Sanjiva Wijesinha -writer and physician

Short stories, Travel and Health Information

Why Take Care of Your Health?


As a doctor, I spend a lot of time at consultations advising patients about ways of maintaining good health and living long and healthy lives.

While I am sure that it pays for patients to listen to their doctors, I often wonder whether there are times when our patients really wonder whether following their doctors’ advice is actually worthwhile!

One day a patient shared this story with me – and I am relating it here the week after the Sri Lankan New Year with my tongue firmly in my cheek, for the reading pleasure and amusement of my readers

A certain husband and wife were both 85 years old and had been married for 60 years. Although they were far from rich, they had managed to get by comfortably because they were modest in their habits and careful with their money. Although not young they were both in very good health, largely due to following their family doctor’s advice and the wife’s insistence on healthy foods and regular exercise.

One day, their good health didn’t help when they were both knocked down by a reckless driver, died on the spot, and promptly ended up in Heaven.

They reached the pearly gates of Heaven, from where St. Peter courteously escorted them inside. He took them to a beautiful mansion, furnished in gold and fine silks, with a fully stocked kitchen and a bathroom that had a waterfall and a large spa bath. A maid could be seen hanging their favourite clothes in the closet. They gasped in astonishment when St Peter said, ‘Welcome to Heaven, this will now be your home.’

The old man asked Peter how much all this was going to cost. ‘Nothing,’ Peter replied, ‘remember, you have led a good and morally upright life on Earth and this is your reward in Heaven.’

Playing Golf

The old man looked out the window and right there he saw a championship golf course, finer and more beautiful than any he had ever seen on Earth. ‘What are the greens fees?’ asked the old man. ‘This is heaven,’ St. Peter replied. ‘You can play for free, every day.’

Next they went to the clubhouse and saw a lavish buffet lunch, with every imaginable cuisine laid out before them from exotic chicken buryani and fried rice to delectable-looking fish, pork and prawn. On the side table were plenty of calorie and sugar-loaded desserts as well as drinks such as Cognac and Scotch and the best Australian and French wines. ‘Don’t even ask,’ said St. Peter to the man, ‘this is Heaven, it is all free for you to enjoy.

Low Fat Foods and Gym Workouts.

The old man looked around and glanced nervously at his wife. ‘Well, where are the low fat foods and the plain soda water and green tea which our doctor used to recommend?’ he asked. ‘Ah, this is the best part,’ St. Peter interjected. ‘You can eat and drink as much as you like of whatever you like and you will never get fat or sick. This is Heaven!’

The old man pushed, ‘No gym to go to for regular work outs?’

‘Not unless you want to,’ was the answer.

‘No having to test my sugar or cholesterol or blood pressure every day….’

‘Never again’ the Saint smiled at him.

The old man looked sadly at his wife and said, ‘You and your bloody “We must follow our doctor’s advice”. If you had just let me eat and drink what I wanted to and avoid regular exercise, I would have been here in heaven ten years ago!’



This entry was posted on April 23, 2013 by in Uncategorized.

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