Monday, November 24, 2014

Doc says I'm "high" on triglycerides

Four days before I didn’t know I had any triglycerides and now I was fearful I had so many they were going to kill me.

I learned this from the nurse tech that called to inform me of the results of my blood work.

“Your sugars are normal, cholesterol’s fine, but your triglycerides are high. They’re 159.”

What she couldn’t tell from my blood work was that I’m a novice patient and the thought that something in my blood could kill me was likely to send me into a hysterical panic.

Triglycerides? What the hell’s a triglyceride? Was it three times worse than a glyceride?

It sounded vaguely to me like nitroglycerine, a dangerous substance with which I’m familiar from repeated viewings of “Gunsmoke.” I’ve seen it used to blow up train trestles, thick prison walls and jittery explosives amateurs nicknamed Flinch.

So when she said my triglycerides were high, I jumped back from the lit stove.

“How long have I got?”

“The doctor would like you to get them down to below 150.”

“Well, if 159 is high, what’s the number I need to be sure I don’t detonate next time  I feel the need to fart?”

She didn’t know.

“Well, knowing that number would be helpful. Because if it’s 160 I’m heading straight to the ER. But if it’s, oh, say, 180, I’m sticking around for tonight’s “Seinfeld,” because it’s the one where Newman lies about Kramer wanting to be a banker to get out of a bunch of parking tickets and I’ve only seen that one about 140 times.”

She couldn’t advise me on that, but said high triglycerides are caused by too much pasta, too many sweets, too little exercise and too much alcohol.”

I told her I’m moderate in all things — including moderation, a lifestyle decision that allows me to enjoy insane binges on things like spaghetti, candy, sloth and booze whenever I feel like it.

She had no idea where 159 fit on the scale. She said no had ever asked. She put me on hold.

Val was right there in the kitchen cooking pasta.

I told her the situation.

Rather than respond with spousal concern, she gloated her triglycerides were 18 and just kept stirring the pasta.

She means the world to me and we’ve been together for 22 wonderful years. I love her so much, but right then when she smugly bragged about her low triglycerides, my unuttered gut reaction was, “Bitch.”

I made a mental note to check to see if the pasta chef had taken out a hefty insurance policy on her husband.

As related previously, I avoid medical interventions in the belief that too many of us are doctoring ourselves to death. Now, I had proof. A medical professional had told me something was amiss and I felt my heart begin to hammer.

So she gets back on the phone and delivers the news about where my 159 triglyceride count rates.

“Normal is less than 150; borderline high is 150 to 199; high is 200 to 499; very high is 500 or higher.”

So I’m 10 points from perfectly normal?

“That’s correct.”

And I probably shouldn’t really, really fret about my triglycerides until I pack in, oh, about another 301?

“That’s one way to look at it.”

Of course, I’m not going to change a thing about my lifestyle, which with the exception of near-zero income, I enjoy abundantly.

Oh, and Val coincidentally had some blood work done and learned her triglycerides are, in fact, 82, which means she was either wrong about her precious 18 or is on a trajectory to hit the 500 mark the next time she bites into a Milky Way.

I believe too much of the focus of our medical conglomerates is to convince people they ought to live perfect lives. That’s a very stressful ideal likely to cause more heart troubles than a battalion of rootin’ tootin’ triglycerides rafting down the main aorta.

I don’t want to live forever.

I want to live right now!

I think as far as life perspectives go, it’s a healthy idea.

I encourage you to give it a tri.

Related . . .

No comments: