29 August 2007

Who Flipped The "Old Man" Switch?

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Because he's bony and he tastes like shit, that's why.
Apparently my squeaky-clean vegetarian lifestyle hasn't done
my heart any favors. If I'm going to stay youthful, it looks like
I'm going to have to start eating people's pets.


So I told you about the exam I got last week. Well I just got the blood test results and greeted them with a resounding WHAT THE CRAP?! Last year when I went in for my 40,000 mile checkup, my cholesterol was low, my blood pressure was fine, and they told me that I was in great shape for a guy my age. They even did an EKG on me and told me that I had the heart of a much younger man. And I said, "Yes I do. I keep it in a jar on my desk."

But then comes this year. Dr. Pitt's assistant calls me up day before yesterday to tell me that in the last year, somebody came by and flipped the "Old Guy" switch. All of a sudden my cholesterol is up, my blood pressure is up, I have "moderate cardiac risk" markers (whatever the shit those are), and they tell me to go on aspirin therapy. All of a sudden I'm 70. Fucking hell. Oh yeah, and there's blood in my whiz. How unbelievably not-awesome is that? And apparently all I had to do in the last year to get into this decrepit state was to maintain a strict vegetarian diet, work out at least three times a week, and hike about 200 miles - including, mind you, the transect of a 10,000 foot mountain pass - twice.

There can only be two explanations for this. 1) Jesus hates me. (That's a given. -Ed.) 2) When my old doctor, Dr. Cranky McGrumpenstein told me last year that my cholesterol was low, he warned me that my "good" cholesterol count (that's HDL for those of you who don't obsess on WebMD every day) was low also. He said - what was it now? Oh yeah, he said that might eventually lead to an increase in my bad (LDL) cholesterol since one balances the other. So he told me I oughtta go eat some fish once a week or so. I said no fuckin' way. He said how come? I said because it freaks me out. So he said fine, it's your funeral. Which, according to my recent blood test, it most assuredly is.

The good news is (or so they tell me at Dr. Pitt's office) that all of this can be corrected with diet and exercise. I gotta eat more oats, get more exercise (if that's possible - I'm going to see if they'll let me put a cot in the gym), and - ulp - eat fish oil. I don't mind telling you that last one freaks me out major bigtime. But I'm doing it. I'm freaking out on the inside, but I'm by God choking down my Omega-3 Fish Oil pills...chanting the Jewel In The Lotus mantra under my breath the entire time. But if I don't do it, I'm afraid my entire contribution to this life is going to be the following ironic headline: MODERATELY ATHLETIC VEGETARIAN PACIFIST DIES OF HEART ATTACK. Everything we know is wrong, say weeping pack of mantra-yodeling holistic doctors. But hey, on the upside, I figure if I was a fish, I'd want to be eaten by a Buddhist. Wouldn't you? Of course you would. So there you go. Maybe it's not all that bad.

Which brings me to the dream I had last night. Yes, there was meat in it. I dreamt that I was sitting at the dinner table and there was a big, juicy chunk of prime rib on a plate in front of me and I was really really really hungry. (One of my elementary school classmates back in Pontiac, MI once defined the word "ravenous" as follows: "Whens youse hungry, dat's whens you jus' wants sumpin' to eat. But whens youse ravenous, dat's whens youse hoonnngry!") In other words, I was ravenous. But the idea of eating meat was still freaking me out, as it always does. So I sat there and started reasoning about eating it, which led to rationalizing about eating it, which lead to outright denial and lying to myself. And then I cut a chunk off and put it in my mouth...and yeccchh. Not only did it taste rancid, it tasted like soap. Rancid meat soap is what we're talking here. (Soap? WTF? -Ed.) I durn near puked. Guess that means I'm still a vegetarian.