Wednesday, March 2, 2011

TFTLM: Got Them Soul Coughing Video Game Addict Blues (Part 4)

Before the wife finished with the old company, I decided to take what advantage I had left of our job insurance and get my eyes checked. So on a Tuesday in August, I went for my eye exam at the same place I once swore I'd never set foot in again. The only reason I was going back on my vow and allowing my foot to land upon their floor again was because that office had done my wife a good turn a couple months back by seeing her after hours and with no appointment after a different optometrist flaked on the appointment my wife had made with her. Such good turns should be rewarded, I figured, so I gave them a second chance. And for my second chance, they did me a good turn.

The exam went well, I was seen quickly, initial testing done, eyes were dilated and while that was kicking in I was sent up to browse frames. I'd already decided that I would just stick with my current drill-mount rimless frames, as they've held up amazingly well despite repeated dog attacks. I expected the lady in the frames section (a different lady than Liz, though she's still around), to give me a hard sell on a new pair, but after asking me to put my regular frames back on my head, she agreed that they were the right style for my face and looked good, so there was no need for any change. Sweet. Only after I was ushered back into the chair did problems occur--not on the part of the office staff, but on the part of my eyes.

I began to suspect something might be amiss when the doctor spent a good five minutes examining the interior of my eyes. When he finished, he looked a bit concerned and asked if I'd had any problems with high blood pressure.

"Not that I know of," I said.

"Have you had your cholesterol checked recently?" he asked.


"Hmm," he said. He went on to explain that while there might not be a huge cause for worry just yet, there had been some definite change in the vessels within my eyes in the past year of the kind that wouldn't normally occur in a healthy individual. Arterial venous nicking, it's called. He recommended I see a doctor.

Now, I'll be first to admit that I've not exactly been in fantastic shape in the past year. I exercise every day, whether it's going to the gym or walking the dogs through our hillyass neighborhood, but my exercise regimen could not be described as rigorous. I can still make it up our gravity hill driveway with no breathing problems at all, but I don't spend a great deal of time on intense cardio otherwise.

So in I went to see Dr. Ralph, my wife's partner at her old clinic. Blood was tested and the results tallied. Not only did I have extremely high cholesterol, but it had tag-teamed with high blood pressure to put me in a very sorry state. I was instantly insulted that my own body had turned against me. I was also dead set against taking medication for it, because it was my firm believe that I could tackle the problem by adjusting my diet. The way I saw it, I'd practically been existing on bacon and cheese and bacon-wrapped cheese for months. Surely if I dropped red meat, pork and dairy from my diet, everything would even back out and then I could reintroduce my favorites slowly. I mentioned this plan to Dr. Ralph and he agreed that it was solid enough, but suggested we try me out on a daily intake of 5 mg of Crestor as a backup and try and lose some weight. According to him, for my height I was ideally supposed to weigh 165. I explained that I hadn't weighed that since probably the 8th grade and that even at my thinnest in college I had only gotten down to 175 before falling off the cheese wagon. I haven't seen the underside of 200 since then, though I came within sight of it a couple of times. But if I put my mind to it, I could stick to a dietary program with little problem. He told me to do that and if the blood pressure didn't come down some, he'd put me on lisinopril to help out. If everything came down with Crestor and diet, we could talk about ditching meds altogether. His point to me was that these conditions were likely inherited, as evidenced by my Papaw, who was thinner than Kate Beckinsale and had 3 heart attacks before one finally got the upper hand on him. For folks who had genetics going against them, AND were fatasses like myself, drugs such as Crestor were tools to even the odds. This made sense, so grudgingly I agreed.


1 comment:

Ghetto Foodie said...

Boo. I ended up on a statin and lisinopril at the tender age of 26 due to genetics. I'll say that as a BP med, lisinopril is actually pretty not bad. But good luck with the diet and exercise!