Sunday Mop Up 12/10/06
Holy shit! Woke up this morning with a headache that will NOT go away. Because of the cool weather here in Texas, my heater is coming on deep in the middle of the night. I think the dry, nasty heat has cooked my sinuses. This headache is, I suspect, baked mucous membranes in my noggin. Yuck! and Ow! Shall we proceed? Let's.
My Hypochondriac Tendencies
Back in the late summer/early fall, I went to see my doc for my regular bloodwork check-up. Because I'm a Type II Diabetic, this happens every 4 months. I sit down, and some brand new, green-behind-the-ears phlebotomist digs around inside my arm for a vein to tap. The vampire with skills can usually hit pay dirt with only a few jabs and minor flailing about. This is a rare occurrence. What happens more often than not is that I get someone who couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with a bazooka. One arm gets drilled, multiple times, followed by the other arm, also unsuccessfully, until it is determined that the first arm was the better candidate after all and we go back to playing Hide and Seek on it. The part that I hate is that I have a major, fatass vein that runs right across the top of my left kneecap. You could tap that buddy in a second and it would produce like a maple tree in winter. No, we can't do that. You don't draw blood from a Diabetic's legs. Too high a risk of throwing a bloodclot, they say. Okay, keep stabbing me, then, what the fuck.
Ummm...I got a little sidetracked there. Sorry.
So, the last time I got my bloodwork done, my doc announced that my cholesterol was a little high and he wrote me a script for Lipitor. I shrugged. High choloesterol is bad, right? Okay, give me the pills. He stressed that I needed to come back in 6 weeks for follow up bloodwork, 'cuz this stuff can fuck with liver function. I go back, my cholesterol is down from 218 to 184 and everyone is happy.
Yesterday I'm driving around in my truck, listening to talk radio (I officially turned into an 'Old Geezer' when I realized I prefer listening to AM talk radio to FM rock and roll. This happened about 5 years ago and I'm fucking SICK about it), when I happened upon a show about healthy lifestyles and alternative medicines. The host was busy explaining the advantages of incorporating goji berries into one's diet. It was interesting, and I made a mental note to Google it when I got home. Maybe someone makes goji berry preserves that would go nicely on toast in the morning, who knows?
Then, the host got a call from someone asking about chromium picolinate. This pleased me, because I know a little about the stuff. It's actually a trace mineral used as a supplement by some to help regulate blood sugar. I've always been told that it's not too effective. Then, the caller mentioned he was taking this as well as Lipitor and the host freaked out. Freaked out.
So, I learned that Lipitor is a statin, and although statins do, in fact, help lower cholesterol, they are suspected of causing memory loss, liver disfunction (which I figured), muscle wasting, and heart attacks! What? I turned up the volume and leaned forward as I drove. I started to sweat. The host stressed that there is a big debate in the medical arena right now as to whether higher cholesterol levels are truely an indicator of heart disease, or an indicator of OTHER issues that may be the determining factor in heart attacks and stroke. He begged the caller to talk to his doctor about finding other ways to deal with his cholesterol than using statins.
All the while, I'm gripping the steering wheel with one sweaty hand, which is starting to go numb, and holding my chest with my other, trying to 'feel" for signs of an impending heart attack. Then, I remind myself how my legs have felt so weak lately. I've got big, strong, tree trunk legs. They've got to be to hold this body up. Of course they have felt weak, they are WASTING AWAY! Fuck! I need to call the doctor's office! What's the clinic's number, again? OH MY GOD, I can't remember the phone number to the clinic! I've got ALL the symptoms!
In a panic, I switch the radio over to an FM classic rock station. "Don't Fear The Reaper" by Blue Oyster Cult fills the cab of the truck. I can't listen to that song without flashing on the SNL skit with Will Ferrell and the cowbell. But, this time, I wasn't laughing. NOW, I won't be able to listen to it without thinking about the time I convinced myself I was about to have a heart attack.
I just turn the damned radio off.
I swear, I'm calling my doctor tomorrow and we're going to have a little talk.