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Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

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My Heavenly Addiction

My Heavenly Addiction
Dan Dodge

“208. Your cholesterol is 208,” the doctor said.

I sat there on the examination table fully dressed in shock.

“208.” I responded.  “It used to be 166,” I said.

I had always prided myself on giving up eating red meat and smoking cigarettes all in the same week back in the early 1990’s.  People, at that time, made bets on how many pounds I would gain as I had always been slender.

I gained no weight – zero pounds!  I was proud of that accomplishment.

So fast forward to yesterday approximately thirty years later and the new cholesterol numbers. I was having trouble digesting this new information.

“What have you been eating”?  The doctor asked.

“A little ice cream and cheese and crackers for night snacks,” I responded.

“Well, I think you really need to give them up,” my primary doc said.

Now, I was beginning to sink into a quagmire.  The irony was that my arthritis doctor said to eat cheese and dairy products to keep my calcium levels good.

I had previously received good news on the calcium bone level lab work the month before this cholesterol diagnosis.

My chocolate chip mint nightly ice cream would have to cease and desist.

The past year, after ironically giving up my daily glass of red wine due to a new high liver enzymes diagnosis, I had substituted the bowl of chocolate chip mint ice cream.

At first, I rationalized the substitution as I kept thinking of those Italians (and I’m 50 percent Italian) on the island of Sardinia, who have incredible longevity success, eating pasta, drinking red wine, sitting in the Mediterranean sunshine.  Of course, I had forgotten to factor in the hilly terrain of Sardinia, which these Italians walked every day keeping their hearts and souls and minds healthy.  They were part of the “blue zone” of the world population that achieves longevity; they even have murals of seniors over 100 years of age on their street walls and buildings.

I had ventured out last week to explore the local varieties of my obsession- chocolate chip mint ice cream.  Aldi’s Belmont brand was good and cheap, Lowe’s Food’s was passable, Blue Bunny was just OK, and even Walmart’s Great Value brand was acceptable.

That’s when I realized I might have an addiction.

At least I didn’t get my ice cream in a sugar cone with toppings galore, I was still rationalizing.

“OK,” I said to primary doctor. “I will cut down the amount of ice cream I consume but I still have to keep a piece of cheese in my refrigerator.”

“Done,” said the doc.  “See you in six months and re check your blood labs.”

I tried to focus on the positive as I left the doctor’s office.

My liver enzymes were finally normal after over a year of no red wine and no bone density meds.  I had even had a liver biopsy in the hospital, just to confirm my new regenerated liver.

So, off now to tackle high AIC, hypertension, and rapid heart beat as I recalled the famous actor Betty Davies, chain smoking away, delivering her classic line “Getting old isn’t for sissies.”

As I headed out to my car in the bright sunshine, life didn’t seem so gloomy.

I opened my purse, searching for my car keys.  Oh no, where were they??? Did I leave them at doc’s office?  At least, I thought, I didn’t have to draw that dumb clock and remember the three words the nurse said in the intake exam… or should I have done that med test again??

I vowed to age gracefully as I headed back into the doc office to search for my lost keys.  At least I still had my dignity….

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