I was reminded of those posts last week when I had my own little visit to the doctor’s office. I feel great, I look great, and my blood pressure and heart rate are both “excellent”. However, my cholesterol was through the roof (as I suspected would be the case). Over the last several months I have neglected my workout regimen and bought/ate half of a delicious pig from our friends at Burns Best Farm. The sad fact is that I don’t eat well in the winter. I’m lukewarm about the prospect of eating fruits and vegetables shipped in from halfway around the globe, and without local produce I tend to gravitate to proteins (meat and cheese) and carbs (bread and pasta). Had my labs been taken during the summer when the fruits and vegetables from the CSA were around, the numbers may have been different. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not defending my flawed approach, just explaining it. I have not actively worked on keeping my cholesterol down and I have no one to blame but myself.
|He was born and raised locally, |
we named him Al, and he was delicious.
I’ve been seeing my current doctor for a about a year. To be frank, this person is not my first choice. However, she is in-network and the doctor I want to see has a waiting list (I’ve been waiting for more than a year). In any event, the doctor explained the cholesterol number then announced that she was putting me on Lipitor. There was no question of lifestyle, no discussion about changing my exercise routine, no mention of trying to get the number down by changing dietary habit. I respect my doctor, and I understand that she has spent a lot of time in school and in practice to develop her philosophy on treatment. However, aged 39, I’m not ready go on a statin and subject myself to headache, difficulty sleeping, flushing of the skin, muscle aches and tenderness, drowsiness/ weakness, dizziness, nausea and/or vomiting, abdominal cramping and/or pain, bloating and/or gas, diarrhea, constipation, and rash without at least making an effort to address the problem through means I can control. Fuck. That. More importantly, I fully believe that the quality of one's life is more important than its duration.
|So long duck liver pate in aspic.|
The fact that I’m no longer bullet-proof is starting to sink in. Whereas, at one time it was no big deal to immediately jump into playing sports cold, I now have to warm up, warm down and get sore two days later. In my more athletic days, my dietary decisions were based on what allowed me perform on a day to day basis. Those decisions were not necessarily geared toward long-term health. I now find myself in a spot where I have to work and exert effort in order to be healthy. I suppose I could continue to live the same way, take a pill and deal with the side effects. Those side effects, however, would impact my quality of life far more than fixing the root problem- in this case exercising more and consuming the right things. From here on out, if I want to be healthy I will have to work on it. In many respects, having a healthy city follows the same rules.
|Goodbye Rolled Pig's Head, you will be missed.|
Downtown didn’t just happen. The Miller Plaza district, the Riverfront, Coolidge Park, the Riverwalk, the Southside, The Aquarium and its Plaza; these places didn’t just spring up. These places are the result of years of work by hundreds of students, dozens of professionals, multiple public agencies, and thousand of citizens (not to mention the decades of work by previous generations in establishing the city). Unfortunately, our country has been conditioned to think like my doctor. We look for the pill with the full understanding that there are side effects, but with the mindset of dealing with them later (with another pill). We have quit trying to deal with the root issues of problems because it is hard work.
|Beer and Cigars, I'm gonna miss....wait, who am I kidding.|
Remember what I said about quality of life?