diamond geezer

 Wednesday, March 12, 2008

That day has come

It was just a routine blood test, so I was told. A smiling nurse rammed a needle into my arm, then packed off three vials of the red stuff to the local hospital for analysis. Lots and lots and lots of tests, from thyroid to glucose via potassium, were all whisked through the lab in record quick time. The next communication stage, however, took rather longer. Eventually I received my second class letter (four days to travel quarter of a mile, but that's E3 mail for you) inviting me along to the surgery to "discuss the results". Hmmm. And so I wandered along to meet my doctor on Monday, wondering what might not be quite so routine after all.

And everything was fine, absolutely fine, bar one small cluster of results which had tripped the computer's automatic trigger. Cholesterol - HI. Damn. My 5.5mmol/l may have been precisely the same as that of the average British male, but medical science considers anything above 5.0 to be too high. Damn. And especially for me, in conjunction with recent occasional outpatients visits, 5.5 is definitely above acceptable tolerance levels. Damn. "But look," I said, "at least one of my cholesterol tests came out really low." Alas, that was my 'good cholesterol' (which turns out be a real concept, and not a devious marketing strategy thought up by fish salesmen). So, all in all, not great.

My doctor looked at me with that kindly expression which means "I've just had to tell you something that'll change your life, and tonight I'm going home to burger and chips". And then he reached over to the top drawer of his filing cabinet and pulled out a photocopied sheet with a grid of foodstuffs on it. I recognised it immediately. My mum was given something remarkably similar 30 years ago. I remember she brought it home, stuck it up in the kitchen and then never quite ate the same food as the rest of the family forever afterwards. I then wished I hadn't remembered that.

I was disappointed to notice that the sheet I'd been given was sponsored by Flora margarine. "Ah, yes, sorry", said my doctor, "do try to ignore that." It turned out that he'd been good and photocopied the sheet so that the grid didn't have a giant advert for tubs of polyunsaturates on the reverse. But it still struck me as pretty poor that this crucial turning point in my life was being exploited by greedy Unilever marketeers. Can the NHS not afford its own unbiased information booklet on a condition which must affect millions of patients in this country? Seemingly not. Well yah booh sucks to you Mr Flora and your poxy margarine, because I never spread anything yellow and fatty on my bread anyway.

My doctor and I had a long and intelligent conversation about the causes and implications of my diagnosis, which was reassuring. We specifically discussed chocolate (not surprisingly, not recommended). I agreed that I'd have a go at adjusting (nay, transforming) my diet in an attempt to get my cholesterol down to well-below average levels. And he asked me to come back and have another blood test in a couple of months to see whether my restraint has had any effect. If not, mine might be another life thrown to the mercy of the 'miracle' statin tablets. We shall see. In the meantime, I appear to have 18 leftover Creme Eggs sitting in my kitchen, all suddenly past their eat-by date. Anybody want to swap them for eight weeks' supply of oily fish?

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream