Last January, I decided that I needed to get a physical. From time to time, I was having twinges in my chest, and it scared me. I wanted to start exercising, but I was afraid that my heart would explode. I went up to the hospital and took a stress test. They wanted me to walk at 3 mph; I didn’t even have to get to that speed for them the get the needed information. My heart was fine, the doc said; I just didn’t have any endurance. He said I could start exercising slowly.
I also got blood work done at that time, just to check the basics: Thyroid, hormones, cholesterol, and vitamin D. The results showed that I was deficient in Vitamin D (I was not surprised), and that my cholesterol was a bit high (again, not surprised).
My health insurance was ending at the end of February, and I figured I should get the whole lab thing done again. Today I spoke with the nurse about the results. I was very excited to hear how they had improved, so confident that they had; after all, I’ve been exercising like crazy since October–SURELY, the numbers would be better, right?
I called the doctor’s office and spoke with a nurse.
“The doctor says your LDL cholesterol level is elevated; he would like you to control it through diet.”
WHAT?!I was mad. So annoyed. How was it possible that it was elevated?? And suddenly, it occurred to me to ask,
“Is that slightly elevated in GENERAL, or elevated compared to LAST YEAR’S levels? “
That’s what I really wanted to know–had all this exercise done ANYTHING to benefit me??
After a few minutes on hold (worst music ever, by the way), the nurse comes back on to tell me the results:
Last year’s LDL: 135 –borderline High.
This year: 102!! Near optimal, according to the American Heart Association website!
What’s ideal? Less than 100mg/dL. How close is that??
I was very happy. Other numbers went down too, from 211 (total cholesterol, I think) to 185! I will have to verify that it was total cholesterol and not triglycerides. If it was the second, then that’s not such an impressive decrease since it would still be considered borderline high.
I shared these improvements with a doc who works out at my gym. He seemed to be slightly impressed, but then asked,
“What about the HDL levels? That’s the important number.”
Uh…I don’t know if they even tested for that. Dang it!
Anyway, I’m still pleased. I’m thrilled to know that my hard work at the gym is reducing more than just my butt size!