Tuesday, July 20, 2010

physical check-up

So I underwent a physical examination a few weeks ago (June 17th) and received the results today. Overall my health seems pretty good:
  • Glucose plasma fasting 4.8 mmol/L (3.6-6.0 is normal, 6.1-6.9 is impaired, >6.9 is "provisional diagnosis of diabetes mellitus")
  • Creatinine (a measure of kidney function) is 83 mmol/L, which I believe is normal.
  • Bilirubin total: 11 umol/L (normal < 23)
  • Urate: 371 umol/L (200-440)
  • Cholesterol: 4.33 (desired: < 5.2)
  • Triglycerides: 1.38 mmol/L (< 2.3)
  • HDL cholesterol: 1.31 mmol/L
  • LDL cholesterol calc.: 2.39 mmol/L
  • Vitamin B12: 337 pmol/L (possibly deficient if < 150, probably if < 110)
  • Ferritin: 165 ug/L (80-300 is normal, Iron deficient if <12)
  • Sodium: 141 mmol/L (135 - 145)
  • Potassium: 4.6 mmol/L (3.3 - 5.1)
  • Chloride: 100 mmol/L (95-108)
  • Alkaline phosphatase: 46 U/L (40-129)
  • AST (Aspartate transaminase): 29 U/L (<37)
  • ALT (Alanine transaminase): 1.55 mIU/L (0.35 - 5.00)
  • Hemoglobin: 143 g/L (135-170)
  • Hematocrit: 0.43 l/l (0.38 - 0.49)
  • RBC: 4.17 x 10E12/L (4.2 - 5.7)
  • RBC indices MCV, MCH, MCHC: 104 fl (80-97), 34 pg (27-32), 330 g/L (320-360)
  • RDW: 14.1 (11.5-15.5)
  • WBC: 3.5 x 10E9/L (4 - 11)
  • Platelets: 226 x 10E9/L (145-400)
  • MPV: 8.1 fl (7.4 - 11.3)
  • Smear: "Platelets appear adequate, red cells appear normochromic, macrocytosis - mild"
  • Blood group: O positive
  • 25 hydroxy vitamin D: 63 nmol/L (sufficency is 76-250, <25 is a deficiency).
Macrocytosis -- possibly due to excessive drinking in my past. Possibly. In any case I've reduced considerably my alcohol intake in the past several months -- frankly, since I've started dating again. The vitamin D and white blood cell count issues are likely due to the colitis medication I take. Even so, I will bring this up when next I see my specialist. The original reason for having the examination done was to see if it would give me any insight on why my energy levels seem rather low of late. I mean, apart for the lack of exercise, poor diet and irregular sleeping habits. Oh well, I guess it's back to the basics -- I'm not a spring pup no more!

Monday, July 19, 2010

wine country for old men

Well, it certainly has been a while. Am I still passing through a cleansing fire? I certainly feel my mind is not entirely there. This past weekend my girlfriend and I went to Niagara-on-the-Lake, a short drive from Toronto, though it's made much longer by traffic. We stopped in St. Catherines, which I liken to a somewhat less classy Waterloo. Oh, of course, we drove through the fields of wine country, which, if you skip actually going inside the wineries, can be done in nearly a day. The stretching verdant fields of grapes is much like you'd imagine, and a rewarding sight.

The next day we walked about the downtown proper, the sidewalks teeming with tourists. All of the eateries we tried were overpriced and staffed by disinterested teenagers serving uninspired, bland dishes; thankfully we brought some sandwiches for picnicking so not all of our meals were complete disappointments. We saw Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, which was billed (seemingly to me) as a comedy, but it feels far more like a black one, or even a tragedy. It was playing at the Shawfest's Courthouse theatre, but the inside is much more like a schoolhouse -- uncomfortable folding chairs, a decidedly cramped environment. I decided that it was far too expensive for the experience you get, the theatre ruining much of the ambience.

The weekend before we were in Bala, staying at her parent's cottage for the 4th time this summer. The weather was finally good enough to allow us to swim, which we did in a secluded lake, the blue water dark and warm, floating on my back and the sky filling my vision.

Hmmm... the weekend before... oh that's right I missed Magnus' cross-Canada tour, though I was able to catch him and his parental units later that week, at a very late hour indeed. I am heartily glad for my friends, but also saddened to think of how infrequently I see them.

And I am sorry, to you, my dear friends, for having neglected you these past months. I missed you all and my days never quite felt complete. I hope to change this soon. But, heh, speaking of idling away one's life, I have been playing Team Fortress 2 and StarCraft beta, although the latter has just ended today! I got very little practice in, and am not quite sure how I now measure up. I suppose I will find out soon enough.


I absolutely hate how the world is shaping up, just a frog boiling slowly in greed, misinformation, and lack of critical thought. I don'...