Clean Bill

I received a letter from my doctor this week telling me that all of my blood work, urinalysis and EKG came back with very positive results. Over the past year and a half, I managed to lower my cholesterol, get my heart back to a non-abnormal place, and smooth out my body sugars.

We had our followup visit yesterday, and my doctor was thrilled with my blood pressure results over the past 15 days.

She was on the fence whether she wanted to put me back on a minor dose of a blood pressure medicine. Yesterday, I’m happy to report that she said, “It’s not necessary. It shows that your exercise and diet changes have worked. It’s not to say that you won’t need something in the future, but for now, good job and keep it up.”

She paused and then she said, “To top it off, your resting heart beat shows that you have the heart of a person who is exercising very often. So I can really tell you’re doing what you say you’re doing.”

I danced away like an excited child.



Lime stalactites


This morning, I woke up again at 4 a.m. It’s been over a week now that I’ve had this early morning wakeup and a difficult time falling back asleep. I eventually fell back asleep, but not before having a paranoid conversation with myself about the possibility of having sleep apnea.

Over the weekend, we went to a dinner party with friends, and one of them had one of those sleep tests to check if he has sleep apnea. He told me all about it in great detail, and I woke up with that on my mind.

You see, I had gasped from my nightmare when I awoke, and I wondered if I gasped because of lack of breath. So then I started working through my memory to find other waking moments to see if they were gasps too. I couldn’t remember, and that lack of memory scared me, too.

Tina and I have regular checkups scheduled for next week. And even though my blood pressure is consistently at or below normal, it freaked me out when my doctor put me on a BP med over a year ago and said, “Change your diet.” Many of you know, I’m not on that medication any longer. Tina and I eat fresh almost every meal, and we watch the amount of salt and other things we eat. We work out as much as we can.

Apparently BP and sleep apnea go hand in hand, according to this conversation we had the other night. I finally let it go after an hour.

The thing that finally put my mind at ease was that I remembered my friend saying his blood pressure was at 200 over 150s. And that shit is SCARY.

Neither Tina or I have been to the doctor in a year or more. We’re on new insurance, and we were waiting for this one doctor to accept our insurance. So now we’re good to go. I’m sure I’ll tell you all about it.

It’s thunder storming this morning. It’s so dark and eerily gorgeous. 

This morning, I took Talulah out to pee. She’s afraid of the rain. So I had to coerce her off the porch by leaving the front gate hoping she’d follow. She followed of course, without a leash, and finally peed. I told her we should have brought soap. We could have killed two birds with one stone. She said, “We could kill birds?”

We laughed and slapped five.


This all reminds me that I had a conversation about healthcare with my old man recently. He reads this blog, and for a second I thought I would change old man to some dude. But, hey, it’s not a big deal. I’m not ragging on the guy. It was a real conversation.

He was saying that Obama Care is bull, and that there are ways for people to get healthcare. From what I heard him kvetch about, he was saying that people aren’t going to be turned away from a medical center for treatment. I couldn’t think of a response on my feet, so I let him talk. But thinking about it again this morning, “getting healthcare” and “paying for healthcare” are two different monsters. Sure, no one’s going to say, “How are you going to pay for us to stitch up this severed aorta? … Oh, you can’t. Okay, have a nice death.”

The problem (in part) is preventative care. It’s giving people the sense of mind that we could monitor blood pressure before it reaches 200 over 150. It’s the idea that we could catch cancer before it riddles the body a death trap. It’s the hope that we can keep our loved ones around because the bills aren’t so goddamn exorbitant, right?

And maybe I misunderstand what Obama care is. But ideally, it’s providing a way for people to pay for insurance that helps them get ongoing, preventative healthcare as well as emergency healthcare.

Secular friendships

Above I talked about a dinner party we went to. At the party, we were a couple from Australia with their newborn, a hetero couple with their two boys, a gay couple with their dogs, and the Wittifinis (Tina and yours truly).

We had a great time. We talked. I took pictures. We had a few glasses of wine. We played games. It’s a diverse, respectful group, and you wouldn’t know it, but there was a great variety of beliefs and ideas among us. I mean, one guy really likes Martha Stewart. I mean, to the point of religious idolizing. I hate Martha Stewart. But we got along.

There’s one person who religiously idolizes Madonna. I don’t like Madonna. Yet we got along.

There were religious people in the group. And there were very non-religious people. Don’t you see? That shit doesn’t matter. Secularism takes care of all of that.

We all had different views, but we’re secular. We know how to get along despite differences in opinions and beliefs. This is what happens in my experiences with my family as well. Most times, it’s secular. And when it’s secular, it’s neutral and fun.

Ahh, secularism. What a dream.

By the way, the photo above was added just to get your attention.

A cynical distraction

Like I mentioned earlier, I’m tied up today. But I don’t want you to be bored to tears because my blood pressure is up and deadlines are looming.

If you aren’t already an avid Cynical C reader, you should be. And if you need a reason why, Cynical Chris’ blog is posting lots of updates about the current TSA bumblefuckclusterbomb.

Here’s the latest, but if you go back through a few older post clicks, the posts he makes about the TSA are simply snippets from larger articles.

If you care about who touches your privates in public, you’ll care about this atrocity happening in airports. If you care about who touches your children, nieces and nephews, and the children of your loved ones, you will be even more inclined to give a hoot.

So go already. I’m too busy for you anyway!

Jesus was the Salt that Made my Blood Pressure Rise

IMG_6083My parents are to visit Tina and me this weekend. It stresses me out. Stress is something I don’t need right now. My doctor recently diagnosed me with elevated blood pressure. My doctor put me on a small dose of medication. And while I’ve been exercising (way) more, eliminating salt and processed foods from my diet and cutting back on alcohol and coffee, my blood pressure is still reading at the same or higher than it did 2 weeks ago.

I know, give it time.

Saturday night, a good friend who used to be a nurse gave me a sphygmomanometer, the typical gauge used to check blood pressure. I took a picture (left) for you to see and admire the shininess. I figured out that I can check it fairly accurately myself.

But that’s besides the point. The point is: It’s 6:25 a.m. on Monday morning. I’ve been up since 3. I can’t sleep. Tina can’t either. She’s got a big job today. Me, I keep playing out fictitious conversations in my head of all the things I’d like to talk to my parents about.

For instance:

THEM: “We’re afraid you’ve lost your way.”

Me: “No, I’ve found my way.”

THEM: “But it’s not god’s way.”

ME: “Yeah, I grew up and chose godlessness. I was under the impression it was a choice. Therefore you can’t be upset that I made the choice that doesn’t reflect yours.”

THEM: “But you’ll roast in hell.”

ME: “Think about what you’ve said regarding a supposed ‘almighty and loving creator’ and keep that improvable hate speech to yourselves.”

But that doesn’t solve shit with people like them.

When my parents visit, the stress revolves around several factors. My dad is well read, conservative and very opinionated. One thing that’s never been talked about directly is my atheism. I told my brother directly. He hates it, but he deals with it. My parents and I have had plenty of discussions about religion, but I’ve never come out of the closet, per se, to them.

When I’m laying in bed awake with paranoia and insomnia, I get wrapped up in conversations like the one above. They vary in certain ways, but they all stick to the same topic. Every time I try to talk about atheism, they won’t have anything to do with it. It’s not that I want to evangelize them. It’s that I feel it’s important that we talk about things that are important to us me.

But their version of Witteveen culture and my version collide. While they talk about their religiosity with great frequency and fervor, if I bring up my views and lack of faith, it’s hushed and swept under the rug. It’s as if they think I’m going through a “phase” or a “fad”.

Really, Mom and Dad, an over 10-year fad? (more below the fold)

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Female Doctors: Exactly What I was Missing

Today I had my first physical checkup in probably five years.

My wife and I were at her doctor last Monday, and she was telling us about fertility treatments that we could pursue. My second semen sample results came back the week before, and the doctor was going over the results. My semen sucks. Apparently, I have a lot of positive semen attributes, and one bad attribute. What’s positive? I deliver a good-sized specimen. Mobility is good. Density is good. There’s one more aspect that’s good; I can’t remember what it is. Lemme see, it wasn’t the flavor. I’ll think of it later.

What’s bad? My semen morphology is only 12% normal. The rest of those bastards are either tail-less, two tailed, two headed, no headed, no tailed or any mixture therein.

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