Thursday, July 26, 2007

An Official ISB

I am sending an ISB out to everyone in Bloggerland. What does an “ISB” mean? It means “I’m Still Breathing.” I could have sent out an INW (“I’m Not Writing”), but I think everyone knew that. However, I am still breathing and my heart is still beating. Hooray for my lungs and heart! I love those guys! For you people without lungs or a heart, you do not know what you’re missing.

I’ve been pretty busy, trying to focus on the old job a bit more and having plenty of things to do on the weekends both work-related and pleasure-related. Rest assured I am not gathering any moss, my friends, no sir, not me: no moss-gatherer am I.

The only thing of interest I can think of reporting was an echocardiogram I had done on me a few weeks ago. One of my doctors thought I had high blood pressure, but couldn’t be sure because of “white smock syndrome,” meaning that when I’m placed in a medical setting I get as nervous as a shaved chihuahua on a cake of ice. The instant the technician puts that blood pressure cuff on me, all I can think is, “don’t have high blood pressure don’t have high blood pressure I’m gonna die if I do!” And when they tell me to think of something relaxing, what I think is: “Relax! Relax! Do you want to die? RELAX goddammit!”

Anyway, the echocardiogram was done to measure the thickness of my heart wall. A thick heart wall means you have high blood pressure. What happens is, they do an ultrasound of various parts of your heart, snap pictures of it, and send the shots off to the cardiologist. The cardiologist then reviews them, rubs his chin pensively and sagely says, “Yep, that’s a heart.” My heart, as it turns out, was completely normal. I got a clean bill of health, which made me breathe a little easier, soooo, once again: hooray for my lungs and heart!

Apparently I’m borderline hypertensive but not enough to prescribe medication. Telling the doctor about all those miles I log in on the bike made an impression I think, along with my not being overweight, a virtual teetotaler, and a nonsmoking, non-drug abusing, fish-eating quasi-vegetarian. My pulse while sleeping is 35 beats per minute, which is quite slow and an indication of being in good shape. However, one thing I am trying to correct is my sodium intake. For all my life I have been an inveterate junk food junkie and I like to sprinkle salt on everything. One book I recently bought on how to reduce your blood pressure without medication advises people like me to cut way, way down on sodium and consume foods with a high “K-factor,” meaning those foods that have a hell of a lot more potassium than sodium. Fruits are really good for that, especially bananas, apples and oranges. So now I’m chomping on fruit, rice cakes, and unsalted peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on matzo bread instead of Doritos and Pringles. Mmmmmm, yum! Who says you need taste? Remember: food is merely fuel to stay alive.

Well, that’s it for today. Thanks for dropping by.