Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Day 2890

Ignorance is bliss, I guess. When I went in for my Calcium Score Screening today, I was expecting a good report. I've worried about my liver for years, but never about my heart. Why should I worry? I'm active. I'm not fat. I try to avoid salt and sugar and eat a healthy diet. Not good enough apparently. My Agatston Score indicates that I already have some atherosclerosis.

When I was younger and underwent any sort of diagnostic testing, the technicians usually gave me a high five. "You're looking good," they'd say. Now when I ask whether the results are good or bad, the response is more like "Considering your age, you're probably OK." It's probably all downhill from here.

I'm not exactly in the danger zone yet, but I imagine that my doctor will want to make some changes. I hope he doesn't want me to take stronger statins. I already don't like statins. I don't like niacin either.  I know dark green leafy vegetables are good, but I'm not wild about eating more broccoli. Maybe there are other ways of getting extra vitamin K in my diet. Truthfully, I never even considered that calcium could be bad for you. I've been taking calcium pills for years to increase bone density. Maybe this isn't such a good idea.

Getting old sucks. My Dad was unstoppable until he turned 70 and then he started going downhill so rapidly it was scary. I don't know why I've always thought I was immune from the same sort of decline. I need to learn from my Dad's mistakes. He never really ate all that well. As a result he had several heart attacks and a quadruple bypass. It's a shame that staying healthy involves giving up so many enjoyable things. I gave up alcohol when I had Hepatitis-C and never started drinking again after I was cured. I've made a real effort to reduce salt and sugar in my diet. I rarely eat bread or pasta anymore and only have bacon as a weekend treat now. What's next? If calcium is a problem, I imagine dairy products are next. I love cheese and sweeten my coffee with whipped cream.  I'd hate to give those up.

It's kind of sad that I got this bad news the day before Thanksgiving. I'm still going to pig out tomorrow, but I'll be even more aware that a huge plate piled with prime rib and mashed potatoes followed by a giant slice of pecan pie topped with whipped cream has to be the exception rather than the rule. Hell, I might even have a glass of wine tomorrow. If you can't loosen your belt and enjoy yourself once a year, what is the point of it all?

It's strange that I've heard absolutely nothing about John Kennedy today. Usually, the Kennedy assassination is the lead on the local news every November 22. I've even made the annual visit to Dealey Plaza myself in prior years. I don't think anyone cares anymore. There are so many other juicy conspiracy theories these days than the debate about whether there was a second gunman on the Grassy Knoll seems insignificant. Memories fade, I guess. I was a freshman in high school when Kennedy was killed. A lot of you weren't even born yet.

I had to pick up some more Plavix for Dash today. There a good chance he'll have to keep taking the blood thinner forever. Increasingly, Dash and I seem to share a lot of the same ailments. We both have heart problems, bad knees, and a grumpy disposition. We'll continue walking and taking naps together and hope for the best.

Chelsey is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day