Sunday, March 25, 2012

cholesterol (m)

My annual exam with my doctor--the uber-fit svelte blonde who climbs Mayan ruins for fun.  The one who asked, "Did you lose some weight," after I dropped the first 50 pounds.  I have been avoiding this moment so much that my "annual" exam occurred at a 15-month interval. 

It begins with a blood and urine test, taken earlier this week.  I fasted for 15 hours thinking that might erase the last traces of the bag of Hershey's Kisses I ate in Florida after sending back uncooked shrimp one day and a grilled chicken caesar salad with grilled lettuce but not chicken a few days later.

I arrive stressed, fresh from a fight with another motorist who slowed down at every yellow light.  I sat unnecessarily through five red lights because of this person.  I took deep breaths in the waiting room trying to calm myself down.  There is no real wait as I arrive two minutes after my scheduled appointment.

The lovely Haitian nurse calls my name in a thick French accent.  I go with her and she stops at the scale.  "I don't do that," I tell her.  I never weigh in.  She insists.  I refuse.  She asks if she can at least get my height.  I tell her no.  Of all statistics, the height of a 57 year old woman has to be the least relevant.  Besides, you have to step on the scale to measure the height.  I smell a trick.  She sighs and tells me to come with her to Room 6.

She gives me a johnnie to put on.  It's maroon.  You normal sized people wouldn't know this but they color-code johnnies by size.  The maroon one in my health plan is for normal sized people.  The turquoise (a more flattering color, especially with my tan) is for the oversized people.  I am happy that I get maroon even though it makes me look very dark.  The sleeves are a little tight.  Note to self: work on those arms!

Blood pressure is 110/70.  Excellent.  Must be the biking I'm doing.

Dr. Prep breezes in and extends her hand for a shake.  Really, do I want to shake the hand of a person who has done about 5 Pap Smears already? Not to mention those with communicable diseases like the flu?

My doctor examines every inch of my body and says things look good.  She asks if I'm planning to lose the rest of the weight.  I tell her yes but I've been stuck.  We talk about why.  And then I start to cry.  This is not planned.  She asks why I'm upset.  Good question.  All that comes to me is my friend Anne.  I tell her about Anne, the liver cancer, the brave fight for 2.5 years, the untimely death last September.  I feel better getting that out of my system. 

We review my urine and blood test results.  Urine looks fine.  Blood is not.  Cholesterol--never a problem for me-- is way up.  She asks about what I eat.  Well, since Weight Watchers, I eat alot of fish...shrimp, lobster, oysters, mussels.  She tells me they are loaded with cholesterol and to GIVE THEM UP COMPLETELY.  The one egg four times a week that I mix into my egg whites to make a tolerable omelet is also gone.  All egg white all the way.

She tells me things look perfect otherwise and that she wants another blood test in three months.

I have to completely re-tool my diet in the meantime.

Great.  What helped me lose weight is causing another problem. 

I get up, get dressed and Purell my hands until they are raw.

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