Fasting Lipid Panel
I hate to fast twice a year for a lipid panel. My cardiologist, a very competent and well-meaning lady, assigns her lipid panel follow up to Nurse Ratchet. Nurse Ratched follows lipid panels like a dog chasing a meaty bone. Today I am in her cross hairs.
It started with Nurse Ratched calling me with the news. I had been selected in the bi annual - monthly draw of lipid panel intrusion. Oh I knew it was coming but once you hit the Nurse Ratched’s lottery you are in for a ride of a life time. It starts with a phone call then mail and then she gets the heavy armor after you. She threatens to call your wife and rat you out. “Does your wife know you did not get your lipid panel done last month like I asked”? Does she still work at ___ with the telephone number of ____. Do you want me to remind her? No, No, No please don’t I will get it done. Please don’t rat me out. LOL
Now I exaggerate a bit. LOL, but it feels like that. My lipids are in pretty good shape I am the benefactor of good genes in that way. My panel is usually more than acceptable for the average person and most healthy people would be very pleased with a lipid panel like mine, except for, the dreaded HDL (good cholesterol). Mine is routinely 3-4 points lower than the cardiologist wants, which is 5 points higher than the average person needs for a good cholesterol outcome.
It is these artificially high and low limits that I guess makes me upset. They make me and most diabetics fairly certain to fail. Here is the way it works on the results page the lab posts the acceptable range, and my lipid panel, even the HDL is in the acceptable range. But since I am diabetic my range is adjusted with a red pen to be higher and lower depending on the measure by 5 to 15 points. So for instance if the acceptable range is 140, and lower is better, Nurse Ratchet at the direction of the doctor will mark my acceptable range as 125 to 130. Man it makes a fellow angry to fall into the acceptable range for humans but higher than the diabetic range, especially when you get a sternly worded letter telling you all the things you need to do to get too the ‘acceptable level’. Usually it is accompanied with a list of all the bad things that will happen to if you do not achieve the diabetic goal. I really hate such letters.
Usually I am told that I need to eat more almonds, take a multivitamin, exercise more, stand on my head less, site more and less, and all manner of stuff I need to do. If you ask me being in the normal but not the diabetic range is ok. To Nurse Ratched it implies I need deep physical, mental, and dietician help. Of course we could just decide that along with lower than needed numbers across the spectrum, having a slightly lower than wanted HDL is well normal.
I pointed this out to my cardiologist and she looked at me like I was a not a pod person and she screamed It all reminded me of David Sutherland in the 1978 film “\Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. At the end of the film Sutherland find a person who is not yet a pod person and he tells on her by screaming. Here is a short clip: