I'm at my cardiologist right now, routine appointment, follow-up, six-month check-up kind of thing, but today seems extra depressing for some reason. The place is filled with old guys. They're on crutches. In Rascal scooters. Rolly-walkers. Grey hair. Bald or balding. All of them in beige pants, some with bad, Santorum sweaters.
No one looks to be under 65 in the waiting room except me. And the staff.
I'm in good health, relatively speaking. Visits to my cardiologist are never bad news. I keep asking him what else there is for me to do. Do you take your meds? Yes. Exercise? Yes. He's got me on this cardiac/cholesterol diet: almonds, soy, and these things called plant sterols... He calls it the Portfolio Diet.
There's a guy here squabbling about an appointment he does or doesn't have today, some prep appointment because he's going to have his knee replaced! He got a call, he can't remember from who or why but they said he needed a blood test and on and on...
The appointment went okay. He had me go through some more extensive blood tests this time that came up fairly positive. He said my cholesterol numbers were "great." All of them in normal range, I could even see that, except for this one number which they flagged in red so any moron could tell there was trouble. It was my "Lp(a)" number in the biomarker and risk factor category. It was supposed to be under 30. Mine came in at 103.5! But again, he didn't seem worried. He told me everything was fine, keep doing what I'm doing.
Okay, well... Yeah, just did a quick internet search on Lp(a) levels and 103 is hugely high! Over 50, over 75 is time to worry according to a couple of websites and I'm at 103!! A number that high means I have extremely "sticky" blood, I guess, so stuff builds up in my arteries faster than usual. Everybody on line made it seem like this was a big deal that I should do something about immediately. One doctor (named Sinatra, so he must be good, huh?) recommended megadoses of niacin and fish oil. I'm already taking both, but not in large quantities and my doctor told me last time to stop taking the niacin because its effects are negligible.
I think, maybe, I'm losing faith in this cardiologist.
They've just started a email connection for follow-ups, etc so I'm going to give that a try. On my overall test results graph, though, my line was always in the "normal" range. So maybe he knows what he's talking about. Or maybe I'm doomed and he had better things to do today...