Last week I had a free cholesterol test taken at work as part of my employer’s a heart health initiative. My dad and Kirios both had their checked recently, and my mom pointed out that I’ve been eating a lot of cheese lately. They do not provide the results by phone, so when I went back to the clinic to get my results, the nurse and receptionist asked me if I was a vegetarian. “An itty bitty thing like you, you’ve got to put some meat on those bones.”
Something told me my results were atypical. “No,” I said, “but I do have Crohn’s Disease.” The women both nodded before escorting me to a patient room for a consultation, where they showed me the test results indicating that my cholesterol levels were abnormally low. Most people would be glad to hear that they don’t have high cholesterol, but this was not news that I wanted to hear. I wanted, for once, to have a medical report telling me that I’m average.
My first thoughts were concerns about Crohn’s Disease – I’ve been feeling well, but is it possible that I’m suffering from malabsorption anyway? If my cholesterol is low, what else am I low on? Then of course I returned to my desk and googled – low cholesterol can be caused by Crohn’s Disease. It can cause anxiety and depression, and if pregnant, increases the change for a premature baby. Would I really worry less if I had higher cholesterol?
I called my mom to tell her, and I emailed my Dad. Then I told Kirios via gchat, and lightheartedly suggested he defrost steaks for dinner when he came home that evening. Next I emailed my doctors. None of them seemed concerned with the results. The PA who regularly administers my Crohn’s infusions agreed to do additional blood work during my next appointment to recheck my vitamin levels just in case.
Kirios surprised me by stopping at Koshermart on his way home from work. When I got home, he urged me to check the refrigerator to see what he bought. There was a package of beef short ribs and a package of kosher lamb bacon. There was also a new hunk of cheese from Trader Joe’s. He was serious about fattening me up! Or at the very least, he was serious about keeping me cheery, and distracting me from any anxious health thoughts.
“Are we having ribs instead of steak for dinner?” I asked with a smile on my face.
“That was the plan at first,” Kirios replied. “But then I stopped next door and picked these up.” He pulled two warm and massive laffa bread sandwiches out of the oven, one with falafel the other with schwarma. “We can have the short ribs tomorrow.”