Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ok - This is Serious! Get Yourself Checked Out!

As a startup entrepreneur, not only am I busy, but I'm also poor. So, although my Dad hounds me to get a physical yearly, I often push back because my insurance doesn't cover the lab work. Well last week I decided to give blood, which you all should do once in a while. As a side effect of giving blood, they give you your total cholesterol measurements. I thought that was a great way to kill two birds. Make sure I'm healthy and save a life! Or two, since I gave red blood cells this time around.

Well, I'm not so sure about the healthy part anymore. My cholesterol came back and it was off the charts. Almost literally. You can't feel it when you have high cholesterol. And since I'm young, I often feel invincible. I guess I just hit that age where it's time to be concerned about my health and well being. I want to be around when Vyoo takes over the world!

So what's this mean for me? I'm not sure. I need to tell my Dad...though I may put it off until he reads this. I know the first thing I'm going to do though. I'm cutting quite a bit of cheese out of my diet. See, I'm a cheese addict. And I've always been comfortable with that. I always order extra cheese on my pizza. I eat chunks of cheese, straight from the cheese block in my fridge. I just assumed I processed the cholesterol quickly - because about 4 years ago, my cholesterol was great. And I ate a ton of cheese then too. It's certainly going to be a lifestyle change, but a good one.

I also went for a checkup last week. And I'm not going to share the utter violation that was a prostate exam with you. I'll just let you imagine. But now I have a lab slip and I'll be going for a thorough fasting blood workup next week.

Anyway, I urge you all to go. Preventive medicine is the best kind.

And if you're poor...or not. Go give blood. You'll get a free cholesterol checkup.

Blood Donation Centers:
Blood Centers of the Pacific (Northern California)
Red Cross (Nationwide)


Tuyen said...

I'll have Anna send you her green smoothie recipe.

Lefty said...

@Tuyen - please...send it over! Does it help with cholesterol?

Tuyen said...

Found it: Running Raw: Green Smoothies - Tips & Techniques

We have one every morning. My parents swear by these now too.

And yes, it helps reduce cholesterol: More Kale . . . Less LDL Cholesterol

Lefty said...

@Tuyen - Wow. While it definitely looks sorta gross, it looks really good for you. I think I'm going to have to start making those. You got a blender like that? Looks pretty powerful!

Tim Marman said...

@Lefty, I couldn't agree more - when you're engrossed in a startup, maybe don't have health insurance, young and otherwise healthy, it's easy to put checkups and stuff on the back burner. Don't.

I am a healthy, very active and athletic 29 yr old - and I was recently diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Luckily, I had insurance through my wife's employer, but it still would have been very easy for me to ignore and write off as just nothing...

Working on a startup is not an excuse to ignore your health - in fact, as my friend Charlie put it, it might even be more of a reason to focus on your health.

Big Blue said...

I had the same thing happen to me. I also didn't feel that cholesterol would be an issue for me. I am very active and in my early thirties so I figured I have a bit more time to live carefree of these issues. Apparently I was wrong. My cholesterol came back extremely high!
At first I had no clue as to how that would be the case. I didn't really eat that poorly, I am young, and very active. Jogging,skiing, weightlifting ect. The truth is you cant stop genetics.
Things that I have found in my research that are helpful are yes, unfortunately cutting out the cheese but also taking fish oil. I take 1kmg 2x a day. Drinking OJ and Grapefruit juice, and eating walnuts and almonds also help.

I am going to have it re-checked in a few months so i am hoping these simple changes will be enough! Good Luck

Lefty said...

@Tim - Wow! You've had an unbelievable experience. Thanks for sharing that story - with the world. It certainly highlights the need to take care of your body and listen to what it's saying. I'll be rooting for you!

Lefty said...

@Big Blue - Genetics certainly plays a key role. My family doesn't have a history of high cholesterol, so even with genetics on my side, exercise, and what I thought was a decent diet (except for cheese) - I have high cholesterol. I'll try some of the fish oil. I already eat lots of almonds - but I'll start looking into what else I can do.

Anonymous said...

I never suffered from high cholesterol and and thankfully, at 31, still do not. But, I did the "let's skip the yearly physical because I'm still young and don't think I need it" for 5 years until I landed in the hospital last August with an inflammed liver and gallstones up the wazoo! The was enough to jerk me back to reality and I am more pro-active about my health and physicals! Fortunately, except for the stones, I found out I was in perfect health! :)