As my 2 or 3 loyal readers know, I quit smoking recently. I've been completely smoke free for almost 3 months now. Thank you for the polite but subdued "golf tournament clap".
In addition to being smoke free, I've also been trying to eat better in an effort to stop the inevitable weight gain. I'm currently packing around about 25-30 pounds of extranneous XO that has GOT to GO!
A couple of weeks ago, they have this Wellness Fair at work. You go there and they give you apples and perform all sorts of free screenings, hand out pamphlets, you know the drill.
Well, in the past, I would never go to one of those things. Why go and subject myself to more brow-beatings about how I should quit smoking. Blah, blah, blah, heard it all before. If I enjoyed being bitched at I'd still be married. Fuck off.
But since I've taken a turn towards the Healthy Side, I decided what the fuck? Maybe I should establish a benchmark. Find out just how much damage my 30+ years of smoking have done and see what I can do to fix things.
Now mind you, this is an incredibly revolutionary change in my point of view. This would be akin to Dubya waking up and realizing "War on Terror? What the fuck was I thinking? Like someday we are going to kill or capture The Last Hostile Muslim and be able to celebrate Victory Over Terrorism Day? I'm such a fucking idiot! Stoopid, stoopid, stoopid! I never should have quit drinking and snorting coke! I could have saved lives!"
But I digress.
You have to remember that until now, my "retirement plan" was pretty much to die before I got old enough to retire. I got no investments, no plan, nothin'. So if I live long enough to retire, I'm fucked. I'll be greeting people at Walmart instead of laying on a beach with a Trophy Girlfriend sipping fruity umbrella drinks.
The Walmart greeter job will only last a couple of days because I just don't have the fucking temprament for it (surprise, surprise).
"What the fuck are you doing here again, lard-ass? You were just here yesterday? Those 6 bags of Ding Dongs and Ho-Ho's gone already? Bad news; we're going to have to start charging you for the electric cart usage because you've already burned out the motors on three of the sonofabitches hauling your ginormous ass up and down the fucking cookie aisle."
But I digress yet again.
So not only do I pop my Wellness Fair cherry, but I even pony up an extra $18 bucks and make a special appointment for something called a Total Heart Risk Assessment. Apart from the damage I know I've done to my lungs, I was very concerned about my heart as well. So much so that when my daughter, young Galadriel Tanqueray Onassis, was travelling in Australia this past summer I actually started carrying around an In Case Of Emergency card listing her return flight information in case I should just drop dead before she got back.
I wish I was making that up.
I'm imagining that at this Total Heart Risk Assessment, they will have me fill out a questionairre telling them about my smoking, drinking and eating habits. Do I excercise? Very detailed stuff.
Nope. They take my $18 bucks and some blood and I'm done.
For the next few days, my latent hypochondria kicks into overdrive. I start getting chest pains. I'm short of breath. I'm dizzy. My feet hurt. I get a zit. I'm a fucking mess. I have to wait 4 days before I can log onto their website and get the results. I figure when I do, I'll get an error message saying "Account Access Restricted Due To A 99.999% Probability That This Patient Is Already FUCKING DEAD".
Why the pessimism? Not only do I have 30+ years of smoking, but I also don't really exercise much. Unless you consider spanking the monkey to be "aerobic". My "default meal" is meat and potatos. When I don't know what sounds good and can't decide what I want to eat, I'll just throw a well-marbled rib-eye on the grill. Nuke me a big potato and top it off with butter, shredded cheese and some sour cream. Bake me up some nice butterey crescent rolls to go with. Wash it all down with too many glasses of Kentucky's finest, small-batch, sippin' whiskey. Or I'll just cook up a cheeseburger and some fries. I could eat something like that 3-4 nights a week.
So imagine my SHOCK when I log onto the website and see the following test results:
Fasting Glucose: 91 (Normal Range 65-100)
Random Glucose: 96 (Normal Range <140)
Cholesterol: 246 (Normal Range <200)
Triglycerides: 66 (Normal Range <150)
HDL Cholesterol (the good kind): 138 (Normal Range >41)
LDL Cholesterol (the bad kind): 95 (Normal Range 0-99)
Total Cholesterol to HDL Ratio: 1.8 (Normal Range <4.5)
Apparently, I'm just fucking indestructible. I'm like Keith Richards. Both of us should have been dead years ago, yet here we are, still walking the earth while the orginal running/jogging guru Jim Fixx has been dead from a heart attack (which occured while running) for nigh on 22 years.