It worked. My total cholesterol and LDL, or bad, cholesterol both dropped dramatically. My HDL — let's call it my happy cholesterol — stayed high, and that was desirable.
I wish this story had a happy ending.
A week ago, my doctor called. As usual, he had received my most recent blood test results before I had.
He wasn't calling to praise me.
The news wasn't all bad. My HDL was higher than ever, and my ratio of total cholesterol to HDL was fine. But the villainous LDL, believed to be a contributor to heart disease, was way too high.
He neither scolded me nor insisted I start on the statin right away. We agreed to give it another month, with me doubling down on my strategies.
He expressed hope that I would succeed and even called me his "poster child" for taking charge of one's health through lifestyle changes. Like a coach at halftime, he pumped me up.
So I am back into Brill's book, rereading to see where I'm going wrong. This refresher course is causing me to concentrate not only on what I should eat, but also on what I shouldn't.
So much for Thanksgiving.
I realize, and accept, that in a month I may swallow that first statin.
This will not be defeat. If I continue my healthy eating habits and exercise, I may get by with a low dosage, making the adverse effects less likely.
Early heart disease claimed my father, sister, uncle and grandmother.
On Thursday I'll skip the fatty foods, but will be thankful for living in a time when people can see trouble ahead and do something about it.
Friend is editor and publisher of the Daily Mail. She may be reached at 348-5124 or nan...@dailymail.com.