Health scares

Health scares are wake-up calls, one would think. They are for me.  Blood test results I received today tell me my cholesterol is too high, much higher than it was a few years back. It’s 238 and was 205. The LDL was 159, it’s now 173.

Now, I read where one doctor wrote, “The American Heart Association recommends that your total cholesterol should be less than 200 mg/dL, but what they do not tell you is that total cholesterol level is just about worthless in determining your risk for heart disease, unless it is above 300.”  Another doctor said not to worry until you’re between 250 and 300. That’s crapola as far as I’m concerned. There is a reason they say better safe than sorry.

Today’s news scared me. And while I’m not fond of being scared, I am, in this case, grateful.

Here’s the thing. I like life and I like my life and I’ll be damned if I’m going to continue on as-is. I swim four to five times a week and will lengthen my swims and increase other forms of exercise. I will also focus on diet change.  So many of us – including me – have relationships with certain types of food so intimate you’d think they were family members, best friends. Many times a particular food can very much feel like a best friend. I get this. But because it feels like a best friend doesn’t make it one. Better to go through losing the food than losing your life, don’t you think? I do.

And then, for me, when it comes to facing a threat to my life, there is this. I did not get up off the ground after getting shot in 1984 only to die because I wouldn’t change my diet or  increase my exercise regimen. I smoked my last cigarette on June 3, 1990 because it made no sense to die from smoking after living through the shooting. Hell, it doesn’t make sense to die from smoking period.

So, I will change my diet, I will exercise more, and I do very much look forward to my scheduled appointment with my doctor on March 13.


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