I'm not a grumpy old man, just an out of synch hippy

Thursday, 14 June 2012


If you don’t want a heart attack then stop jumping up and down

I was talking the other day to my friend James. He mentioned he was taking statin pills for his cholesterol.  “I’ve got to bring down my count,” he said. “It’s 5.3. Doctor’s orders.”  “Aren’t they supposed to make you feel woozy?” I said. “Yes, but it’s better than keeling over at the bus stop.” “Serve you right for running “ I quipped but he’d gone on to talking about his heart rate and there was no stopping him.
I was building up a joke along the lines that bringing down the count sounds more like a job for garlic and a crucifix when something else occurred to me.
“I heard you can’t drink with statins.”
“Ah hah!” said James, tapping his nose, “If you’re planning a drink, you just don’t take the statin”
Plan a drink? I imagined my To Do list. “Phone agent. Start work on accounts. Sink triple Jamiesons.” Actually, that’s the way it really happens, especially after doing my accounts. But though I may be thinking of the triple Jamiesons all afternoon, when I actually drink it, it’s spontaneous. 
I mentioned James’s conversation with another pal, Dermot. I expected warm approval of my point of view, but Dermot said, statin-wise, “I’m on them too. My count’s 5.8. I’m lucky I’m still here, basically.”
Men of our generation never talked much about football. At one time we went on about sex (after all, we invented it) but that’s dropped off the conversation radar. These days, to get a man over 55 really going, ask him about his health. Cholesterol counts have taken the place of global warming as top bogie topic. We wait in dread for it to go over a certain level; a bit like the arctic seas.
I blame doctors. We’re healthier and need them less, and they’re sick as parrots. Revenge? Easy. Stop their red meat. Cut back their cheese. Ban their drink. Stuff them full of statins.  
Sod it, not me. I’m not listening. I’m not obsessed with my cholesterol count.
It’s 5.1, seeing you asked.

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