Conventional Wisdom

Conventional Wisdom

Sometimes not being within the range of “normal” is a distinct disadvantage. Occasionally though, it a wonderful thing. Today it was a wonderful thing.

My follow up appointment with the cardiologist was today, my blood pressure was normal. This appointment coincided with receiving the results of a recent blood test that measured my cholesterol levels. I had discontinued taking cholesterol medication last summer, as it was elevating my levels rather than lowering them. The recent blood test was meant to provide a base line for future comparison. The results were that my cholesterol is very high, which is not unexpected, as it has been very high for a very long time, perhaps all of my life, although I wasn’t tested a baby, or as a child. The thing is, as the cardiologist had both the results of my carotid scan, and the blood test, he determined that high cholesterol, in my case, does not result in artery wall plaque deposits. I have no plaque deposits at all. So, in my case, I don’t really need to take cholesterol lowering drugs, and he recommended not taking them because I don’t need them. Great news! He felt that I need not return, and gave me a clean bill of health!

One thing he did discuss with me was the need to have a CT scan done of my head, checking for aneurisms. My Aunt died at the age of 63 from a burst aneurism in her brain. Apparently the tendency to have aneurisms runs in families. So on my next visit to the walk-in clinic I will be pushing for a CT scan to check for aneurisms, and an appointment to have my nostril cauterized to prevent nose bleeds.

This may be the last summery day of 2017! It is warm and sunny, a bit humid too. A lovely day.

On Saturday we travelled to have a Thanksgiving Dinner, cooked by Sister-The-Youngest-Girl, and attended by various family members. I got to see my Mom, and my Sister-The-Middle-Girl, which is always a treat. We had a great time, visiting, relaxing, good food, good company. Sister-The-Youngest-Girl, Mom, and I had fun working on a jigsaw puzzle, something my Mom has done with her children since we were small. Mom is pretty good at it, the rest of us struggle to keep up with her. The drive was miserable, both on the way there, and on the way home. The highways were clogged with traffic, expanding a three hour drive into a four and half hour journey, each way. We arrived at the get together, and home afterward, safe and sound, which in the end is all that really matters.

At the Thanksgiving get together, my Mom gave me a photograph portrait of my brother Carl and I, when he was just a baby, and I wasn’t much more. In the photograph he is just sitting up with support, and I am 18 months older, so I would have been around two years old, give or take a few months. My brother was a beautiful baby, I thought he was my baby, and I adored him. I was the eldest of six, and I thought of all my younger siblings as “my babies”, as older siblings do sometimes. Carl passed away last summer, while Attila and I were on vacation, it was a terrible shock.

Maggie Carl 1953 DSCF1347 Taken of my brother Carl and I when I was two years old. Four more children would be born in quick succession after this photo was taken, all my little brothers and sisters.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 1:00 PM EDT Tuesday 10 October 2017
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 21.1°C
Dew point: 15.9°C
Humidity: 72%
Wind: SW 17 km/h
Humidex: 26
Visibility: 24 km


“The people I distrust most are those who want to improve our lives but have only one course of action.”
Frank Herbert
1920 – 1986


  1. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Such good news on the health front!

    Sounds like a great family Thanksgiving. And it’s always wonderful when sweet family photos are passed on. Look at those blonde curls!

  2. The news today was a great relief Teri! I still have a minor valve issue, but that could remain stable as long as this old girl keeps on keeping on.

    My hair had a mind of its own from the very beginning! I am so thrilled to have this photograph, my brother and I were very close during our early years, a place we got back our last time together, what a blessing that was.

  3. All that good eating and preparations and self-discipline have paid off big time for you. I have no self-discipline at all. One thing I wish I had but it’s hopeless. What a lovely day with your family, and doing puzzles! I like to do them, too, but haven’t done one in a very, very long time.

  4. Bex, the good eating and elliptical machine seem to be the ticket in my situation! I also lost weight over the last year, about five pounds, which is disappointing because I hardly eat anything, if I cut back on my eating I would have malnutrition, but the weight just does not come off… except for five pounds, less than a 1/2 a pound per month.

    I love puzzles! We have all kinds of them here, but I haven’t had any out for years now. When I finish the genealogy book I am working on I will probably get one out then, which I hope is within the next year!

  5. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Lol! I also have a number of puzzles. I like the difficult ones and the large intricate ones.

    It’s amazing what you can learn about yourself while you’re dealing with other health issues. I was definitely taken aback when I learned before surgery that the electrical pulse in my heart doesn’t work right. Fortunately, it’s something that may never cause an issue.

  6. Thanks Kate, I do treasure the photograph, and can even vaguely remember the photo shoot.

    The health report is a huge relief, particularly concerning the cholesterol situation. The last medication I took for high cholesterol gave me gallstones, which now have to be kept an eye on… and apparently the medication was taken for no purpose. Gotta watch these things!

  7. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    The thing I find fascinating is that you are part of a previously unknown (to me) group of people who don’t get plaque build up from cholesterol. Researchers should study people like you to find out why your veins don’t become sticky.

  8. Teri, I find it interesting as well. I remember when the whole “high cholesterol” push started. At that time I had access to medical journals through the university, and I tried to find studies that supported the premise. I couldn’t find anything I considered adequately definitive enough to take high cholesterol seriously as an issue. Over the years my doctors have been alarmed at my cholesterol levels, and I have taken medication, which I now regret. I have never had plaque build up, and have been tested several times over the last two decades due to my extremely high cholesterol levels. I wonder if the whole cholesterol scare was just about the drug industry.

    “High LDL-C is inversely associated with mortality in most people over 60 years. This finding is inconsistent with the cholesterol hypothesis (ie, that cholesterol, particularly LDL-C, is inherently atherogenic). Since elderly people with high LDL-C live as long or longer than those with low LDL-C, our analysis provides reason to question the validity of the cholesterol hypothesis. Moreover, our study provides the rationale for a re-evaluation of guidelines recommending pharmacological reduction of LDL-C in the elderly as a component of cardiovascular disease prevention strategies.”

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