Today, I stupidly decided to go visit the “on site” visiting work nurse to get a reading for my cholesterol, my blood pressure, and my glucose. And it’s a good thing I did that because I found out that I’m dying.
On March 28th, 2006 (yes, that’s not even two months ago) I went in for a massive stress test. I was worried about my work out heart rate and decided to go ahead and get some tests done to make sure it wasn’t going to explode. (That date, incidentally, also marks the last time I visited the gym. I am a Grade-A moron.)
Anyway, I was hooked up to those machines, they were spitting back numbers I had my blood pressure read and then some. I was shirtless at the time AND running on a treadmill with two men watching me. I felt like an ass but figured it was important. And wouldn’t you know? Things were fine. My blood pressure? Fine. My heart rate? Fine. I was FINE! FINE!
A few months before that, I had had blood drawn to make sure all was well on the Michele front. That came back FINE!
Today, I had some nurse take my blood pressure and prick my middle finger. Each appointment took 10 minutes. Mine was at 3:15 PM.
“You need an arm, right?”
I pulled up my sleeve. After her eyes adjusted to the blinding light reflecting off my skin, she applied the tight Velcro thing to my arm. She put the headphones in her ear, and began to pump that black rubber thing.
“You’re 130/90. That’s high.”
“What? You’re kidding me. I am always normal to low. I gave up coffee. I should start up again. Are you serious?”
Silence. Shock. Disbelief.
All your life you get used to hearing something and then BAM! not anymore.
“Are you stressed out?”
Of course I’m stressed out, I thought. I am a graphic designer who works under unattainable deadlines.
“A little. I guess.”
“That’s probably it.”
She then pricked my middle finger. She then pushed the blood (by applying pressure to my fingertip) into a thin tube. She then took that thin tube and squirted the blood onto a black piece of plastic, which was attached to what looked to be a remote control.
“This will only take two minutes.” She said to me calmly.
I remarked about the view. “You should really reposition your chair so you can see the view.”
We laughed. Together.
“Your cholesterol is high as well.”
“That’s high. But did you eat? You’re not supposed to.”
“I ate. Yes. It’s 3:15. I was hungry.”
“That could be it. Do you visit the doctor?”
“All the time.”
“And they never noticed anything before.”
“No. I was just there, too. Had an EKG and everything. My blood pressure has always been fine. Always. I’m shocked.”
“I’m sure you’re fine.”
The only good news is, is that my glucose is at 70. My glucose has been high before. Is it opposite day? Did I miss the memo? What in the hell is going on?
So, I’m 32 and I’m dying. One small prick to the “f*ck you” finger, and I find out I’m dying.
I blame the cats.
And the diluted lard I’ve been putting into your nightly tea.
I am still in disbelief. A coworker said, “Dude, don’t believe that crap, believe the doctor.” But man….
I do NOT need more to worry about.
I made another doctor’s appointment for next Thursday to put this (or me) to bed once and for all.
In all honesty, I’m freaking out a little here. I guess I’m getting old and I need to pay more attention to my health. Just when you thought you were feeling better mentally, you go and find out something to throw an albeit small thorn into the mix.
If anyone has any suggestions as to ways to lower my cholesterol (assuming it is indeed high and that wasn’t a mistake) please let me know.
Should I live on cereal from now on? Fish? What should I do? I mean, other than try not to freak out.
You don’t eat red/white meat , right? Only fish?
Because that seems really high for the diet that I think you have.
At least you aren’t jumping to any conclusions or anything…;-)
Don’t panic, sweetie…I would trust your GP more than an on-site nurse at the office. Plus, you recently had eaten and you were AT WORK, of course your BP will be a bit higher and your numbers off.
Take a deep breath (and a strong drink). It’ll all be ok.
btw, if you want to lower the cholestorl, do mcdougal for a few weeks
cholestorol is volatile – assuming your veins and arteries aren’t lined with butter, it can go up and down really quickly
if you’re really at 2xx right now, and you were at 16x a year ago, i don’t think you have anything to worry about. the people who have problems because of cholestorol are the ones that have high cholestorl for years – and its the accumulation of all the damage and current levels that makes things dangerous
so you’re not dying, you’ll be fine. if the numbers come back high after you see your doc, just take this as a notice to watch what you’re eating and have a better diet so the numbers go down , you live to be 140 years old, and toby can make wrinkly ass jokes about you.
so there is an angel on one shoulder that says to me: Michele is freaking out because some rent-a-nurse with a rinky dink Hasbro blood monitor and a Fisher-Price stethescope and pressue cuff says that all her numbers are different from everything she has ever been told by doctors. Make her see how silly this anxiety is (and it’s obvious that the anxiety is self-generated because just last week she was saying how happy she is and we all know she needs to manufacture a little drama in her life to keep things interesting).
Then on the other shoulder the devil says to me: hehe, Michele is freaking out. If she’s thinking about having a kid, she should really be careful of her stress and blood pressure during pregnancy, because both go WAY up. Just by reading this her eyes are probably rolling into the back of her head as a whole new vista of anxiety opens up for her!! And then suggest that she start looking for life insurance, too. Just like I did when my overweight 42 year old friend dropped dead during a soccer match last winter!
BTW, you probably just needed to crap. A good BM does wonders for the BP.
i don’t think 130/90 is that high. I can ask my mom for you though. But a couple of months back I had my blood pressure taken and it was 90/73. A month or so later, at the dentist, it was 120/90. I thought something bad must have happened in that month, one too many buffalo wings or something, but the guy said 120/90 was normal. Right on the button. Plus, secondary factors can contribute to your blood pressure rising so it may have been a “false positive” kind of thing…
Charlie, you nailed it. You always do.
I need to get a hold of myself. I know. Plus, I was told my mom and dad recently that my father has always had high cholesterol but the GOOD cholesterol (HDL? Can’t remember) is really high. So, basically, the number he gets back (should it not be broken down) comes back high. WHich might be why my GP never said there was a problem. Either way, I must chill until I get checked out AGAIN. Assuming my insurance will cover yet another blood test so close to the other one.
Also, I barely eat meat. I was a strict veg for over 15 years. So this comes as more of a shock. Granted, I eat cheese like it’s my part-time job. So who knows. And I don’t throw eggs away from my face either. Ah well.
I hear drinking water and walking can lower cholestrol. Well, and eating better too. If the combination of those don’t work then medication can help. I say you are probably fine, but it won’t hurt to see your dr. and get the test done properly with a full reading of your total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and tryglycerides.