Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I've been sort of freaked out lately

I wasn't sure whether I was going to talk about this on my blog but what the hell. Let's talk about my blood sugar deciding to slowly put that last nail in my coffin, shall we? How in order to tame that hungry bitch I've given up my one true food love, pasta and moderated my second (though some would argue that these should be reversed) wine. I have argued that wine is a food. I normally wouldn't get to freaked out about a diagnosis of pre-diabetes but, you see, I have most, if not, all the other risk factors for heart disease. Let's review them, shall we?

1.Blood cholesterol levels
 At the present time my cholesterol levels are neatly controlled by medication. Why? Because I've had high cholesterol since I was 20. It wasn't until I was 45 and had that minor cardiac incident that I went on cholesterol meds. I've gone on every diet and exercise plan known to mankind and my numbers in this regard have never budged, so it's meds for me. Damn genetics!

2. High blood pressure
At 40 years old it was discovered, by my dentist of all people, that I had high blood pressure. Hey! they don't call it the silent killer for nothing, I had no idea. And, not your measly 'oh you should really try to add more cardio to your exercise plan' high blood pressure. We're talking nitro-carrying, take no prisoners, sit in the corner drooling after that stroke, high blood pressure. This new event changed my life motto from "I strive for mediocrity" to "go big or go home".  FYI, you can't touch nitro pills. You have to shake them out of the jar (glass only thankyouverymuch) under your tongue. They dissolve like a fizzy. You foam at the mouth, just a little, then you get light headed as your blood pressure drops from 230 over 198 to normal. It's awesome scary. This is a family history thing. Get use to that sentence in this post. I've always said that there is no diving in my gene pool; it is for wading only. I should have never reproduced and back in the early 1900s the Eugenics people wouldn't have let me.

3. Diabetes. Yeah, another one of those sneaky diseases. You know?, when your doctor orders 2 tests for this a week apart that something is up. While my blood sugar level is just above the bar I've decided that this is one pole I just don't want to jump. So out with white food or as I like to say "all the good stuff" for me. No more white sugar, flour, potatoes (oh how I miss you) and rice. If it can be considered a 'carb' it's off the menu. Hence, my grieving for pasta (I have lost 8 pounds in the last few weeks it still doesn't make up for the loss). I think I failed to mention, this is also a family history deal. Thanks Dad.

4. Family History. Shall we discuss the last 2 generations in my family?
Grandmother on my mom's side = first heart attack at 38 while pregnant with my mom. 3 more before that 4th one got her at 70.
Grandfather on my father's side = dies at 48 from a heart attack. He really doesn't count though, he was an alcoholic, smoked and I'm pretty sure behaved badly with various other lifestyle issues. 
Let's get a little closer to home
Mom = high blood pressure but other than that healthy as a horse. I predict that she will out live me by several years, especially at the rate I'm going.
Now, here is another one of those nails.
Dad = high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes which all added up to a heart attack and death at age 61. 10 years older than I am right NOW!

5. Age or post-menopause
Enuf said.

I'm patting myself on the back because while I've have or almost have all of the above what I do have going for me is my lifestyle. I don't smoke (never have); I'm not overweight (by much. I don't think 10 pounds counts); I'm not totally sedimentary (I walk over a mile a day just to get from my car to my office. Damn you expensive parking permits); my diet is pretty good (it's just gotten better); and my doctor approves my one glass of red wine a night (though that has gone bye bye also. 1 glass on Friday and Saturdays only. I can hear the wine industry complaining about their drop in sales already). 

What this all boils down to is that my later years, (and yes it seems that I have hit them) I'll be that old person that watches everything she puts in her mouth, exercises daily and snugly I might add, and takes her meds like a good girl. I, also, plan to make everyone around me do the same (JR you've been officially warned).Oh, I plan to whine and bitch a lot also. Hey! We all need at least one vice.

Take care of your hearts folks.


  1. Dude. That is an impressive and scary list!! I'm glad you are taking care of yourself but what on earth does this leave you to eat?

  2. Mary Anne: turns out, Not a hell of a lot. Tofu, eggs and veggies.

  3. Cutting sugar and grains out of your diet will go a LONG way to helping all of those problems (I worry about your consumption of soy, but I understand it). Cut ALL vegetable oils out, as well, and make sure you get plenty of good fats. Since animal fats like lard are not in your diet, olive oil and butter and coconut oil.

    Why can't you touch nitroglycerine pills?

  4. I'm convinced that the food companies have a lot to answer for. They add and add in their attempts to bulk out things. Such, where you have a chicken breast at 75g will be filled to 200g with a mix of sugars and water. And nary a word from FDA or anyone else.
    What with all the bulking with sugars it's a blessed wonder we're not all being hoisted out of bed on a flaming crane.
    Endeavor to get as unadulterated a food as you can afford. The less processing the better to my mind.

  5. Jan: I've never used vegetable oils, olive oil and butter only. Oh and a little truffle oil on eggs. Yum!
    Nitroglycerine pills will start activating as soon as they touch skin. If they will disolve before you get them into your mouth.

    Vince: I am one of the original Earth Mother, almost nothing I cook comes from a box. I'm a firm believer in the farm to table movement and if we run the farm, even better.

  6. Oy, your list!
    Take care of yourself since I plan on seeing you in October!

  7. Hm, earth mother. Yes, well, don't use that term on this side of the Atlantic if ever you come over. It's a bit like a Fanny Pack or in Ireland 'asking for a ride'. It a Venus that comes to mind and not the one from Willendorf. :D

  8. And I always thought your one true food love was Tootsie Rolls. LOL

  9. Good thing you love the farmer's markets - that looks like the best thing for you. Food and fitness at the same time. Hugs to you, still like you even with all your ailments. At least you know what you are supposed to be doing, I know so many people who just guess because they are afraid of their health issues.

  10. SK: Oh I definitely plan to be around in October and beyond.

    Vince: Uh yeah, thanks.

    Laufa: I knew that farmer's market love affair was going to work out.

  11. You are an Earth Mother, and an wonderful chef and cook. I know you only use the best and freshest ingred.

    I too have high cholesterol so I understand your concerns, BUT at least they have meds that help and help they do!


  12. Family history is a bitch! My dad had a heart attack and died at 59 - it scared the majority of the red meat out of my diet and got my butt moving.

    In the end, all you can do is the best you can do. That and have as much fun as possible for as long as possible.

    Hang in there! I hope the new diet helps.

  13. I could have written that for my husband. Everything you said, he's got. His first heart attack was at 55. He'll be 66 in July. The most unlikely person to have one. But he did. No damage, thank goodness.

    Since then he's been struggling with high BP, moderately high cholesterol and type I diabetes. He's thin and in great shape for the shape he's in. But he's a Type A and stress is a killer, too. Genetics sucks sometimes.

    All this said, PLEASE take care of yourself. You seem to be making a good effort. The high BP scares me the most.

  14. I could have written this post myself! I can identify with every single point you have made. Sometimes getting older sucks.

  15. Cholesterol is WAY overemphasized and except for men who have already had CHD there is no study proving that high cholesterol is even associated, let alone to blame, for Heart Disease. In fact there is an association between very low cholesterol and CHD. What is important is your HDL and Triglycerides and if HDL is high and Tg is low you will have higher LDL (which is calculated from the other two and gets distorted when they are in the beneficial range anyhow) and that is not an issue because most of it will be the light fluffy kind (the good LDL). In fact, a good profile (High HDL/Low Tg) will cause the total to be higher than current recommendations.

    Besides, dear, you have enough to worry about with the rest of your list. Take care and tell them Dr. Be said not to worry about #1!

    And if they don't believe me, ask Uffe Ravnskov, MD,PhD. You can read about it in The Cholesterol Myth.

  16. I'm in that same stage, and my history doesn't look good either. I really need to do what you're doing.

  17. Yikes. Im not there yet and you have successfully scared the s*** out of me.
    Heart issues are in both of our families.
    Take care of yourself.

  18. I read this the other day but didn't have time to comment (my commenting time is SO DAMN LIMITED now that the rest of my life is straightened out...).

    It sucks that you have to deal with this but you'll do the right thing. My Mom was in the same boat when she was your age and she's still alive, kicking, and the most obnoxiously healthy person I know.