I just knew that all of you were awaiting the results of my latest blood draw. Yes, I can hear you now saying, “I wonder how Connie’s blood is doing, these days.” It is actually the truth that I had to have blood drawn and go in for a routine physical. It was mainly to see what effect, if any, Lipitor has been having on my previously-high (272) cholesterol.
Mind you, I have been the proud possessor of high cholesterol since my teens, I think. I know I had cholesterol of over 300 at one point, just before I began a diet at a hospital where I ate no solid food whatsoever and my cholesterol dropped from that, alone. I also remember inflating it, artificially, at a nurse’s suggestion once, to qualify for a hospital diet program, by eating tubs of cottage cheese. But nevermind about all that ancient history.
On March 4th, 2008, I had blood drawn because my doctor was going to check my liver function (which they check if you are on statins) and, for that reason, I was very careful to take a Lipitor (10 mg) a night every night for a week. My normal pattern is to take one 10 mg. pill every OTHER night, because my John Deere insurance will not pay for my Lipitor at all. They will pay for all kinds of inferior brands that make me physically ill (I tried them all), but that is it. All of the inferior brands were costing me (in addition to my insurance coverage) a minimum of $56, so I figured I might as well pay for the Gold Standard (i.e., Lipitor) and comparison shop it. In other words, I don’t get any insurance coverage for my Lipitor, as I buy it at Sam’s Club, and those little pills are PRICEY! I never get out of the store having paid less than $70 for 30 pills and, lately, I think it has gone up closer to $90. Anyway, because the pills ARE so pricey, and I am absorbing the total cost myself, I asked my doctor (Dr. Mihm), to write the 5 mg. prescription as a 10 mg. prescription, which I would take either cut in half or every-other-day, to keep MY costs down (and it is MY cost, not my insurance carrier, which prefers that I become physically ill on Brands X, Y and Z.). If you have a 10 mg. pill, it will take you through 2 months on that $70 to $90. Capice? If I were taking a 5 mg. pill daily, I would pay the same price ($70 to $90) but the pills would only last me 30 days. Therefore, I can get my daily cost for my Lipitor (which Dr. Mihm, himself, takes) down to a manageable $1 a day.
Today, the results of having taken my 10 mg. pill for at least a week (more faithfully than usual, in other words) were revealed to the public, who does not really want to know. My cholesterol has gone from 272 to 133. My HDL has declined from 76 to 51, which my doctor said would be “normal,” since the overall cholesterol has declined so much. My LDL has gone from 185 to 70, which he described as “ideal.” He said he could hardly believe that a broken-down old relic like me now had such “good” cholesterol…that I was “almost an ideal patient”…or words to that effect. He was almost giddy with excitement, as, I am sure, you are.
Afterwards, Dr. Mihm and I talked about politics, and I learned that he supports Hillary (!) and I heard about his nice time in Florida. It is always a pleasure to visit Dr. Mihm, who is almost as old as I am old and delivered Stacey 21 years ago. He is truly a Great Guy, and I know his wife Georgia, who used to be on the Davenport School Board. At the end of the meeting, after we had talked about Eliot Spitzer and politics and cholesterol, he said, “Good talking with you,” and I hobbled off into the day, to go shopping and celebrate my wonderful cholesterol levels. And, as an added bonus, nobody weighed me, this time. (hehehehehehe).