Sunday, September 03, 2006

How's Your Blood?

Five years of being a pin cushion in the United States Marine Corps and this is how it all ends, passing out during a simple blood test.

It was quite painless really, as I slid out of the chair and my head bounced off the floor. It was 7 am and I was getting some blood drawn for a routine test when all of a sudden I woke up with a stranger standing over me wearing a winter white outfit with bright red hair and a blushing face to match. While still holding the needle, the nurse kept asking me if I was alright when I finally realized what had happened. Needless to say, I didn't leave their office in a hurry.

For some bizarre reason, I pass out during a simple blood draw and let me tell you, it is quite embarrasing. Oh sure, I use humor as a strategy to cope with such an uncomfortable situation but it never seems to be received very well by the nurse that is gazing at my arm for the "best vein." I have some pretty descent lines to like, "I'll see ya on the other side, or guess I can never be a herione addict."

About 10 years later my wife convinces me that I should get my blood tested again. Of course my sarcastic response sounds something like, "Sure, I will get right on that." She knows I pass out, she knows I detest the needle, she knows I really can't stand the Doctor's office. So, why on God's Green Earth would she suggest such an awful idea? I know, I know, women seem to be right up to date on all their shots and annual visits and feel that men need to have their time on the table too. Well, when I go in my time is prety much spent on the floor. Anyway, I reluctantly went to see him and when they called my name after waiting an hour in the lobby I probably looked like a criminal from death row walking to his demise.

The "Oh so nice nurse" offered me a seat in the "chair" that has those incredibly grovy elbow rests built right in. Despite the comfort that these chairs would surely offer I respectfully declined and requested a table to pass out on. They honored my humble request and let me tell you, this table was as cold as ice, probably an old table brought up from the morgue now used in the blood lab. Anyway, I survived the needle and lived to tell the tale, however the plot thickens a week later when I get the results of the infamous blood draw.

The follow up appointment didn't really go as planned. The Doc enters the rooms and says to me, "Mr. H. I have some good news and bad news for you today, which would you like first?"

I reluctantly respond with, "Alright Doc, start out strong with some good news."

The Doc replies with a gentle gleam in his eye, "You have two months to live!"

As you can imagine, my jaw dropped reaction was, "Good God Doc, if that is the good news what is the bad news?"

This time without a smile on his face, "Well, I guess you will die." I thought to myself that this simply can't be good. Intellectually I realize that we will all die someday but come on, two months. He then went on to tell me that I could possible increase the likihood of my life if I were to experience a complete paradigm shift of my lifestyle. Meaning the way I am doing business now will force me to close my doors and shut down the shop, terminally.

OK, so I am exaggerating for effect. The Doc didn't say those words quite like that but he did paint a pretty descent doom and gloom picture for me. My disfunctional eating habits and lack of physical exercise has brought me to the brink of death without me completely realizing the fact. Well, sure I knew that eating a sleeve of double thick chocolate chip cookies and a tall glass of ice cold milk at 2 AM isn't good for me, but come on you have to admit that food tastes best between the hours of Midnight an 4am.

The test resuls were as follows: HDL's, or good cholestrol is virtually gone, which is a bad thing. My triglycerides are maxed out at 191, which is an extremely bad thing. My liver functions are so high that the report read "Panic" in bold print next to those results, which is an incredibly bad thing. Finally, the icing on the cake, the cherry on the ice cream, and the syrup on my pancake (All of which I use to eat on a regular basis) my glucose, or sugar level is 7 points from Diabetic, which is an irreversible thing. That is just wonderful. I am literally eating myself to death. I am like an alchoholic but my vice is food.

So, I end this terrific tale only to ask the unaskable question, "How's Your Blood?"

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