I stopped by Beebe Hospital's off-site Lab Express this morning and left behind a fist full of vials of my blood for a variety of you're-approaching-middle-age-man-just-deal-with-it tests. This afternoon, Doctor Robinson called with some of the results. Generally good news.
My cholesterol, which had been running a little bit high over the last few years, is down. Just slightly, but down. Further, my good cholesterol is slightly up from my last test and my bad cholesterol is slightly down.
This is the result of improving my diet and increasing exercise lately. I'm finally getting serious about this and I owe it all to fear.
Over the last few weeks, I let myself think too much about my health. I'd had a few aches and pains and decided that they meant a return of a blood clot, more pulmonary embolisms,
heart problems, stroke, cancer, etc. It turns out that if you think about this stuff too much, you can generate a serious level of anxiety. Which makes your heart race, and makes your blood pressure rise, and makes your chest hurt. Which feels like it might be.... You get the point.
I had various tests that have satisfied me that I'm actually fine. This summer's blood clot is shrinking on schedule. I don't have a new one. My heart is fine. My lungs are clear. I'm fine. Relax.
But I'm also convinced that if I don't make some changes, I may not be fine next time. So? Less salt. Less fat. Less food. More exercise. More relaxation. Proper priorities.
Seems to be working. I think I'll stick with it.