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Thursday, February 16, 2006

THE END OF AN ERA

The cream is over. If you own Haagen Dazs stock, sell it. So long sausage, goodbye butter, bacon, and yes....Cheese. Oh cheese, I'll dearly miss you.

I got the results of my blood work back from the doctor. Not good. My cholesterol is 'out of wack'. Apparently that's a medical term.

Those who read this blog regularly will understand how this news will have a huge impact on my life. I suppose I can still prepare those sinful dishes, but I can't partake. It's fish and steamed veggies for Jackson.

Actually, I'm kind of excited about the prospect of investigating a whole new gastronomic terrain. I love fish, I just can't wrap it in bacon anymore. No more shellfish either. That sucks.

I'll most likely be taking medication as well, which will be interesting since I've spent so much time in my professional life in ballrooms developing powerpoint slides for Crestor and Lipitor sales meetings. I know all the questions to ask.

I guess I'll have to check in with Hazmat to find out where to good vegetarian joints are. That used to be an oxymoron to me.

My diet has been very fat oriented for many years, and on top of that, high cholesterol is hereditary as well as dietary. I've known that for a couple of years, and having a father who has battled his cholesterol for years, this news is no big surprise.

I hope that I can get it under control, and occasionally indulge in my favorite foods. Maybe. Someday. For now - fahgetaboutit.

Comments:
Wow...

File squarely under "It sucks to get old".

I can totally relate. I've been back on the DIET since the beginning of the month and am having a much harder time with it. Since I’m not starting from where I did last time, the weight loss isn’t as dramatic. The drama was what helped motivate me and not having fall off like it last year is tough, but I’ve got to get back some of those belt loops I’ve given back since the holiday season. Since I had to go to the doctor for this never ending, fucking annoying, heart attack inducing cough thing, I knew I’d get the evil eye from my doctor when she saw my weight gain. She did not disappoint (great, yet another women I disappoint. Maybe I’ll serenade her with karaoke). The good news, my BP is in check. When she told me this I said, “Great! Can I get fatter now?”.

How’s the smoking thing going anyway?
 
Ah, welcome, my son. But seriously, sorry to hear about the problems. I'd be happy to show you some awesome veg restaurants. There are quite a few great ones, actually. NOT Food Swings, though. It's good, but a vegan greasy spoon basically. The unhealthiest health food I've ever seen. Bliss on Bedford by the Bedford St. L station is good. I highly recommend the Orange Citrus Sensation. When you can spend some money, we can go to Hangawi. Vegan Korean. It's AWESOME. But not cheap.
 
Day One: I'm greeted outside my awards banquet with a gourmet grilled cheese station......it's gonna get rough.
 
I hate to play devil's advocate, but why should I be inconsistent. There is a certain amount of research that indicates that cholesterol counting is not an accurate reflection of your chances of heart disease. I'm guessing this is because your cholesterol reading is so strongly related to what you've eaten in the day or two or three before your test. This type of research has been supressed or deemed irresponsible by the powers that be because the statin industry is a multi-billion dollar venture; the absence of which could be crippling to the American economy. I recently attended The Bodies Exhibit and while plaque-ridden blood vessels are far from attractive, I'm just not convinced that a high cholesterol number neccessarily means your pipes are clogged. If you are eating badly everyday, then obviously that needs to be addressed. If you don't mind a personal question, is your number like a good bowling score or a great bowling score? More importantly, what's your ratio?

I suggest giving the diet route a good try, and fasting before your next test (eating sensibly the days prior) before hitting the Lipitor. Read The South Beach Diet because it gives you a good idea of how to eat in order to prevent heart disease. I'm a big fan of it, though some of the suggestions make me crazy (I hate how the Dr. always pushes you toward artificial sweeteners). I follow it loosely and have lost 15 pounds without much rebound. I'm no doctor, but I suspect your slight frame does you more good than your high cholesterol does you bad. On a happier note, red wine and whiskey do wonders for lowering cholesterol! My hefty Grandpa lived to 92 and I'm convinced it was his daily shot of Powers that got him there, because it certainly wasn't from adhering to the Irish food pyramid of bacon, eggs, pot roast,potatoes and gravy.

Of course, I'd hate to advocate skipping the drugs and be wrong about it. I have this vision of you clutching your heart with your eyes popping out of your head whispering "but Clarkie said I didn't need drugs." Like I said, I'm no doctor... It's just some cheese for thought.
 
I basically agree with Clarkie.

React but don't overreact.

You are facing the 40 year old blues. You've been hard on your body for the past 25 years and it's doing the Roberto Duran thing - no more.

I'd suggest starting with a better diet, less fat, more fruit, vegetables, and protein.

Hopefully you can quit smoking, its worth the struggle.

And get a bike or something to get you out and about doing some exercise. It will make you feel better and will help with the cholesterol too.

I'd give yourself a year of relatively clean living and see if you can get the numbers down before resorting to drugs.
 
Presumably your cholesterol reading was a fasting cholesterol test. If you had eaten before, it's not a very worthwhile indication. If your doctor did not order you to fast the night before the test, you should do it again.

There is some debate over the relationship between dietary cholesterol (i.e., what's in your food) and serum cholesterol (i.e., what's in your blood). As you rightly note, a substantial portion of it is genetic. I have high cholesterol as does most of my Mom's family.

I think Clarkie is overstating it just a tad to say that there is a vast conspiracy by big pharma to hide data about cholesterol.

Are you doing any exercise, Ted? A modest amount of exercise can work wonders for your "good" cholesterol number.
 
Ted, you're welcome to come running with me if you want to try that.

This reminds me. I'd like to get a cholesterol test since I haven't since I really started running. I historically have had slightly high cholesterol, but no one ever worried because it balanced out between the HDLs and LDLs, or however you put it.
 
I did not fast, so I'm sure I need another test. I was asked to come back soon to discuss the situation. I think quitting smoking coupled with a sensible diet and regular excercise (I am very active) will most likely be ample therapy. I am interested, on a professional level, to see what kind of medication therapy is reccomended, it was mentioned by the doctor.

We'll see.
 
If there was a big pharma conspiracy wouldn't Ted know about it since he's the dude creating the propaganda for those guys presentations?

Rightbackatyou is right about the year thing. It takes a year to really feel the effects of bagging the smoking habit and I'll be that's a good window for all other health related reform efforts.

Your on the right road my man. Stay on it.
 
Even better news: There has been research to show that even long-term smokers can reverse much of the lung damage from tobacco. The longer you stay quit, the more damage is undone.

Smoking has always been strange for me as I have never had an addiction. It's apparently a genetic thing, but some of us just don't get hooked. I will smoke a pack at Smoke & Mirrors and then not have one or crave one for a month or longer.

More power to you Ted. I hope you will be around for many years to be a complete pain in the ass.
 
Dave, you can count on me.

Ken - My knees will prevent me from the running thing, I'm goint to look into swimming.
 
sorry to hear about the tests, and yes you have to do them again if you didn't fast.

A year ago I was a mess: border line diabetic, over weight, high cholesterol, aches and pains... you name it.

You are on the right track by no longer smoking.

You can eat anything you want, just practice portion control, and stay active.

they say meat portions should be the same size as a deck of cards, (Personally, I prefer the portion the size of a cinder block).... "THEY" are full of shit, I say make it a happy medium. Meat portion should be the size of your hand (sans the fingers and thumb). Then lots of veggies and fruits. Substitute Fish and poultry for red meat every so often.... next thing ya know old Jed's a millionaire... and his blood work comes in normal.

Don't look at it as the end of an era, look at it as the beginning of "Old Age".

In the past year, I've lost 50 pounds by practicing portion control. I also do a very easy workout: 10 miles on the bike, hand weights, and crunches 5 days per week.

They say "life begins at 40" what THEY meant was, "It's Salad Time Mutha Fucka"!
 
Then get a bike. It's good for you and I'd say much more convenient than swimming. Or do both.

But we're totally on for eating. I'll show you lots of great places.
 
I've been swimming(at the good old YMCA)since I injured my leg last spring and I gotta tell you, it's truly a double benefit. Forgive my cheesiness, but it's sorta ZEN. Biking is similar, but I appreciate that more for the getting in touch with nature aspect, which you probably won't get as much from biking in the city. When you can pull off the tabula rasa thing in the pool; when there's nothing to think about but counting laps and breaths, you are getting so much more out of it than just burning calories. The stress melting away is a far greater health benefit than the exercise. The repetitive nature of it is meditative. On a flakier note, I recently used a tanning bed for the very first time. I've maintained an automatic indignation for the culture of tanning for many years and I have to say I was way wrong. It feels great. It's like a sunny yoga powernap...or sumpin. You bound out of that coffin feeling like Little Miss Mary Sunshine.
 
Damn, you put the "grrr" in swinger Clarkie...:-)
 
Swimming is tough for me, I look terrible in a speedo.
 
Yeah, but Ted look awesome in a thong. sweet!
 
Thanks all! Easy on the tanning Clarkie, nobody wants to call you 'old leather tits'.
 
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