This seems to be post #3 in the new health series of my life, to which I have aptly labeled “your body is getting older than your mind.” Or, how I’m REALLY feeling about it right now, “Watch out! Your body is trying to kill you!!!”
For those new to the site, you can read about the start of this adventure here: My goal to be a “grown up” this year. Followed by my latest entry: A date with my dentist. It’s pretty riveting stuff, I assure you. (And no, you are not on a health blog… it’s just when your body tries to kill you, that becomes priority over making a million dollars. Unless you think The Reaper could be bribed??)
This recent scare came courtesy of my new doctor’s nurse. We’ll call her Sunshine. Sunshine had called to report back on my blood tests we did last week – as part of the yearly physical stuff (*cough cough*) – and it turns out we have some new problem areas. Mainly, my liver.
It seems that most of me is doing quite well in a slew of areas on the list, but in others it’s pretty much the opposite story. It breaks down like this:
- Cholesterol - Great!
- Sodium – Great! (And,
- Some word I’ve never heard of – Great!
- Another something I’ve never heard of – Double Great!
- Another another something I’ve never heard of – So-So
- Sugar intake – Not the best, but keep an eye on… (I’m now trying black coffee – ICK!)
- Liver levels – “Umm…. yeah, we need to talk”
I was feeling pretty good up to that point, especially as it meant my new lifestyle of eating better (major cut down on sodium) and exercising 30 mins a day was starting to pay off. To have my sodium levels that good was a nice surprise! And makes sense, really, now that my blood pressure has been lowered a good 30 points these past few weeks of changes (I now check it at home every day with this). But the patting on the back didn’t last long…
Apparently my ALT (?) and AST (??) levels are much higher than they’re supposed to be. Like, on the “good” scale of 0-48, mine’s at 59 and 85 (!!!) respectively. Damn. And Sunshine says there are two probable causes for this: For one of them (ALT, I believe) I’m taking too much medicine. Like Tylenol, Advil, etc, which are all hard on your liver. The second, (AST) is due to me drinking too much every day. Alcohol, not apple juice.
But here’s the thing. I’m NOT drinking a lot, and I’m especially not taking meds a lot. The last Advil I took was maybe 3 weeks ago, and the last beer I downed was maybe 3 days ago. When I drink I literally have 1-2 beers max. Mainly because I’m an old man now (you hush, Martin), but also because I want to have my wits about me shall I need to be there for my baby at any time. I’m certainly not acting like my 20 year-old self these days.
So needless to say I was pretty stumped. And honestly, I don’t think Miss. Sunshine believed me when I said I don’t abuse any of those things, which kinda scares me even more. But she assured me there’s nothing to worry about yet, and that we should do another test in 4 weeks just to compare and learn more. In the meantime, I promised not to drink a single ounce of alcohol or take a single pill so we can rule them out. Not that I’m counting on much…
We’ll see what these results yield in the next month (I refuse to Google this and scare myself even more!), but the point is that there will always be *something* going on in our lives.. And it likes to pop up as soon as you just put out your most recent fire like clockwork.
This is very much so with money, more than anything.
- “I just saved for my vacation, woohoo!” $hit, my car just broke down.
- “Whew, finally paid off that credit card!” Oh damn, the refrigerator stopped working…
- “Got a bonus at work – so happy!!!” Wait, what’s that? I owe $5,000 in taxes?
And on and on and on… There will always be something. And the TRICK is to set yourself up from the start to be able to handle most of that crap that gets sent through the pipeline to better keep you sane (and more money in your pockets). Things like:
- Creating (and *keeping*) an emergency fund
- Lowering your expenses so you have more for saving/investing/doing whatever you wish
- Doing routine maintenance on things
- Investing in YOURSELF to prepare you for a better future
- Streamlining and managing your money to better align with how you operate
- Budgeting or tracking your money so you know where everything is! Even if it’s your *own* version of “not budgeting” that very much resembles budgeting just called something else ;) I’ve compiled a fun list of different ways you can budget here: The sticky note method of budgeting)
That’s the good news. The bad news, is that often times things are out of your control and you get scared silly for a bit. Similar to my liver problem at the moment. If it’s controllable by the things I do, sign me up!! But if not, it becomes a more serious situation. Still one you can manage and work better at, but just a different ballgame with a new set of rules.
So, to recap: my liver may be having some problems, but it’s nothing we can’t manage (yet) until we find out more. And this is similar to our money since we have no shortage of issues popping up in that department either.
There will always be something. How you handle it, and prepare for it, however, is the determining factor. And I have no plans on going anywhere soon, so I say Bring it, Sir liver!