Home > Out and About, Social Networking, Writing > The Road to World Conquest: No dying!

The Road to World Conquest: No dying!

Maybe I spoke a little too soon about no longer being terrified of doctors.

Within days of getting a flu shot last week, I was flattened by flu-like symptoms. On Monday, I pulled a muscle in my back, probably from a violent sneeze. Tuesday night, I couldn’t sleep due to a horrendous case of heartburn.

The general theory right now is that I’ve been under a lot of stress and these problems might have something to do with that.

Stress? Maybe so. In the last few months, I’ve started a new relationship, dealt with a sick cat, lost a job that I really liked, found a new job with huge potential, and started the process of getting moved hundreds of miles away to a new town.

On Tuesday, trying to get ahead of any bad news that might surprise me, I called the doctor’s office to ask about my blood work results from the previous week. The nurse explained that the results were in and the cholesterol numbers weren’t good. In fact, she said, they were “well beyond the number” at which the doctor starts a medication regimen. Hrmph. Old me, the me that doesn’t want to hear bad news and really just wants another chicken wing, thanks, just wanted to pretend he hadn’t heard that. New me immediately made an appointment for the next day to talk to the doctor, review all the results, and get the medication started.

On Wednesday, I was back in the clinic. Blood pressure checked out fine without having to get a second reading and I guess being sick had a side benefit: I lost two pounds. Then I got ushered into an exam room. The nurse closed the door. For about 45 minutes, I sat with my iPhone, checking email, goofing around on Twitter, and playing Angry Birds. The phone ran out of juice, though, so I finally opened the door and stepped outside to harass someone about the delay. That’s when I saw the doctor and she told me that she’d be right in.

The numbers on my blood work, overall, weren’t bad. They were largely normal. Sodium and sugar levels were fine. Protein could be a little higher, but nothing alarming. Liver looked good. The Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL – the bad cholesterol) results provided reason for concern, though. That number – 206 – was basically off the charts. If that doesn’t change, I’ll remain at high risk for heart attack and stroke as I get older. I really don’t want that to happen. The other numbers in my blood test suggested that it wasn’t necessarily my diet that was the root cause of the problem. Instead, it’s likely that I’m just genetically predisposed to having a lot of crappy cholesterol. That doesn’t mean I’m off the hook for fixing it, however. Diet and a lack of significant exercise certainly exacerbated the problem.

So, I’ll start cholesterol management medication – Pravastatin – this week. That’ll help bring the number down some, but the rest is going to rely on a lot of work and discipline from me. I’ll have to walk more. Run more. Work out. I’ll have to shop smarter, cook smarter, and eat healthier when I’m out and about.

I’m glad I went to the doctor and that I’m dealing with the problem head-on. I plan to live a while longer. This should help!

  1. December 18, 2010 at 3:20 am

    Hi there Wes,

    Interesting account! Wish you all the best for your health regimen!Regards!

  2. Tammie
    December 19, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    Yea to you for comfronting this head on. I plan on you staying around for a very very long time!

  1. December 16, 2010 at 2:35 pm

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