Spooktober – 50ccs of Red

The professional woman in her slim fitting white coat carefully grazes her eyes over the paperwork. Her eyes run laps up and down the paper each sheet, making sure everything was filed out correctly and that nothing was missed. Spotting something curious on the second page, the woman takes her black pen, neatly tucked away inside the bun of hair on the top of her head, and presses down on it, “Your son wrote down that your diet consists mostly of red meats.” She lifts her head up and focuses on the family awaiting in front of her.

A pair of adults, one male and one female, can barely keep themselves in their seats. Although both of them easily show signs of maturity with graying hairs, sleep deprived eyes, and light wrinkles on their faces, they’re eager to answer the question the woman has provided. However since the male, roughly in his late forties, was the one who filled out the paperwork, he’s the first one to answer, “He eats it at least three times a week, whether it’s a burger, steak, meatloaf, whatever we’re having for dinner. To be honest, he was told a few years ago that too much read meats are bad for his heart, but he kept eating it a lot anyways.”

Although he’s the patient in the bed the older man, wrapped up underneath the thick, white bed sheets, gives off a serious glare at the young man, “And nothing’s going to stop me from having my steak. If something that tastes good is going to be the reason why I die, then I’d gladly eat it in a heartbeat.”

Irritated by her father’s ignorant words the woman gets up from her seat and begins her rant at the elderly man, “Your heartbeat is the reason why we’re even here in the first place, Dad. You said you could literally feel your heartbeat skip a few times this week. And they all happened when you were sitting on the couch doing nothing but watching the screen! How the hell does watching television make a person skip a beat?”
The elderly man gives a quick witted answer, “Have you seen the newest season of ‘Dawn of the Fallen?’ There was so much action going on, your adrenaline would kick into overdrive just from watching it.”

Tired of her father’s attempt at reasoning the woman sits back down in her and begins to tap her fingers on the armrest and mumbles to herself, “Even when in the hospital, all he does is joke around.”

The woman in the white coat looks at everybody in the room, each of them having a very different expression on their face. Seeing the daily struggle of a simple three person family makes her chuckle just a bit before continuing her earlier questioning, “So, about three times a week. Is that about right, Mr. Marshall?”

The elderly man answers, “Yeah? So?”

“Well, although having a steak every now and then is perfectly fine, having it three times a week can lead to health issues, such as high blood cholesterol. If left unchecked, it can even be a major contribution to heart disease.”

For all of his life, the elderly man has eaten his way through hundreds of steaks, burger, and other things that was cooked with red meat. This entire time, he had no idea that this lifelong habit could possibly lead to his current bodily issues. In light of this new information to him, he hesitantly looks out the corner of his eyes at his daughter; he catches a glimpse of her giving him a long middle finger. “So, you’re telling me doc, that the reason why I had these recent heart issues is because of my eating habit…?”

The woman looks back at the paperwork again, “Until we conduct some thorough examinations, it’s just a simple hypothesis. I’d rather be safe than sorry just in case you head home and start to experience more heart related issues. It’ll take a few days to run all of the tests, but we just want to cover all the bases.”

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