New Deli Inc.

I had an eye exam this morning at 10:30 at the Valley Eye Clinic, which is just down from Fayetteville Gastro. I had gone online and downloaded the various form I would need to fill out for my first visit as PDFs and then manually filled them in. I arrived about 10 minutes early.

After a while, I was called back and eventually made my way to an examining room where my eyes were dilated and the various initial checks were performed. I was then told to wait for the doctor to call me… and not read anything until then.

It was 2 hours and 1 minute (12:31 pm) when she called me into her office for a brief visit. She looked in my eyes with a bright light, and everything else had already be done by the tech (Alicia). The doctor said that she didn’t see any damage from the diabetes, and that they liked for annual checkups to be performed to catch any changes that might occur.

I paid $81 at the reception desk and headed outside. *Oh, they had ink pens with fake flowers attached and they were all planted in a little flower pot. Handy, once you know they are pens and not fake flowers in a pot.

My pupils were still dilated when I walked out the front door and across the street to my car. Every car now seemed to be white… bright white in the early afternoon sun. A chance of rain, but mostly sunny where I was.

I had used Google Maps to see where the eye clinic was located, and had noted that there was a café, the “New Deli Inc.” located just down from the clinic so I had gone online and found a menu and had a game plan for my first visit.

It worked out well that it was almost 1 pm when I got to the restaurant. It was small, but full except for about 3 tables. I walked up to the registers, but a young Indian (India) waiter or bus boy, asked if I was eating in, to which I said, “Yes.” He told me to just find a seat and a waitress would be over to take my order soon.

I found a little round table with 3 high chairs (which I normally shun) and took a seat. The table was still a little messy from a previous guest, but that was soon cleaned up when the waitress came to give me a menu and take my drink order.

I ordered unsweetened tea and opened the printed menu to see if it was the same as that which was online. It was almost the same, except for a few extra sandwiches, of which was the one that I wanted.

They are generous in how you can mix and match the various meats, veggies, and sauces & sides. I ordered the Angus Roast Beef sandwich on foccacia (I wanted to try the Wheatberry, but the waitress seemed oblivious to letting me and I wasn’t going to press it my first visit). I ordered Pepper Jack cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, roasted red peppers, avocado (which came out mashed) and chipotle mayo. My side was the mixed fruit cup and there was a dill pickle slice included. I think it was $6.75 for the sandwich, $1.50 for the fruit cup, and maybe the same for the unsweetened tea. However, my total bill was $8 something, so there must have been some combo discount.

There were a few customers in scrubs, a few Bragg soldiers in cammies, and assorted yuppies in casual dress, with assorted medical professional/vendors and assorted wives, etc.

My order arrived in about 15 minutes, during which time I took my glasses off, put them on, squeezed the slice of lemon into the tea, put a couple of packets of Equal in the tea and stirred with a straw. I examined the salt & pepper shakers, trying to figure out if the 3 hole was pepper and the 1 hole salt (which they were) but little pepper came out even when shaken vigorously.

The sandwich was cut in half with toothpicks holding each half together. The fruit cup was in a white Styrofoam cup with a clear plastic lid, and all in a little plastic basket. I prayed, and took a bite of the sandwich. It was really good! I enjoyed both halves for lunch. The fruit had mango and pineapple and both were almost candied and delicious. The whole experience was enjoyable. However, when I made it back to work and saw myself in a mirror, I must have looked pretty pathetic. *The tail of my new yellow shirt was hanging out the back over my dark blue Dockers. True that this morning I weighed the least I have probably weighed in 9 years coming in at 250.2 lbs., but still, I am a 58 years old man with a huge belly and hunched shoulders.

But, I feel good! The Metformin and change in diet has gotten my diabetes under control (At least, I think so.) and I am feeling physically good. I have lost 30 lbs. since the start of the year, and am much more mobile than I have been in several years.

I made it back to work, even with my pupils still being dilated and the office has the shades drawn so I will ease back into the normal world of vision hopefully before time to go home.

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