The days of the sedentary, egg-centric and horsemeat-and-havarti sandwiches are behind me, as now I exercise regularly, eat a lot more of these "vegetables" I've been hearing so much about and begin my day with a regular dose of Vytorin.
Unlike most people who enjoy the music of Jimmy Buffett and have been to Austin, Texas, I try to avoid taking drugs on a regular basis.
This is not due to any sort of thoughtfully conceived opposition to self-medication, which anyone who sold cases of Natural Light at Indiana University between the years of 1993 and 1997 will attest to. Nor is it a function of any religious belief, overriding lifestyle directive or promise I made to any civic organizations in high school.
It's just that if I can help it, I try not to. Also, my insurance apparently doesn't pay for them unless I become a 65-year-old woman within the next calendar year.
Which is why I saw the diagnosis that I needed to begin taking regular cholesterol medication as a minor personal defeat. It’s also the most direct reminder to date that there is an age where your body begins breaking down, and it's apparently 31 1/2.
Now, high cholesterol runs in my family, and by "runs" I mean "inches along sadly while stopping every few feet for a cigarette." And prior to my high-cholesterol diagnosis, I had never been one to exercise regularly nor monitor my food intake, having been blessed with both a naturally speedy demeanor and a metabolism that I believe could completely process the consumption of an entire horse in about six or seven hours.
Not that I ever put that to the test, mind you. Because it is WAY harder to get horsemeat around here than you think (though thanks to the Internet, not impossible, and let me send my thanks once again to the neighborly and accommodating farmers of Peru).
But the days of the sedentary, egg-centric and horsemeat-and-havarti sandwiches are behind me, as now I exercise regularly, eat a lot more of these "vegetables" I've been hearing so much about and begin my day with a regular dose of Vytorin.
Vytorin is a medication I believed responsible for cutting my various personal cholesterol stats in half, until I discovered this week that it actually doesn't work, unless it does, which it does for me, but it doesn't for others, according to four cardiologists, but not my doctor, but a lot of the national news media, except the percentage that says otherwise.
And people wonder why we all have such short attention spans around here. They should probably medicate that, too. Wait, they do already? Rock. Sign me up. (Under the name Doris, and if anyone asks, I was born in '43.)
According to the four newspapers still in existence, a panel of four cardiologists this week said doctors should sharply curtail their use of Vytorin and Zetia, as a study showed they didn't work any better than similar, less expensive drugs. (Note: It has been proven that people believe their drugs work better if they're expensive and marketed under a name that could theoretically also be applied to a Pitt/Jolie baby.)
The study also showed that ... um, actually you'll just have to Google this part, because as often happens when I get into the news portion of one of these ridiculous columns, the combination of multi-syllabic doctor-y sounding words and nefarious-sounding acronyms like "LDL" and "MRK" and "Baconator" makes my brain synapses do the Cupid Shuffle, especially given how much Natural Light I've already consumed tonight.
Frankly, I have a tough enough time following my doctor when she talks about this kind of stuff, and she has visual aids and an incomparable patience when dealing with a pinheaded writer-type who just wants his prescription and/or free toothbrush (still about the only thing that gets me to the dentist).
Oh sure, I put up a good show and smile and nod, but seriously, unless she starts using puppet theater or maybe a parody song based on the "William Tell Overture," I'm gonna have jack of an idea what she's talking about. I do know, however, that when she first reviewed my initial cholesterol results, she expressed surprise that I wasn't 59 years old, and also dead.
But here's one thing about my doctor: She has a very intense opinion about Vytorin. She thinks it's good, and it brings my cholesterol numbers down to a level that doesn’t cause her to keep shooting nervous glances to the P.A. in the room that she thinks I can't see.
This, of course, puts her in direct competition with The Media, which is available on The Internet, which is telling me something else entirely and which is never wrong, except the time it told me about how "Lost" is going to end and the time it said we're winning in Iraq.
So now I don't know who the hell to believe, and I have to rely on my own wits to figure out whether to keep taking this useless placebo/life-saving god-drug, which is not a good idea, as my wits regularly take me the wrong way down one-way streets.
I do know this: With Vytorin, the numbers on my heart-stat sheet are lower than they were before, and also I can consume Egg n' Cheese Croissan'wiches without hallucinating. So I think that's good.
I also think I miss the days when this wasn't a problem, and I could sit back with my high metabolism, my Natural Light and my bowl of fresh horsemeat and just relax.
Jeff Vrabel is a freelance writer who is totally kidding about the horsemeat thing, PETA people, and if you can use bloody billboards I can use irony, so relax. He can be reached at www.jeffvrabel.com.