of course, to his sapped strength from his weight loss.
Well, John, I can now do you one better.
I entered the hospital Feb. 1 weighing 167 pounds. Two weeks ago I weighed in at 141 pounds a loss of 26 pounds in less than two months. (Yes, fellow Grand Strand Swingers, that would be a loss of 26 yards.)
The weight loss resulted from near-total inactivity, of course, but also from a stunning loss of appetite.
I think the only time my bride got frustrated with me during the first two weeks of my hospital stay was my refusal to eat or drink anything other than water. I craved water.
Even at the end of my stay, I had to force myself to eat hospital food that was surprisingly good, and then I could finish only half my plate.
It has all turned me into a sort of anorexic. One time, after a close inspection of my withered arm, I mentioned to a nurse that I was starting to look like a Holocaust victim.
Once I got home I realized all my shirts hung on me like a mu-mu. My pants, once a bit snug, fell to my ankles without a belt. A McClellanville friend saw me from a distance and didn’t recognize me until I came much closer. “You’re so thin,’’ he said.
As a Type 2 diabetic, I have to be careful with what I eat, meaning I am not gaining much weight.
But I’m trying. The other day Elaine and I went with a couple of friends to Wicked Tuna in Murrells Inlet and my eyes drove right past the slate of seafood dishes.
“I’ll have a cheeseburger,’’ I told the server.
“Come to Wicked Tuna and order a cheeseburger,’’ he joked.
“Yeah, well, I’ve been eating fish for two months. It’s time for a cheeseburger. And fries.’’
The cheeseburger, along with an improved appetite, helped me weigh in at 144 poundsThursday _ a gain of three pounds. Or three yards, in John Ribar’s world.
Contact BOB BESTLER at firstname.lastname@example.org.