Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hungry Heart

I've been needing to take a little more interest in nutrition lately.  One could chalk it up to accepting the reality of my own mortality.  Or at least to the desire to put off that reality for as long as possible.  Y'see, I'm spoiled.  Blessed, even.  I have a body that, for the most part, works the way I ask it to.  I've been a runner since I was about ten years old, grew up in a household headed by a woman who was ahead of her time as far as healthy cooking, ran cross-country and track (not terribly well, but consistently enough), and continued with good habits into adulthood (if you don't count the phase where I drank like it was an Olympic sport in which I was determined to medal).  I rode my bike to my corporate job, ran during lunch, rode my bike home, ordered steamed veggies and tofu, all that stuff. 

So here I am scheduling a HeartScan.  And learning a lot about what I didn't know along the way.

Here's the kicker:  my bad cholesterol is golden.  Not surprising, I suppose.  I don't like to cook (there! I admit it!), and when I do... well, let's just say that when Urban Dad and I go out, I make it a point to not order chicken.

But the good cholesterol?  The one that's supposed to be at least 50 in women?  Preferably higher?  Mine is 33.  And that's an improvement over the last few years.  My doctor is now filling me in on heart disease in women and imploring me to get a (not-likely-covered-by-insurance) HeartScan to make sure that my lack of protective cholesterol isn't leading to plaque in my ticker.

Best Namma Ever! was completely and immediately concerned.  "Schedule it!  Schedule it now!  I'll pay for the damn thing if you want!" 

The conversation with Urban Dad went a little differently:
Me:  "My doctor wants me to find the money to do a Heart Scan."
Him:  "Pffffft!  That's stupid!  You're nowhere near overweight, you don't eat heavily, you've exercised your whole life."
Me:  "That's not the point.  In fact, I should be exercising more."
Him:  "Pfffffft!  That's stupid!  You exercise plenty.  Hell, just chasing the kids is exercise, let alone when you go to the gym."
Me:  "My dad had bypass surgery and cholesterol problems run in my mom's side."
Him:  "Pffffft!  That's stupid!  How old was your dad when he had surgery?  And he's not exactly an exercise fiend, right?"
Me:  "My numbers are not improving.  My doctor is concerned and just wants to know.  Heart disease is a huge thing in women.  For example, my girlfriend Diane has been on Plavix since she was 32 because of plaque in her heart."
Him:  "Pfffffft!  That's stupid!  There's nothing wrong with you.  You're fine."
Him:  *****silence*****

Lest you think less of Urban Dad, understand that this is how he works.  He reacts all arrogantly sure of himself, but then the idea sinks in after a while.  You can tell as he asks questions over the next several days.  For example, a few days later, as we were dozing off, out of nowhere, it was, "So where do you go for a HeartScan?"  The next day it was, "How much is the test? It doesn't matter, of course, but I'm just curious."  The day after that it was, "Do you want to get one? Have you scheduled it yet?"  He turns it over in his mind and works his way to a paradigm shift.  And as this process happens, I do my bits of research so that I can drag him along cheerfully share what I've learned.  It's a process, but it happens.  Eventually.  In fact, when I let the scheduling slide down my To-Do List, Urban Dad actually badgered me to finally schedule it already.

(over Spring Break, thanks, so that he can take the Urban Kids -- babysitters are $15/hr, y'know!)

In the meantime, I went to a nutrition seminar in order to learn more about foods that will help raise that 33.  When I asked my specific question, I got a lot of "oh, don't get wrapped up in numbers" in the response from a couple of overly-groovy trainers.  Ummmm.... and your medical degree is from.......where, exactly?

God bless my doctor and the internet.  As I type, I have salmon marinating.  (yes! i'm going to try to cook something!)  I have fish oil capsules in the cabinet.  And, of course, a glass of red wine by the computer.  I can't get away to the gym more often than on Saturdays and Sundays, but that will hopefully change soon.  In the meantime, when I do an errand, I just try to walkthereasfastasIcan!

Here's to spending $395 and a morning at UIC to find out that everything is clear as a bell! (*clink*)


Hen Jen said...

sending good thoughts your way! My dd sounds like Urban Dad- he almost always reacts to something negatively, maybe even mild outrage..and then he mulls it over and often comes to the opposite conclusion. I've learned to ride with it..and to not spring things on him in public..!

I'm sure it will go well.

Tammy said...

Yes...your back to blogging! I missed reading your blog for sooo long. ;) I'm praying you get good scan results.

Tammy in Germany

Jaga1294 said...

Claire said...

You have an informative blog. I’ve learned something from it. I do have mine too Thanks

Dy said...

Dude. (Yes, I just Dude'd you.) So what happened?

Do you read Tom Naughton's blog? Have you seen Fat Head?

I know you haven't stroked-out yet, because I see you elsewhere in the webworld... but what's happening with this?

:raises eyebrow:

Incongruous Circumspection said...

You still out there?

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