October 17, 2006

A glimpse at the future?

The other evening my mom got lab results from some recent bloodwork: her cholesterol, HDL, LDL and all that stuff. As the nurse was reading her results, my mom was writing them down on a slip of paper and, after hearing the numbers, there was a pause as the nurse talked to my mom for a minute and then my mom responded: "Well, I'm already doing all of those things, so I don't really know what else to change."

Turns out that my mom has high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and her other numbers are out of range as well. Of course these things are almost expected as one ages, but the real kicker is that my mom is a certifiable health nut. She exercises an hour a day, almost 7 days a week. She eats very healthy, sensisble, portion-controlled meals, and she doesn't smoke, and only has a glass or two of wine a week. The nurse apparently recommended that she make some changes: eat a high fiber, low sugar diet and to try to incorporate exercise. Needless to say, my mom was at a loss! She already does all of those things! She saw her doctor yesterday, and he recommended Fish Oil capsules, but the capsules are huge (apparently) and my mom can't swallow pills (she practically has to drink a gallon of water just to get an small ibuprofren down). Last night she seemed really dejected and I just wanted to be able to say something or do something for her. I'm sure she feels really defeated right now because she's doing all of the things she's supposed to be doing but it's just not helping. Unfortunately, we have a family history (on both sides - lucky me!) of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease. So, in essence, she's stuck with bad genes. And so am I. Joy.

Before I let this post sink into the absolute depths of despair, I'll try to insert a little optimism. I know that my mom feels really upset by this news, but I tried to tell her that she'd be so much worse off if she wasn't already doing those things. As a diabetic, I know I have to tell myself that I'm much better off doing my best than doing nothing at all. Perhaps this is just the way I rationalize not being "perfect," but I think sometimes all we can do is do our best and accept what comes our way. Based on the genes I've inherited, I have a feeling I'll have to make this my motto for the rest of my life if I want to live with any shred of peace and happiness.

I know this may sound ignorant, and for that I apologize in advance, but I can't help but wonder if it's harder for a "normal" person (a person without a chronic disease) to learn that even though they're doing everything they are supposed to be doing, it just isn't cutting it. I guess at some point everyone realizes that their body isn't infallible - it's a human body, prone to error and malfunctions - some just malfunction shoddier ways than others.


Blogger Shannon said...

First of all Happy Birthday!!

Second of all, my mom's side of the family has the same shoddy genes as your mom.

High BP, cholesterol, whatever else even with a healthy diet.

It's frustrating to know that no matter what they do, it won't help.

10:54 AM  
Blogger Minnesota Nice said...

You are so right in saying "all we can do is do our best.....".
Heck, when I was diagnosed they didn't have the statin drugs like Lipitor.
Yeah, my dad's side of the family got the heart stuff, and my mom's side is loaded with clinical depression - so, it's just a big spin of the wheel.

3:11 PM  
Blogger BetterCell said...

Happy Biirthday LaLa. It is quite frustrating to be doing "all the right things" for ourselves and still have elevated or decreased chemistry and hormone levels within our body. This would be a good case for Sherlock Holmes.....Heredity factors do play a role, however do not (your Mom) give up on yourself in trying to improve your health. In addition to what your Mom is already doing, she might like to try Yoga(Hatha), Meditation or/and Tai Chi. The Fish Oils taht your Mother has difficulty in swallowing can be overcome by putting something (viscous) around the gel tab(preferable to the capsule) and inserting it back toward the throat rather than at the tip of the tongue. See if that helps your Mom. The nurse should have given your Mother a xerox copy of the lab Results instead.

11:34 AM  
Blogger George said...

:;:''::':':""""'": <- Confetti

11:20 PM  

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