Saturday, April 17, 2010

Blood Curdling Results

Yesterday's posting (Fool's Joy) mentioned a second reason to call it a great day -- the reinstatement of my wellness discount by our health insurance company.  Last May, the company told me I was bound to run up exorbitant medical bills and/or about to die so I wasn't entitled to the discount any more.  Of course, I immediately sank into a funk, during which I set up two more garden beds, tortured Karen into adopting free-range chickens and goats, ran a marathon every week, and entered into a multi-year book contract -- anything I could think of to prove the insurer wrong.

When I recovered slightly, I started marching, demonstrating and writing every Congressperson I could think of to push for a provision in the health care bill that would prohibit dropping me from coverage for preexisting conditions.

After the bill passed, the company surrendered.  "Okay, you can have it back," cried the Wellness Coordinator during our weekly conference call, "if you promise to stop running those insane weekly runs."

"Now you're the drama king," says Virginia.  "Tell us what really happened.  Maybe it will help someone."

All right.  The first thing I did was enforce my previous resolution to take a bowl of oatmeal by mouth once a day.  Second, I joined Karen on her twice daily consumption of organic (with the "mother") apple cider vinegar tea -- 1 cup of warm water, 1 tablespoon vinegar and enough honey to taste (about a teaspoon).  Third, I took a 1200 mg fish oil capsule each morning.  Three months later, my followup blood test showed a 19-point decrease in bad cholesterol (LDL).  My good cholesterol (HDL) had stayed the same, so it wasn't enough to move me into a satisfactory ratio.

Back to the drawing board, I don't know what made any difference but here's what I did:

  • Continued the robust bowl of oatmeal every morning almost without exception, even when I wasn't hungry (3/4 cup raw old-fashioned oatmeal, 1/2 cup raisins, 1 1/2 cups water, and enough milk so Karen could tease me of drinking soup).
  • Continued taking the apple cider vinegar twice per day, but toward the end of this period rejected Spectrum organic for Bragg's organic. To save money, we had switched.  Hold them up to the light and compare the cloudiness.  Bragg's may well be worth the extra cost.
  •  Took a 1200 mg capsule of fish oil daily (after breakfast; if I took it before eating I'd feel like puking and even so, expect to taste fish the rest of the morning).
  • Took a 1300 mg capsule of flaxseed oil daily.
  • Continued my exercise program at least 5 days per week, including 30 miles of running and extensive gardening.  Toward the end of this period, I upped the running to 6 or 7 times and a total of 37-40 miles per week.
  • Drank free-range raw goat milk daily.
  • Ate free-range chicken eggs (2-3 times weekly, plus use in baked items).
On March 31 I revisited the local vampire office and a few days later received notice that my overall cholesterol was down 16 points, my LDL had fallen a little farther, and my good stuff (HDL) had risen 20%, all within the company's 2009 acceptable ranges. 

I called the Wellness Coordinator.  She suggested I send the results with a letter describing what I'd been doing. 

"I bet you felt like you'd passed an exam," says Virginia.

Yes, but I didn't celebrate with a burger and fries.

No comments:

Post a Comment