Finally, after two months of dietary restraint and a week of waiting, my blood test results are back. I returned to see my doctor yesterday to find out if a diet of chicken, porridge and no-chocolate-whatsoever has had any positive effects on my arteries. And hurrah, it has. Back in March my cholesterol level was 5.5 (which is both "average" and "too high") and now it's dropped to a much more respectable 3.7. My tubes are one-third less congested than they used to be. Hurrah! In addition, individual counts for various subcategories of fatty deposit are also now within tolerable limits, whereas none of them were before. See, this is what happens when you shun the delights of (sob) pies and (sniff) cake for eight weeks.
My doctor is very impressed. So am I, to be honest. But I'm not very impressed by the way our five minute chat panned out. The conversation seemed personable and informative at the time, but it was only after I walked out of the surgery that I realised there were several key areas we hadn't discussed. We talked about the fact I'd been eating very sensibly, but I forgot to give details. I didn't mention my biscuit deprivation, my total crisp avoidance or my general cheeselessness. Unbelievably I didn't bring up, and he didn't ask about, the stone in weight that I've lost as a side-effect of a low-cholesterol diet. And although I now know that I don't need to be prescribed wonder-statins (which I'm very pleased about), neither of us discussed precisely what steps I ought to be taking next. It's odd, I knew exactly what I was going to say when I walked in, but somehow I managed to say none of it.
Maybe the doctor assumed from my silence that I intend to keep up this puritanical food intake into the forseeable future. No way. Man cannot live by oily fish alone, and I need some variety in my diet over the next 40 years or else I'm going to go mad. I think I can allow the odd Creme Egg, croissant and roast dinner to slip back in, just so long as I don't revert to my previous over-lipidy ways. At least my latest blood test has provided some proper data on which to base future food consumption. If my previous diet led to 5.5, and angelic eating has made me 3.7, then I reckon I now know how to aim for 4.3. Hell, I might even allow myself to go out for a meal again, rather than just sitting there like a lemon while other people tuck into pizza and ice cream. It may not be NHS-sanctioned, but it sounds like a plan to me. I wonder if I can still remember what a good cheddar tastes like.