Are You a Good Cholesterol or a Bad Cholesterol?

steak and eggsOn most tests, the higher you score, the better you do. So naturally, when my doctor told me that I got over 300 on my cholesterol test. I thought this was a good thing.

“Last year it was 240,” he told me over the phone.

“Wow,” I exclaimed. “That’s amazing. I didn’t go up that much the second time I took the SAT’s!”

“240 wasn’t good to start with,” my doctor said seriously. “300 is terrible. We need to bring it down.”

“Well, what’s considered normal,” I asked.

“Less than 200,” he said.

“Oh.”

“Much less.”

“Ohhhhh.”

He informed me that my LDLs were high, which was bad, but my HDLs were also very high, which was good, and my triglycerides were very low, which was also good. Soon my head started to hurt, which was bad, and I decided that all this talk about my cholesterol levels was worse for me than my actual levels so I hung up and went into the kitchen to make a steak sandwich.

Later that week, after having received no less than a dozen phone calls from my doctor to see if I’d had a stroke, yet, I decided I should probably look into this whole cholesterol thing.

“Hey Mom, does anyone in our family have extremely high cholesterol levels,” I asked her.

She laughed, a long, hearty laugh. “Your brother and I are both over 300. So was your grandmother.”

AHA! “And is there any history of stroke or heart disease in the family,” I continued.

“No, None at all,” she said in a bored tone. Clearly, she’d had this discussion before with her own doctor.

“So what does this mean?” I asked, desperate for some glimmer of understanding.

“We’re a family of cholesterol weirdos, “ she responded.

My concerned husband sat waiting expectantly.

“What did your mom say,” he asked.

“She said we’re a family of weirdos,” I responded.

“No news there,” he replied.

Satisfied that I was merely an anomaly and not a walking cardiovascular time bomb, I called my doctor and gave him the good news. He, however, was not as convinced, and insisted that I immediately give up red meat, eggs and butter.

I agreed to a six-week low-cholesterol trial period and reluctantly gave up my membership to the Meat-of-the-Month Club.

Six weeks later I had my cholesterol retested.

“Good news,” said my doctor when he called with the results. “Your numbers are down.”

“Really?” I said. “By how much?”

“Ten points.”

“Ten points? That’s it?” I bellowed. “I gave up steak and eggs for six weeks and my cholesterol only went down by a measely ten points???”

“Yes, but it was the bad cholesterol than went down.”

“Oh, well then. That’s definitely worth celebrating,” I responded dryly.

“Can you stay on this diet?” he asked.

“Sure,” I said. “Just as soon as I finish this beef jerky.”

 

©2015, Beckerman. All rights reserved.

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10 Comments

Filed under Growing old ungracefully

10 responses to “Are You a Good Cholesterol or a Bad Cholesterol?

  1. Carol Baron

    I love the article, but you have your facts a little screwed up. Well, I guess it is fiction. #1. Do you really have high cholesterol? High LDL’s, the bad stuff? How about the good stuff, your HDL’s? #2. You did not get it from me … You got it from your father. Yes, Meme had a stroke, but later on in age and your father takes 40 mgs a day of a statin for his high numbers. Yes, my mother had a stroke at 89 and had a coated carotid artery. But I have high HDL’s. (the good one) and low LDL’s. I take a statin, but only 5 mgs a day land after all I am 76 years old.

    Oh well, I guess it made a funny article. And if you do have a high cholesterol, then alter your diet, take a statin if you need to and live a long, healthy, fun-filled life (even if it is expensive). Luv u Mom Sent from my iPad

    >

  2. LOL Mom! Thanks for the clarification!!

  3. lol! I love that your mom seemed disappointed that with all the high cholesterol there was no history of strokes or heart attacks. Too funny. Like when people would say “wow, living in Middle GA, were you ever in a tornado?” “Unfortunately no, but my cousin was. He has all the fun.”

  4. Dang! I wrote a comment and FB are it. Love your post. I thought it was funny that your mom seemed disappointed that there wasn’t any fun stuff like strokes and heart attacks in your family history.

  5. Angela, thanks for all the comments. You remind of that infomercial.. “But wait, there’s more!” 🙂

  6. Was this before they released the reports that the docs are getting excited over nothing? I remember the first time (yes, first time) my doc told me this and asked if there was a history so I called my mom and she tells me “no! It’s not because of me.. my cholesterol is GREAT!! I’ve been on meds for 5 years and never have a problem”. “Uhm mom… your cholesterol is great because you ARE on meds.” “Oh.” And yeah.. screw that cutting the good stuff out.. ask for statins and start walking some. It’s much more pleasing, believe me.

  7. Love it, Tracy. The doctor yells at me about cholesterol and I haven’t eaten meat in years. Of course, I love my eggs and peanut butter. Can’t give up everything. Exercise helps, so I walk as often as I can. sd