I promised myself that I would get a physical this year. In fact, I even put it on my 2013 Bucket List, knowing that I could eventually have the satisfaction of crossing it off at some point. I’d gone far too long without checking in on the numbers that we are all supposed to know-cholesterol (HDL and LDL), blood sugar and blood health. Just how long, you ask? Roughly 7 years. Smart, huh? A healthy, physically active person like me just ignored the tiny little suggestion that getting a physical once a year is one of the best things you can do for your health.
My defense for my “ignorance is bliss” policy heretofore is based on a simple story. About 7 years ago, I intelligently scheduled a physical exam for myself, fasted according to doctor’s directions, arrived to the office and rolled up my sleeve for my blood work. An extremely kind nurse set me up on the exam table, gently drew my blood and left the room, leaving me to wait for the doctor. Then, after hearing a lovely sound in my ears, something akin to waves hitting the shore at the lake, I promptly fainted and fell off the exam table. I awoke disoriented, with doctors waving smelling salts under my nose and someone calling for a stretcher. The nurse claimed I “didn’t tell her I was a fainter” and I advised that this was a new experience for me, but would be sure to warn others in the future. After a nasty dispute about who would pay my hospital bills for that fateful day, a change in doctors, and two more fainting episodes, I became terrified of the phlebotomist. The mere feeling of the tourniquet on my arm has been enough to make me woozy. Thankfully, I’ve discovered an awesome lab tech at my local office who has helped me overcome my fear with plenty of kind words, a reclining chair, and orange juice boxes for backup. I may just send her flowers one of these days.
I headed in for my exam last Thursday and the doctor gave me a big thumbs up overall. She reminded me that my risk for diabetes is low, given my efforts to work out and eat healthfully. The nurse who took my blood pressure and pulse asked if I was doing “any crazy yoga stuff” to keep my resting heart rate so low (46). I happily said “No, I’m a runner.” The doctor went right ahead and ordered a fasting blood panel, as I knew she would, just to make sure my cholesterol and blood sugar were OK. I waited until yesterday to go for the blood work, knowing that I would have the day off from work. My trusty lab tech was there and Phil went along for support. I came out alive, of course, and got myself a little treat on the way home to celebrate.
My results came back today and I’m happy to report that my cholesterol, blood sugar and blood health are all normal. Plugged my numbers in to the Mayo Clinic’s cholesterol calculator and got the following results:
Here’s to a healthy 2013! What are you doing to take care of yourself this year? I’d love to hear your ideas and plans.