Statin in the Drinking Water

A cardiologist told me once that he thought statins should be added to the drinking water.  I think he may have been joking, but most cardiologists will tell you the benefits of statins far outweigh the risks.  I have crappy genes when it comes to lipids: my mother has been on Lipitor for 15 years, and her lipid profile is just acceptable.  Unfortunately, I seem to have inherited her crappy genes.   Too bad I didn’t get Dad’s genes: sedentary, eats whatever he wants, and perfect numbers.  His father ate five eggs a day, and attributed his longevity to that and the occasional pipe.

I had been on Niaspan for close to a decade, and while on it had wonderful numbers, including a HDL of 100.  But, given the recent debate about what exactly niacin does to lipids, I decided to take myself off the drug and see what happens.  The good news is that all that exercise has kept my HDL pretty high at 75, but the rest of the profile has gone to hell.  I have become the perfect candidate for statin therapy.  I can do everything right, but I can’t overcome the menopausal rise in cholesterol, and I can’t overcome genetics.

I have been on simvastatin for almost two weeks now, and it’s not going as “benignly” as I had hoped: I am having palpitations again, and while it is true that I have had them in the past (I blame them on menopause), I also don’t think it’s just coincidence that the arrhythmia has returned since the new medication.  So . . . .  My doctor and I play this waiting game while adjusting the dosage, and hope that we hit exactly the right combination of drug-lifestyle choices.  That Niaspan is looking pretty good right now . . . .

Kendal mint cake

Back in February, I was substitute innkeeper for a father-son hiking/climbing duo from England.  The father was retired and lived in Newcastle, and the son worked in The City when he wasn’t off adventuring, doing things like biking across America without support, or climbing Long’s Peak in the winter.  Anyway, the father swore by Kendal Mint Cakes, and had brought a small supply with him for their winter hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park (along with ice picks, avalanche shovels, and assorted other winter survival gear).  He shared his last bar of the mint cake with me, assuring me that it would come in handy some day when I was out and about.  Some day was last week, on a short hike up to Bible Point — and he was right, it was actually surprisingly good and gave us all a needed boost of energy.  After all, the cake made the summit with Hillary and Tenzing Norgay!

CSA Share Week 12:  summer squash, Asian eggplant, onion, baby carrots, green beans, Swiss chard, watermelon, strawberries

Week 12 Recipes:  spicy ratatouille with eggplant, squash, and onion; crustless quiche with Swiss chard, onion, scapes, and feta cheese; watermelon-based fruit salad; green beans with spicy olive tapenade; roasted carrots

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