July 8, 2017 by phicks2012
Back in mid-May I was feeling seriously under-the-weather. I say “seriously” because when I’m just feeling a “little” under-the-weather I tend to self-medicate with home remedies, herbs (the legal kind) and OTC medications, but this time around I was feeling bad enough that I actually decided it might not be a bad idea to make an appointment with my doctor. Shocking, but easy, right?
Well, maybe not. As it turned out — to make a very long story just a bit shorter — they couldn’t find my medical records on their computer because (while I’ve been going to the same doctor for over 20 years) my hard-copy records had been “archived” and never entered into their “new” computer system (set up back in 2013).
Funny how time flies, but I found out I hadn’t been in to the doctor’s office in six years (since 2011), so when I did go in I had to have a complete physical, a bunch of shots, booster shots, and vaccinations, and a vast battery of invasive and only marginally entertaining tests to bring my records and immunizations up-to-date. Fun, Fun, FUN!
Luckily, by then I’d gotten over whatever pesky bug I’d had previously, but of course they had to make sure I wasn’t afflicted with scurvy, dyspepsia, or the bubonic plague (aka Black Death), so I was pretty thoroughly poked, prodded, pricked, and penetrated during my visit. I was not altogether thrilled, but I’m resilient — and luckily, as fate would have it, they had trouble finding anything wrong with me. YES!!
Everything they could check in the office while I was there kept coming up negative or fine — though of course I still had other lab tests due to show up later, and other tests to schedule and subject myself to. Still, on that day they couldn’t find a thing — well, except for one little thing. Apparently my cholesterol (the bad kind — the good kind was fine) was higher than it ought to be.
Since having that test, I’ve been advised by friends that I probably shouldn’t have stupidly binged on ice cream and fried chicken the night before being tested. Apparently, that just “might” have affected my numbers, but in any case my doctor wanted me to get my cholesterol down and so wrote me a prescription for a cholesterol lowering medication.
Bear in mind that I have never been on any sort of regular medication, and didn’t really want to start on any if I didn’t HAVE to, so I asked her if I couldn’t try to lower it without the meds — you know, diet and exercise. But nope, she wanted me to try the meds anyway. She said if my LDL numbers (that’s the EVIL cholesterol) dropped dramatically, and my HDL numbers(that’s the ANGELIC cholesterol) stayed high she’d probably wean me off of the meds again, but she wanted to see what happened, and to give them a chance to reduce any cholesterol buildup I might already have. *Sighs* Apparently, she wasn’t much of an optimist.
Oh well. I decided to take her advice — while also altering my diet and activity level — and then went on to be mammed, scanned and scoped, and to face various needles containing vaccinations I’d never bothered to get before. Pneumonia, flu, whooping cough, shingles — oh, and a tetanus booster because I hadn’t stepped on any nails in over 20 years and so hadn’t thought I needed one of those. Silly me!!
I also went grocery shopping (based upon internet research) for foods recommended to lower bad cholesterol, or to raise good cholesterol — an educational experience, I’ll admit. Food labels, I’ve learned, are allowed to be misleading. If a product contains less than 300mg of cholesterol (which is apparently the suggested daily max), they can legally say it has NONE. Funny how that works, when the label may still read “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” and (further down on the label) “Cholesterol <300mg”, huh?
Anyway, one of the foods that supposedly lowers LDL is oats, and I actually like oatmeal. Really!! However, I’ve never really cared for Cheerios. Is that un-American? I suspect it might be. In any case, I bought my first box of Cheerios — EVER — and discovered that they still don’t do much for me. Maybe if they were crispy I’d like them better, but they sog-out just about as soon as the almond milk hits them, so taking your time to “savor” the experience is pretty much right OUT.
I planned to finish the box, if only because I hate to spend money on something I don’t use, but (after I ate a single serving) it vanished mysteriously along with a whole container of almond milk. Funny thing about that. In any case, I’m thinking I’m just going to need to find another oat cereal with cholesterol-lowering properties, and risk being Un-American — that or stick with oatmeal!! After all, anything with a Quaker on the box has to be okay too, right? 😉
Or maybe I’ll just wave my Harry Potter collectible magic wand at myself and utter the incantation “Cholesterol et abierunt”!!