The twelve-year battle is over. (part II)
About four months ago I wrote about how it was finally revealed that, after twelve years, my high blood cholesterol was a genetic problem. No diet or vitamin supplement could permanently fix the problem. I was put on medication, an extremely tiny dose, and last week I had a blood test to see how things were going.
The weather has been quite warm lately, and last week I was feeling exceptionally headachey. Not sure what’s up, but I think the weather has just been getting to me. I also have low blood pressure, so bending over really quickly or having my head down for too long gives me headaches. So does exercising too suddenly. Warming up is important! More on that point later.
I was feeling a bit under the weather, but I dragged myself to get a blood test anyway. Surprisingly, the nurse didn’t take that long to extract blood. She said it would be just a prick, and I thought, yeah yeah.
I have a strange sensitivity to having blood taken and being given injections. If I have my blood taken, I can actually feel the blood being drained out of my arm, and I can feel my upper arm going numb. In the same way, I can feel vaccinations and injections going around in my arm before it floats all around my bloodstream. Slightly unpleasant… but interesting.
I have also had to train myself to keep breathing when I have blood taken, because I seem to hold my breath. I have to remind myself to breathe and relax.
When I returned to see the doctor for my blood test results, I was so happy I could have cried. My cholesterol was at 5.2, the limit here being 5.5 (mmol/L, if you happen to be interested in the unit of measurement). It has never been under the limit before now, with it reaching only about 6.5 at the minimum. It was hard admitting that genetics simply could not be defeated by being a health food freak and exercising like a nut, but I am glad that the medication is working for me. My doctor said I can continue taking it and return for a checkup in six months.
I’m just so thrilled. I don’t really know what to say. I am very happy.
My mum is a little bit amazed, because she claims that I have been eating a lot of junk and the medication still works. I do not think I have been eating junk… haha.
But as for exercising like a nut:
I was contemplating about writing this for a while because I did not want to be judged or told what to do or given advice that I could not accept. For many years I have been uncomfortable with my body, and comments about my body have left me feeling disappointed or confused. In late high school, I struggled with my eating habits along with trying to fight the cholesterol monster. I feel that lately, though, I have become a little happier with myself, and tried to exercise regularly.
I’ve always been pretty stick-thin. Dainty, frail, perhaps I had a dancer’s legs, but I was otherwise bony. I don’t quite know what happened, but after I lost my job I felt like it was inevitable I would turn into a chair potato, so I felt that I had to do something to avoid that. I somehow got into exercising a bit more. I used to love running, but since I don’t feel as dedicated to it as I was before, I wanted to try something else. I started to lift small dumbbells, then bigger ones.
I used to hate doing this. I used to think dumbbells were stupid.
For many years, I could not do one, single, simple, push-up. Not one. At all. The moment I bent, my whole body would collapse on the floor. My friends would laugh when I flexed my arms and there was no form of muscle at all. Just soft skin and bone.
I hate gyms.
I can’t catch a ball.
I like exercising at home. I like doing squats and sit-ups. I like putting music on and doing what I do best: jazz dancing. And I can hula-hoop alright.
I actually like lifting dumbbells.
The stuff I like is not everyone’s cup of tea. But I found something that works for me and I like it. And that’s what matters. Not what the television tells you to do. Not what infomercials make you buy and try. Not what your PE teacher yells at you as she blows her whistle and stands there. You do what you want. If you want to take it easy and walk to the train station, and that’s it, then do it. Because I did that. If you want to stretch every morning, and that’s that, then do that. If you want to run five kilometres every morning, then do that. If you want to dance, do it. If you want to go to the gym and lift kilos of metal, do it. If you want to punch a punching bag, do it. Find your cup of tea.
I can now do ten push-ups in a row.
And I actually have some form of arm muscles now. 😄