After an exhausting day walking all over Governors Island and lower Manhattan, I wanted something satisfying and easy that didn’t involve the oven. I decided it was time for a second round of garlic soup with mussels, so I stopped at Murray’s for gruyère (and some burrata for an appetizer), and then I went next door to the fish market for mussels. (Incidentally, I asked the cashier in the fish market if the smell ever bothered her, and she told me that she has no sense of smell. What do you say to that? It was awkward.)
After all my shopping, I was ready for a fat hunk of burrata with salt on a thin slice of ciabatta. Before I dug in, however, I opened a letter from my doctor to read this great news:
I am writing to report the results of your recent test. Your total cholesterol was 201 (normal = under 200) and the LDL (“bad”) cholesterol was 128 (normal = under 100). While the total cholesterol is acceptable, the LDL levels suggest a future risk for heart disease and need to be lowered through diet and exercise. I suggest you review cholesterol websites for detailed information. Since you are young, there is plenty of time to correct the problem and we should recheck in one year.
Could this news be any worse? I suppose it could, but cholesterol is not something I’ve ever thought seriously about, since I eat pretty healthily and walk miles every day. I don’t eat junk food, although I do eat a fair amount of butter, cheese, and cream. When I had the blood test (which caused me to faint), I had just eaten a bagel with cream cheese, as I have every morning for the past fifteen years. Does anyone know if what you eat right before a blood test will affect your overall cholesterol? What am I supposed to do now? If anyone has experience or wisdom in this area, I’d love to read it. In the meantime, I’ll be googling “cholesterol” and trying to get more exercise.