Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. Duh. Nothing in this post should be construed as medical advice. It’s just the opinion of a fat lady who is tired of being fat. We’ve had enough of people not listening to doctors these past few years, haven’t we?
My mother taught me to separate eggs by gently transferring the yolk from one half of the shell to the other, letting the white ooze into the mixing bowl.
I get anxious if I nick the yolk, thinking that the tiniest bit falling into the mixing bowl will ruin the batter.
I ate a lot of eggs last year and this, and cheese, and half-and-half in my caffeinated coffee. I’ve had strange episodes of heart palpitations, and some scary spikes in blood pressure, despite my diligent exercise habits.
I’ve been thinking about that palm reader at the Renaissance Faire, who told me when I was 15 that I would die at 63.
My 63rd birthday is next month.
I went in person for an annual checkup. It was a perfunctory visit, with the usual fat shaming and hand-wringing over my blood pressure (although my cholesterol is “perfect–high HDLs, low LDLs”) and an immediate resort to a prescription.
I picked up the blood pressure prescription, but I didn’t take it.
Instead, I relied on Occam’s razor. The simplest explanation is likely the right one. I’ve been seeing this doctor for years. She knows stuff about me. But she didn’t discuss lifestyle factors that could relate to spikes in blood pressure. Nope, she went straight for the prescription pad.
The medication, once started, isn’t easily stopped. So instead of taking it, I improved my nutrition, quit caffeine, reduced salt and other bad stuff intake, and adopted a newer diet based on an old principle I’ve known about for a long time.
The principle recognizes that you can’t take a body as exquisitely adapted to survive starvation as mine, deprive it of food, and expect it to lose weight. It will hang on to every precious pound, to stave off starvation, because it thinks it is still in the stone age, game is scarce, and winter is coming. The diet aims to fool my inner cave woman into believing everything’s ok.
I’ve lost eight pounds in two weeks, and my blood pressure has come down substantially. My little at-home blood pressure machine no longer screams red (“danger, Will Robinson!!”), but fluctuates between a gentle orange (“hey, keep an eye on this”) and a serene blue (“all good, nothing to see here.”)
Four days of the week, I’m not allowed to eat egg yolks. Egg whites, yes, but not yolks. I use organic, free-range, astronomically-expensive-but-worth it eggs, which have thicker shells. I have to whack them pretty hard to get them to crack.
This usually results in one half of the broken shell being larger than the other. But I confidently transfer that egg yolk from the larger yolk-and-white sized half to the other, yolk-only sized half, until the white has oozed off, into the bowl, as completely as it will.
Last week, I nicked a yolk, and worried that it would contaminate my pure egg white. I was so proud of following the instructions for the diet to the letter (which the book admonishes me, in italics, to do, that I didn’t want even a drop of that yolk, with its sad torn yolk sac, in my pure egg white.
It didn’t fall in. Even though it was broken, it was thick enough to hold together, long enough for me to dispose of it, and keep the egg white pristine.
April 27 was the 32nd anniversary of the day Mike and I met. A bright red cardinal landed on the power lines that run above the end of my driveway, and looked right at me through the window in the kitchen door as I was working at my desk. After it flew toward and over the house, disappearing into the cedar in the back where cardinals nest every year, I thought it may have been Mike, saying hello.
May 2 would have been our 30th wedding anniversary. I didn’t feel sentimental, or sad. It was just another day. I was amused when the lottery notified me that the jackpot was up to a figure that began with Mike’s favorite number, and I blew $10 I couldn’t afford on a few losing tickets.
This morning, Spotify (which I left in a huff along with thousands of others when everyone was leaving in a huff, only to return because the classical music curation on the service I went to was so bad I couldn’t stand it) played the trumpet tune that was our wedding processional (or was it the recessional? Can’t remember. It was played at our wedding, that’s what matters). I smiled and whispered, “you’re a day late, Bear, but thanks.”
Six years ago my heart broke, but it held together.
Planning on sending the doc a photo of that blue-screen blood pressure reading before my follow-up visit, I remain,