February 11, Saturday
Today, my family and I woke up at 6 am to have our blood extracted for a series of tests. We were running a bit late so we arrived at the clinic at around 7:30 am. We had to wait for about 30 minutes until our blood was extracted. I’m not really that afraid of needles so I’ve been used to having vaccines since I was little, but Jec’s fear of needles somehow rubbed off on me. I was in complete denial until my name was called.
By the time that I was seated, I was feeling restless. It didn’t help that my mom kept consoling me, which only made me feel worse. Since I could tell that the phlebotomist (yes, I Googled that term) wasn’t planning on giving me any go signal, I took it upon myself to watch the needle go into my flesh so I could take a deep breath at the same time. I didn’t feel any prick at all. It went really smoothly. I wonder why that happens, though. What is the science behind it? I’m curious. Aside from taking a deep breath, you can also cough. I just watched that somewhere.
Anyway, I was really hoping that I wasn’t diabetes, given that almost my entire family, extended family included, is diabetic, I was thinking I wasn’t safe from it. And to think that I haven’t been working out regularly as I used to. But I’m glad the results showed that my blood level is normal. However, it came as a surprise to me that my uric acid hit the threshold, as well as my bad cholesterol. I suddenly recalled all the conversations that the elders in our family would often discuss. “I can’t have that, my uric acid is high.” “Don’t eat too many beans, those are high in uric acid.”
I immediately felt disappointed upon realizing that I had to cut back on beans, nuts, and greens because those are some of my favorites. I suddenly regret all the add-on cashew nuts I would order on top of my already large DQ Blizzard, as well as the plate of french beans from Mann Hann that I could easily finish by myself. Although my uric acid level is not staggeringly high, I shouldn’t really consume too much of those foods rich in uric acid. Anyway, too much of something is not good. The same goes for having too less of something.
I’m not going to be all technical here, so I’ll just reiterate what I remember from what the doctor told me this afternoon. It was the first time I officially met Dr. Stephen Cu. I was honestly imagining a man in his 50’s with a rugged voice and a bad taste in clothing. He was the complete opposite. He stood tall. He had a fit body that could pass as a 30-year-old’s and he had a deep voice that is used to speaking in front of large crowds (i.e. students; he is a professor, too).
He first asked me about the pain I was feeling on my right knee. I told him it was random since I wasn’t doing any sports before it happened. Lord knows I haven’t been doing any sports in years now. The uric acid and bad cholesterol weren’t something I should be worried about, he said. He didn’t even prescribe me any medicine for those. He just advised me to be careful with the beans, greens, and nuts I eat, and to ditch chicken skin and meat internals as much as possible. I can still eat the food I usually do since I go to the gym and sweat it off, but of course, there should always be a conscious moderation. But for someone who’s afraid to be sick, I would rather refuse them than eat some once in a while. There’s no harm in refusing them altogether. It could actually be more helpful and practical.
I’m actually tall?
Dr. Cu noticed that I’m tall, which he said I could use to my advantage. I could easily sweat off the pounds since I don’t have to work as hard, thanks to my height (if you’re wondering, I’m 5’4″). I liked what he said about us being young, that our bodies will still change and that we don’t have to pressure ourselves into getting lean because there are a lot of ways to lose weight. We don’t even have to go to the gym, he said. Even if we don’t have any gym membership, much less money for working out on a daily, we could simply go to a park and jog. Starving ourselves can only do more harm than good. Scientifically, we could have gastrointestinal problems from eating disorders.
I’m guilty of eating too many meat internals lately. On top of that, for every occasion that Jec and I go out to bars and gigs, I drink alcohol, which I’m not supposed to since I’m allergic to it. LOL. It was a bit awkward relaying some information to Dr. Cu because I wanted to be completely honest with him, but my mom was listening from behind me. I must have filtered some words because from what I gather, Dr. Cu thought I didn’t drink AT ALL. But I’m guessing all the social drinking caused my bad cholesterol to spike.
On the other hand, I mentioned that I love nuts, beans, and anything that is rich in uric acid. I admit I didn’t care how many nuts I could eat in one sitting because, in my head, I was perfectly healthy and normal. I workout, I don’t eat a lot of sweets. I don’t binge eat usual pulutan snacks like chicharon, lechon, and crispy pata. I avoid eating chicken skin as much as I can, and I wasn’t raised eating street foods (having amoebiasis from an early stage is both a blessing and a curse).
Some medications & DIY remedies
For my UTI, he advised me to take medications but just for five days. Right now, I’m taking 500mg of Ciprofloxacin Ciprobay XR and for my good cholesterol, just fish oil capsule. I found this article, too. I find it timely that I just paid the gym for an unlimited pass for 1 month. Now I could workout as much as I can to lose weight, which might help me lower my bad cholesterol, raise my good cholesterol, fix my slow metabolism, and overall prevent illnesses and combat my PCOS.
I’m thinking of really focusing on a weight loss workout program. As much as I love lifting, I should incorporate cardio in my workout, too, or I’ll look too bulky for my liking. I’m already big so to transform my body, I should lose weight first and build my muscles afterward. I’m thinking of finally boxing with Jec, but maybe I’ll finish my 1-month gym sessions first.
On top of all that, I just bought a box of green tea sachet just for basic detox. I used to drink green tea and, within a few days, I can already tell a difference in my body, especially on my tummy area. It keeps the bloat away so you know how you actually look like. Some of us just retain a lot of water in our bodies so we look and feel pudgy. FYI, it takes about 30 minutes of working out to pump up your body. By then, you’re only releasing water, not actual sweat, so keep working out beyond that period.
Health is wealth
Cliché as it may be, I have to agree that health is indeed wealth. Dr. Cu shared his opinion and said that the most expensive bed in the world is the hospital bed. And no matter how rich you are, you can’t hire someone to take your place on the hospital bed when the time comes. You have to succumb to all the medications, struggles, and even pains if there are any. No one can take your place because it’s your body in need of treatment, not others’.
I realized that it’s important to have annual checkups to keep track of your health. It might be scary knowing what you have or don’t, but it’s better to have preventive measures than to keep avoiding what you should be treating especially if yours is a recurring health problem.
Anyway, this is not meant to be an entertaining blog post. Haha. I know it’s lengthy, but I’m doing this mainly to document what I need to remember (I’m a very forgetful person). It’s only secondary to help out those who might be able to relate to my current health status. Oh, by the way, Doc said to never compare conditions because it still differs in some ways. Hope you find this blog post helpful even if it’s extremely long! Also, let me know if there are tips you can share. I’d really appreciate it!
Bae is a 20-something passion blogger from Manila. She likes hoarding hobbies and trying out new stuff, blogging about her mundane adventures, and tweeting about random realizations and musings.