Yesterday my doctor told me what I already knew: my blood pressure is too high. Technically, I have stage 1 hypertension, which is high, but not scary high. He started me on Diovan, a popular and effective medication that has few side effects. He also took blood and did a finger stick to check my cholesterol. It, too, is too high, but not in the scary range. He urged me to start a daily flax seed oil regimen.
The irony of these findings is, of course, that I live a lifestyle that is about as healthy as an American can be. I live in the country where pollution is low, I am active and exercise all the time, including tennis and hiking, I don’t smoke, I drink alcohol only in moderation, and I am a dietary vegan (and thus consume zero cholesterol.) So I really have only my heredity and the luck of the draw to thank for these risk factors.
The good news, however, is abundant:
- I caught these symptoms at an early stage
- I am noted for my ability to follow through with treatment regimens and therapies
- In all other respects I am in excellent health
And, above all, even if the mother ship calls me home tomorrow:
- I have been a creative contributor to my community and my crafts, such as photography and writing
- I have been a powerful positive influence on the life of a child who is becoming a young man
- I have lived an excellent and exciting life, which has included achieving dreams like learning to fly and exploring the American wilderness
- And to me, most importantly, it has been my privilege to fall in love with and marry the most beautiful, wonderful, intelligent, affectionate and loving woman I have ever met
Forgive me if I sound sentimental at all, but it’s certainly better to say these things now than risk missing the chance to ever say them. The human body is fragile, and our lives are fleeting but precious.