…the damage has begun.
In May of 2004, with an impending wedding 2-months away (impending is not a word of doom in this case…it is one of the 3 finest accomplishments in my life) I decided to have a routine physical; the first in many years. I was just getting ready to turn 30, getting married, life ahead of me, and this was the first complete check-up I had in probably 12 years (that is just a less than educated guess). Well, the news wasn’t all positive. Chest x-ray and EKG were good; my blood pressure…154/92, my weight…213, my total cholesterol…270 (that was phoned to me 2 days later, I specifically remember getting the voicemail on the 16th tee box at the Cardinal Club).
That wasn’t everything, upon routine inspection of my eyes I had something known as capillary nicking (pressure from one blood vessel pushes on another blood vessel, indenting or “nicking” the overlapping blood vessel. A sign of untreated hypertension, but as I understand it, correctable in time under “normal” blood pressure conditions. Mine…not so normal.
This was a moment in my life where I should be feeling pretty good about my self. However, those few days left me, well, feeling a little low. Ending up on Benicar for my blood pressure and a 6-month ultimatum to get my cholesterol in check or else, another prescription. My future wife even got her jabs in at me calling me “Cheese Boy.” But I had friends and they were on sale at CVS for $1, Hot Tamales. Those Just Born guys always have a way of brightening my day…even for a short time.
Now mind you, I am a medical professional, I’m supposed to understand the importance of nutrition. I sure did understand it…to to point of gaining 12 more pounds (that I know about) in 6-months. I also trusted the commercials on TV, as well. Oatmeal, the Quakers say it was “guaranteed” to lower your cholesterol. I liked the Quaker Instant Oatmeal, the maple and brown sugar kind…not the McCann’s Steel Cut Irish Oats (better choice…but humans may not be native grain eaters…another topic for another day) that I now know to be more beneficial to the lipid profile. Also, those Florida-boys at Minute Made make this orange juice with “added” plant sterols to “lower” cholesterol…boy that stuff is good! It has to be good for you too, it says it right on the carton!
Everyday, for 6-months, I was on the “juice” and the “grain.” Back to the lab. Two days after my small donation of blood, I got a phone call from my physician (also a respected work associate and most importantly, a friend) and his quote went, “Brad, I don’t know what kind of diet you have been on, but you’ve successfully increased your total cholesterol, where would you like me to call your prescription in to?” I don’t remember the number he gave me, still only 3 digits, but let’s just say, my eyes were opened and my turning on the road to health was more of a spin out than a turn around.
So, armed with Benicar and Lipitor, I was dangerous…I can eat anything I want now. The oat growers and the orange pickers didn’t do anything for me, but Daiichi-Sankyo and Pfizer are bringing me to the promised land of great health. I lived this fallacy for a while, then around February of 2005, this overweight, hypertensive hyperlipidemiac known as ME, was told that he as going to be a father (this is the second of my finest accomplishments).
Wonderful news, I was thrilled, and my friends Mike and Ike were all too happy to celebrate with me…
TO BE CONTINUED…EVEN FURTHER…