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Close call
2005-04-27, 3:32 p.m.

Day 248 Close call

Need to come out of the closet on something. No Ė not that. This - Besides being a fan of Survivor (I canít explain why Ė just this odd fascination with the whole process), I am also a fan of the Amazing Race. The close call was Rob & Amber miscalculating, missing a flight, then assuming they were in the lead, when in fact they were 2nd from last. Oh, the panic that set in when they realized that. They worked together very well to insure they stayed out of last. Too bad Ron & Kelly didnít get axed last night too. The way those two get along, one wonders how they ever could survive in a marriage. They keep patching things up though. Maybe thatís just how that relationship works (or not). I should certainly not judge.

In the irony department, (you English professionals out there let me know if this is irony, coincidence, just desserts or some other literary tool), had a very interesting discussion with the wif last night. While I was at the Y last night, sweating & getting healthier, the wif was home drinking, not eating dinner and drunk dialing folks. She was still on the phone when I got home 2+ hours later. Sheíd been calling some old family friends, people I know quite well. Both couples she called are very familiar with her dadís situation & condition. Recently, her dad has left us some strange phone messages. In one message I wasnít even sure it was him. The voice was vaguely familiar, but the pacing of the speech made it sound rather panicked. The messages are sometimes barely coherent, and quite often heís asking questions we know weíve already answered at least once. Ahh, the signs & symptoms of Alzheimerís.

Anyhow Ė one of the couples recommended saving his phone messages and even surreptitiously recording other conversations. Then, when heís up here in the summer, haul him off to a neurologist and present the damning evidence. My reply to the scheme was many layered, but the gist of it was: Ainít no way heís going to another doc up here with out much kicking, screaming and possibly him taking off south. Also Ė a collection of recordings done in secret, taken completely out of context, is evidence of nothing but skullduggery on the recorders part. They canít really prove a thing. It would also no doubt fuel the paranoia that comes along with the Alzheimerís.

The ironic part (I think) is that Iíve been contemplating doing the same thing with the wif. Record conversations with her while sheís drunk in secret. Even pointedly direct the conversations, get her to deny her conditions on tape (or silicon, what ever), then present her with the evidence. Now, I kinda sorta shot down the idea with respect to her father. Iím wondering of the same reasoning would apply. Guess thatís all the more reason to haul my rear off to that meeting tomorrow evening. See what those with experience have to say. (added later Ė went back & re-read a note from Alison. Good advice there. Think Iím leaving the recording equipment alone and waiting till I get a few meetings under my belt)

I have so much trepidation just going to an Al Anon meeting myself, in admitting that the wif is probably a problem drinker. I canít imagine how hard it would be to admit to yourself that you need to actually go to AA and get dried out. Seems it would take a lot of courage, or one would really have had to hit bottom. Like to avoid that part.

In happier news Ė ummmmmm Ė well, still not smoking. That seems easy now. Still hitting up the gym. Even managed to lose weight while in Florida, in spite of the lack of serious workouts and a bit of a reprieve from the diet. Must really have had the old metabolism cranking. Seems willing enough to start up again too. Thatís a relief at my age. Blood pressure seems to have settled in at 125/80 ish Ė not bad, but weíll see if Dr. B wants it any lower. Stopped at the lab this morning and had some blood drawn for the latest round of tests, but it was a non-fasting draw (of which I took full advantage), so I think thereíll be no significant cholesterol or glucose numbers. Did have eggs and an English muffin for breakfast, so that would likely skew those results. Have to wait & see. I think Dr. B is mostly after liver function tests, mostly to make sure Iím tolerating the HCTZ and Lipitor. From my own point of view there doesnít seem to be any real problem tolerating either medicine, and they seem to be doing what is needed.

Reminds me Ė I need to make up another list of questions/requests for Dr. B. Like renewals for both prescriptions. Any other advice on diet, maybe daily macro nutrient targets. I like numbers, not just general guide lines. For instance, my current targets are 25% calories from total fat, (5% saturated fat), 50% carbs (hush you Atkins fans. Heís dead ya know) and 25% protein. Over the course of a month, I might get 2% from alcohol, but no more. Those seem to be working, at least weight wise. But if she wants me to change those, or thinks they are not good for some reason, I need to know. Thatís also why I wish this last round of blood tests were the fasting variety with the full blown cholesterol tests.

The one thing I canít really get a grip on is sodium intake Ė how much is too much (or too little). I use no additional salt on foods. The only sodium I get is naturally occurring or already added to pre-processed foods (trying to get away from that too) I heard recently that there was a new suggestion that one get no more than 1 teaspoon of salt or sodium daily. Well, how freakiní accurate is that? Is it salt, or sodium? And how much does a teaspoon of salt or sodium weigh? Iíll put that one to Dr. B and see what comes out.

Think Iíll also ask her about some more fasting blood work so I can get my cholesterol numbers. Iíd like to try and work myself off both medications eventually Ė thereís another question Ė will that even be possible, or am I going to be taking these guys for the next gazillion years? That would be disappointing, taking medicine forever, but I guess it beats the alternative. The real risk is if I go off either medicine and then also get off the diet/exercise regimen, Iíd likely end up right where I started Ė over weight, hypertensive and chock full of plugged arteries.

Well, Iíve blathered on quite long enough. Think Iíll hold off on another update till after an Al Anon meeting (like tomorrow night) Donít anticipate any real excitement till then anyhow.

248 days down.

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