Good Morning Aphotic Dwellers,
Evidently even as pathetic as my part in life’s rich pageant is, I’ve chosen to add to this hell voluntarily. It’s funny how things manifest themselves. I had a wonderful week filled with professional and personal highs, dated a beautiful woman, witnessed the genius of Joe Bonamassa, and drank myself to oblivion each night! WOW F-ING WEE! With the exception of hitting Powerball, it couldn’t possibly get any better could it? That said, In my sixty plus rotations I’ve learned mostly the hard way that the other shoe will always drop snuffing out whatever joy and happiness I’ve managed to snag. It’s probably my left shoe.
There’s a local TV station here in Denver that has organized and sponsors a “Health Fair” every April the past 15 years or so. They offer all manner of testing and consulting for very reasonable fees and use medical volunteers to draw blood etc… I’ve not felt up to par of late, and decided to take advantage of the health fair and went in for a blood work up to see if there was anything that needed attention. I suspected as much and the diagnostics served up the brutal truth. My liver looks like the one they removed from David Crosby (Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young fame). The good news is my PSA levels were lovely with no sign of prostate cancer. The doctor indicated out of the 35 tests run, 4 of them came back with bad news all pointing to my liver as being seriously distressed. Shit.
PLATELET COUNT IS LOW 115 – normal is 140-400 thous/mcl – not much can be done about this other than to fix what ails you. If one has an unhealthy heart, kidney, or liver the count will be low. Medical professionals use this as an indicator of the overall health of a patient.
GGT TEST: 153. Normal range is 3 – 70 U/L This test is to look for Cirrhosis, Hepatitis, and other liver diseases. If you do the math my count is more than double the high side of the normal range! Gad Zooks!
AST (SGOT): 60. Normal range is 10 – 35 U/L This test specifically targets the liver indicating damage. Again my count nearly doubles the high side of normal.
TRIGLYCERIDES: 272 Normal is 150 MG/DL They represent the level of fat in the blood and continued high levels often lead to diabetes. However, in nearly all cases with high levels of Triglycerides heavy drinking is involved.
I had announced and actually stopped drinking in 2005. It was far more difficult than when I quit smoking! Not only do you fight the addiction to alcohol, what I missed most was the social interchange and gamesmanship at the bar. So I convinced myself I would walk into the bar and order a diet coke or ‘near’ beer but instead discovered being sober around a bunch of drunk’s sucks! Most times they think they’re funny, honestly they really do, and suppose I was no different… no..no..that’s not true, I really was funny! Anyway I suspect drinking large amounts of Diet Coke would be just as bad for you so my trips to the bar became infrequent. But when I retested 5 months later all counts were back to the normal range. The doctor told me if I had to drink stick with red wine. I adhered to his advice for a time but eventually went back to Vodka drinking mostly doubles and triples.
So once again I’m engaged in the painful act of sobriety. Going on day 4 I expect it will go a bit smoother than seven years ago given my art studio, but know for a fact I’ll become irritable and snippy. I’m apologizing in advance.