November 2, 2007
Among the groups I joined at NaBloPoMo is “Fridge Friday,” whose members plan to post a picture of the contents of their refrigerators on Friday. That sounded like fun, especially since two Fridays from now I’ll be in Wyoming, sharing a refrigerator with five other women. So yesterday morning I added my name to the group and then went about my day.
The day had begun with a pre-dawn visit to aÂ medical lab to have blood and other fluids collected for testing as part of the routine physical I’d had the day before. The lab is close to my house and opens at 6:00, which means I can take my fasting-from-midnight self over there and be back home at my writing table with my essential coffee and half-and-half before the day’s half over.
I consider myself a healthy person. I’m overweight, yeah, but I eat well, I don’t smoke, I don’t drink very much, and I exercise, sometimes. My right knee creaks, but my teeth are fabulous (had that checked on Wednesday) and my blood pressure is so normal everyone who ever takes it remarks on it. I read food labels, try new recipes, choose broiled over fried and fish over red meat almost every time. I did quit Weight Watchers (again) because the meetings were not helpful, just time-consuming, and when I did (a month or so ago) I stopped keeping the food journal, a practice I had followed only haphazardly anyway.
By 9:45 yesterday I was at my usual Thursday morning women’s study group at church. One member had brought freshly-baked pumpkin crisp (heavy on the crisp), and another had brought some banana nut bread with whipped cream cheese to spread. I had generous portions of both. Afterward I went to another appointment (lots of routine things to take care of before I leave!) and then out for a little specialty shopping.
Not long after I returned, I had a call from myÂ doctor with my lab results. My cholesterol levels suggest that there is nothing flowing through my veins but Velveeta cheese. The level of my replacement thyroid hormone (I have acquired hypothyroidism) is so inadequate that she doesn’t know how I am even able to stand up. My bone density has deteriorated, and the mammography place wants me to come back for a different kind of test “just to be sure.” The good news? I’m not pregnant (they had to test for that?), and I don’t have chlamydia (I didn’t think so), although there is a proliferation of
e.Â coliÂ E. coli* that could use some attention.
Okay, so maybe I haven’t been paying enough attention to myself. I haven’t been exercising, I haven’t been eating well except when somebody else fixes something for me, and I have been under some stress.Â
I opened the refrigerator and took stock. I typically do a complete redd-out and reorganization on the firstÂ Saturday of the month. That’s tomorrow. Last night I went to the Giant and got a salmon filet to broil for tonight. (It’s there on the bottom shelf, on the right, under the tub of Alouette spreadable berries and cream cheese.) Salmon, with itsÂ protein and Vitamins D and B (the stress vitamins) and omega-3 fatty acidsÂ always makes me feel good, makes me feel as if I am taking good care of myself. I also got some cranberry juice, good for taming that torrent of E. coli. That’s on the top shelf, betweenÂ my filtered water and the season’s first bottle of Nissley’s Holiday White.
I think that’s it ironic that the last health scare I had, in February of 2005, is the event that got my attention, made me change my ways, and plan my first trip to Wyoming. In thirteen days I’ll be on my way there again, having to make my way through four airports while schlepping enough luggage to hold the clothes, books, and writing supplies and equipment I will need to sustain me for a month. At least I can buy the food when I get there!
I have thirteen days to start taking better care of myself. Let’s get busy.
*Rendering of the name of theÂ microorganism corrected per comments by alert (and adorable) reader, posted below.
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