Chick Wit: A to F in cholesterol class

Posted: October 09, 2011

I thought the days were over when I worried about my grades, but I've been checking the mail with college-acceptance levels of anticipation.

Let me explain.

A few years ago, I went to my great cardiologist for a checkup, and he did a blood test that showed my cholesterol was 258, which was high. Oddly, this was about the same as my math SAT score, which was lower than low. In fact, it was downright embarrassing, and maybe half my brain is missing.

Anyway, to stay on point, the cardiologist explained that cholesterol is composed of bad cholesterol, or LDL, and good cholesterol, or HDL. I remember which is which by thinking that the L stands for lousy and the H stands for you can buy green bananas.

Also I had something called triglycerides, but I didn't know what they were, only that I had 67 of them. I don't know how many biglycerides I had.

Two?

So OK, in the olden days, my LDL was 149, which earned me a boldfaced HIGH on the results, though my HDL was also HIGH, at 96. Basically I had a whole lot of bad and a whole lot of good in me.

So when I'm good, I'm very, very good.

And when I'm bad, I divorce somebody.

You probably know what cholesterol is, but I read on the Internet that it's a waxy gook that creates plaque on the walls of your arteries. I always thought a plaque on your wall was a good thing, but no.

Apparently, something had to be done about my cholesterol, and it didn't help that I had gained a little weight.

I was cholesteroly-poly.

So the cardiologist told me to exercise and put me on Crestor, and in no time, my grades improved. My cholesterol dropped to 164, and my LDL to 66, even though my HDL stayed HIGH at 88, but that was all good. I became an honors student, even though it took drugs, but that's OK. Half of the student population is on drugs, and at least mine were advertised on TV, albeit by men with gray hair.

My prostate's fine, thanks.

But a few months ago, I started to dislike the idea of being on a drug for the rest of my life. I began to take my award-winning cholesterol for granted. In other words, I was on a cholester-roll.

Sorry.

Also, Crestor cost a mind-blowing $400 a month, which my high-priced, top-drawer Independence Blue Cross insurance declined to cover. I pay for Personal Choice, but it turns out Blue Cross is the one with the personal choice.

They chose not to cover me, but I didn't take it personally.

Because they don't cover anybody.

My cardiologist even appealed, but they turned us down, so every month, I had four hundred reasons why I hated being on Crestor.

On top of the many more reasons I have for hating Independence Blue Cross.

So I asked the cardiologist if I could go off the drug and see what happened. He said sure, give it a try for three months, and told me to make sure I ate the right foods, exercised, and kept my weight down. So I did, experimenting on myself, throughout the summer. I became my own guinea pig, without the piggy part.

I dieted, I worked out, and I hosted a visit by Mother Mary, which did wonders for my cholesterol because I forgot about it in favor of my blood pressure.

But two weeks ago, I took another last blood test and just got back my cholesterol scores. And they were as disappointing as my SAT scores. Nothing I did worked. My cholesterol is back up to 233, which earned me another boldfaced HIGH, and my LDL is also HIGH again, at 129.

So I'm back to being very, very good and very, very bad again, and you know what that means.

I should divorce Blue Cross.


Look for Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella's new book, "Best Friends, Occasional Enemies: The Lighter Side of Life as a Mother and Daughter," coming Nov. 22. Visit Lisa at www.scottoline.com.

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