Getting Healthy

Yesterday I posted something about my high cholesterol and getting older and whatnot. The news wasn’t as bad as I thought. I arrived at the doctor’s office early and nailed my blood pressure. I hadn’t drunk coffee yet, which has been known to raise BP, so maybe that was a factor last time I went in. My blood work had come back and when they called to go over the results with me, they said, “The doctor wants to talk to you about your cholesterol.” That hardly ever means, “You’ve got such low cholesterol, we were thinking of taking pictures of you and hanging them in the office!”

Turns out, I don’t need medication. Turns out the COVID lifestyle isn’t conducive to someone like me when it comes to staying healthy (or probably anyone for that matter). I used to work out three or four days a week. Mostly cardio. Some kettlebells. Lots and lots of walking too. Now I walk about 25 yards to let my dog pee four times a day and I walk to the post office and back–which is 25 yards in the other direction.

My good cholesterol was up, which is why they didn’t worry about the bad. Which was like 180. Good was 68. My blood sugar was a little high too, but I also put probably 4 packets of sugar in my coffee every morning. And half-and-half. I haven’t been as active. I’ve been sleeping badly. And my stress is up these days. Kidney function wasn’t the greatest, but that could also be stress and the fact that most liquid that I drink contains coffee. I’ve got the thyroid of a 25 year old, and when mine finally shits out, I’m going to ask them if they can just replace mine with that one.

So, I need to make a few tweaks. It’s nothing too bad. Less greasy food, less butter, less whole cream, less sugar. More exercise. And more water. Sunshine (good luck. It’s winter in North Park. The wind is blowing so hard even the sunlight keeps winding up in Ft. Collins).

Yesterday I made my own hummus. I also made butternut squash soup. Today I’m making a butternut squash chili with lentils and beans and kale. And I had oatmeal for breakfast this morning (and two slices of fried spam). So far all of these things have been pretty tasty. I’m going to miss browning butter and pouring it over a grilled sirloin, and I should cut my sugar and cream intake back too as long as I’m pretty sedentary.

I’ve got a lot to live for and really do enjoy my life much of the time. I get stressed over money, court, and sometimes I beat myself up–like most of us do. I do feel better when I eat clean though. The problem is cooking for just me most of the time, and there are days I really get sick of eating leftovers. But I can eat cheaply when I freeze things to use for later.

Once my physical health is locked down, I need to work on my other health. Mental. I need to pitch articles more, contact sites to visit. Write more paid blogs. Keep up with friends and not just the ones who are in crisis but the ones who could just use a friendly hello once in a while. That sort of thing really fills up your buckets. Also giving myself a break from the book when I need to will help. Yesterday I got 6000 words down in the book, plus two blog posts here. By the time I went to bed, I was exhausted. I stayed up for another half hour and read. Then I was wide awake again at 3am, and I have no idea why.

Anyway, just trying to get everything to synch up again. If you are doing the same I’m sending you positive thoughts. Because it’s a lot of work.

If It Ain’t Broke…

People always wonder why men (and women) are reluctant to go to the doctor. I recently had my yearly checkup and got a call today that they wanted to discuss some of my bloodwork, particularly my cholesterol. I can hardly wait.

The last time I had a checkup, they told me my cholesterol was high, but considering my blood pressure being really good, there was no need to talk about putting me on a reducer like Lipitor or something. Fast forward to a year and a half later of sitting on my ass because of lockdowns, this was almost comically expected.

I’m sure it has been high. And my BP has been high. Well, I’m under plenty of stress.

So, spoiler alert, I’m going to nod and smile and say “Let’s wait and see” regarding meds, because honestly I’m not sold on trusting the science there just yet. What wouldn’t kill me is to get out and walk once in a while. Or ride my bike. Or just not be in the house all day long.

Maybe my reluctance to become dependent on a medication that insurance can be fickle about paying for is a factor. Or maybe it’s that I refuse to believe that my arteries are clogged like I-25 during a Broncos game, because I’m not old! Not yet anyway. Granted I have two pairs of glasses now (one for reading and one for driving) because I was not going to go gently into that good night with bifocals. I’ll just buy pants with more pockets to haul around three pairs of glasses.

This is why people don’t go to the doctor. Because they are just going to tell you that something is worn out or you need to throw pills at it. I’m not a fan of this getting older shit.