I wrote the bulk of this yesterday evening (November 8, 2019) while going through some pretty bad back pain…
In my early teens, I had wanted very badly to be a long haul truck driver when I grew up.
It would have been a dream job for me.
It would have been a dream job because I was frequently studying and memorizing road maps to the point where my classmates referred to me as a “human GPS”, whenever we went on a field trip. I was just as eager to ride out the routes of which I had memorized on the maps I was studying. Around the age of fourteen, I was beginning to discover my interest in radio communications. I knew for some time that truckers used Citizen’s Band Radios or “CB” to communicate with each other. Around ages sixteen and seventeen my interest in railroads was starting to come back and I was also gaining an interest in marine logistics. Both railroad and marine workers also used their own dedicated radios to communicate with. At age seventeen I just knew I would have some sort of job in the transportation and logistics industries.
But then at seventeen and a half, I suffered a mental breakdown and would have to be medicated for the rest of my life.
These medications automatically disqualify me from all transportation jobs.
I never thought to use my writing as a way to earn money and I have yet to earn a single red cent from writing, by the way.
I eventually earned a diploma in HVAC, which is very hard to do with the medications I took and I also sustained a back injury in 2014, which made everything worse. The best I could possibly do is work at an HVAC or Electrical Supply company if I were to go back to work in the HVAC field.
Here is something I’ve noticed though:
Just about every truck driver I came across wound up on disability anyway.
Usually, it is because they have developed severe back pain, metabolic or cardiovascular diseases.
Truckers get severe back pain from sitting in the same position for hours to days on end. That also causes them to develop metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, because of the lack of physical activity, but also from having an energy-rich but nutrient poor diet due to constantly eating out.
My own back is hurting me as I type this and actually it was the back pain that inspired this piece.
The trucking industry is a very important aspect of the American and global economies, and that its personnel are very much needed to sustain life as we know it.
However, with many truckers ending up on disability before retirement age (and also having a poor quality of life after retirement), this puts a great strain on the already ailing healthcare system. And it will hinder the path to solvency for Social Security. I will go as far as to say that it is a heavy contributor to the already severe opioid crisis.
There is no easy nor comprehensive solution to this issue.
However, there is something, I think, that can reduce the problem at least a little.
What if, there was a national chain of truck stops that offered healthy meals buffet style?
The food offered could be fresh and steamed vegetables, grilled or baked lean meat and seafood, legumes and fresh fruits for both juice drinks and desserts.
No soft drinks, no fried food, no excessive use of salt, not an overabundance of animal fat and no overly sugary desserts would be available, though.
And the one dining could pay a flat rate for all you can eat.
Basically, I am expanding on the idea of Subway.
It could also be a nice place for those on disability who go eat out when they get their pension payments. It could be like a combination of Cracker Barrel, Ryan’s, Shoney’s and The Golden Corral, but with only healthy food comparable to that of Subway, but actual plate entree`s instead of just sandwiches. I myself am disabled due to several mental issues and, guess what: a back injury! Anyway, I would love to eat at such a place! I know I would probably eat more than my fair share of green beans there though if such a place actually existed.
But then to further help the situation, there could be exercise rooms with gym memberships, possibly paid for on the company dime. This could save the company a lot of money in the long term and would allow for a healthier workforce.
Durn it, my back is killing me!
I hope to further elaborate on this in the near future, at least on my blog…