So… My reward for walking the earth for half a century is to have my cholesterol hit 295. Yes, I am grateful it is not higher. Yes, I’m aware that historically people only lived to thirty if they were lucky enough to not be eaten by a dinosaur first. And yes, I am aware I have outlived my usefulness, as my dad likes to say. Still, 295 stings a bit.
It is unclear to me how it went from 211 three years ago to a whopping 295 now. (Insert lecture here about me going for three years without blood work.). I’m certain it isn’t the potato chips and dip. Or the weekly trips to Pizza Al’s. Or the cheese. Ahhh, glorious cheese.
Nope, my high cholesterol remains a mystery. Well, except for the part where my dad has had high cholesterol and high blood pressure for as long as I can remember. My mom immediately pointed out that her high cholesterol has never been that high. To which I responded, “Yeah, but you had a heart attack.”. In retrospect, there is a bit of a family history I should consider.
Regardless of the how or why, it came to my attention that I am currently at Chris Farley heart status, so something had to be done. My doctor did an assessment and advised since my risk of heart attack in the next ten years is less than five percent, I could choose to treat it with lifestyle changes (read: fish oil, Metamucil, exercise) or I could try a low dosage statin (read: Lipitor). I processed the information, advised her since I have been unable to lose the extra twenty pounds I am toting through lifestyle changes that I felt my success at reducing my cholesterol in a similar manner would be just as unsuccessful, and thanked her for my prescription of Lipitor.
Everyone told me the cholesterol medicine would make me weak and tired. My response, how will I know? I mean, seriously, once I hit forty everything hurt all the time and I was always exhausted anyway. And I do not believe it’s just me. I watch movies. I read. It’s called over the hill for a reason. It is my firm belief that 99.9% of people over forty walk around all day feeling like they’ve been hit by a bus. The rest are clinically insane.
I hate to tell ya, but everyone is right. Now that I have been taking the medication, I am not only weak, but I have muscle soreness. So not only can I not lift my fat ass off the ground without major effort, when I do manage to get up into the standing position my legs feel like I’ve run a marathon. Not that I would have any idea what legs that have run a marathon actually feel like, but you get the idea. Note this is taking into consideration I’ve actually managed to convince myself to get off the ground instead of just remaining there and taking a nice nap.
My total bad ass husband (PTST) has been taking cholesterol medicine for a few years, which is helpful to me when I experience unexpected symptoms. For instance, I got a random shooting pain in my shoulder last week. When I asked him if he thought I had a career ending football injury, he replied, “It’s the pills.” That has become his answer every time I complain about some new ache or pain, which is often. Thus I will not be surprised when I lop off my foot with the lawnmower and ask him to dial 911 if he responds that it’s the pills and goes back to watching Star Trek.
To date I have not yet experienced the nighttime leg cramps that the doctor warned me about, for which there is no remedy. I have been advised that the pain will be severe enough to wake me, bending my legs back and forth may help, but I will just need to wait it out. So now I have that to look forward to, as does Mike since I’m sure he will enjoy something new to wake him from a dead sleep instead of my snoring. Oh well, that’ll be some nice payback to him for the “It’s the pills” comment…
Next week: More on aging…