Friday, May 1, 2009

The Iron Pourri Pot

Yesterday was Thursday, today is Friday; let's have that perfectly clear.

Last night at dinner Trillium said out loud, "My goodness, it feels like Friday!"

I said, "That is because there were two Wednesdays this week".

T-ma said, "That's impossible!"

I said, "No, think about it. It really is Friday, but since there were two Wednesdays, it is only Thursday".

Trillium looked at me with those wonderful blue eyes and said "Are you trying to drive me crazy? It 'feels' like Friday; it isn't Friday".

"It is all part of the two-Wednesday illusion, Trillium, all you have to....."

T-ma said, "I got up late this morning so I am not really sure what day it is....."


When I first started this blog, I tried to mix in a little humor, just to keep myself a little amused. At some point Trillium noted in one of her comments, "You know, you really need to put a disclaimer on your entries. Someone is going to believe every word you say and do themselves irreparable damage".

I replied, "I deal in outrageous hyperbole; there is no need to explain every joke I tell. If a statement I make seems insane, it probably is. People shouldn't have any trouble at all discerning fact from fiction, the real statistics from the fraudulent ones. Anyone who tries to give themselves a self-inflicted phlebotomy by careening down a mountainside without handbrakes probably deserves a concussion".

I have since decided that there is always the possibility that one of my readers may be experiencing a two-Wednesday workweek and, thinking that it is Friday instead of Thursday, may not get my jokes. So I have decided to give you a key by which you can invariably tell when I am telling a whopper, my "tell" as it were. My students discovered many years ago that when I was embarking on a shaggy dog story, that the corners of my mouth would begin to tremble ever so slightly. Once they saw that, they would lean back and simply enjoy the joke. So, there you have it. When the edges of your monitor begin to tremble ever so slightly while you are reading one of my entries, you may know with certainty that I am trying to be funny.


Yesterday Trillium and I went to Costco for a few things. We both supplied ourselves with a cart and so we actually ended up with a lot of "few things". I was feeling peckish, inasmuch as I had not as yet had lunch. Everything looked edible. After I had picked up the water softener salt and a few other essential items for the microwave, I met Trillium at the milk cooler. As I was making my way down the aisle, I noticed huge stacks of Honey Bunches of Oats. "I really like those," I said to myself, "Why am I not eating them? There must be a reason." Then I remembered. It was because of the high iron content...... "What.......!!!" I internalized. "There is no animal matter in Honey Bunches of Oats; there is no heme iron in those!" Then I realized that I had made the observation about the iron content last August when I was really being paranoid about the iron content in my body. I had not yet really made a distinction between heme and non-heme iron. So, because of a two-Thursday workweek at the end of summer last year, I have made myself miserable with toast every morning for eight months. What made me think that two pieces of bread with loads of Smart Balance smeared all over them had less iron than a nice bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats? I have no idea.

I turned to Trillium and said, "Why are we not buying Honey Bunches of Oats.....?"

"Cholesterol," she answered sweetly.


I have been doing a little research on cholesterol and hemochromatosis as aspects of one another. It has been hard work, and for that reason most scientists have ignored the field. I found out that Low Density Lipoprotein (as opposed to High Density Lipoprotein) has a tendency to form affectionate relationships with the walls of blood vessels creating what is generally called "plaque". Too much plaque and the vessel is blocked, causing a stroke, a heart attack, or a two-Monday workweek. Hence, LDL is often called "bad cholesterol". HDL, IDL, VLDL, and chylomicrons (I'll let you work these abbreviations out for yourself) apparently are a little more anti-social and can be called (at least HDL can be) "good cholesterol". Cholesterol of all kinds are actually necessary for life. Our bodies need the fat (lipo-) in the cholesterol and it can only be transported to the cells of the body through the water-based blood system. It is the "sticky" LDL that causes the problem......

You should be bored out of your mind at this point.....

I know I am.....

Learning that my cholesterol problems are directly associated with my hemochromatosis problems was a great relief to me and I hope to you as well. I have, as a result of my studies, come up with a recommendation or two.

First, when you go to have your phlebotomy, do not allow the nurses to take the blood from one of your veins in your arms. Make them take it from your waist somewhere. While they are digging around for a blood vessel they can at the same time do a little "lipo-suction" (did you see the "lipo-" part? That is the "bad fat"!) Reducing the body fat once a month will keep you and your doctor happy.

I was happy to discover that having a regular phlebotomy reduces the amount of LDL coursing through your veins, although I have to say that my source regularly has two-Tuesday workweeks and is not completely reliable. His nurse told him that the LDL count can be reduced by ten percent with each phlebotomy. Wow! The way I figure it, three more bloodlettings and I will be out of the "Woods of Angina". I now stand at 130 LDL; one phlebotomy would drop me to 117; a second would drop me to 106; the third would reduce it to 96, four points into high normal. What a deal! Another two-fer! The scary part is where my blood cholesterol must have been before I started my therapy. According to my mad math skills, my LDL would have stood at 251 in August and my blood vessels would have looked like gummy worms.

The "fly in the lipoprotein", however, is the fact that I know that a year ago, when I had my last complete blood work-up, that my various cholesterols were just about as they are now. "Doc Holliday" is concerned about where I am at, but my medical history does not justify any enthusiasm for the "phlebotomy-over-statins" technique of dealing with my weight or my hardening arteries. I only have one question now: What am I going to do with the ten-pound box of Honey Bunches of Oats that I bought yesterday?


If you, by now, have not figured out the significance of the title of this entry, there are not enough days in the week to explain it to you.


Rebecca said...

so, what are the chances of your children having iron issues?

Zaphod said...

Well you are certainly a carrier. If mom has anything at all then you could be susceptible. It does not really show up until you are in your late fities or early sixties.

Trillium said...


If I am not in my right mind . . . I think everyone will understand the cause . . . .

shydandelion said...

That was BY FAR the funniest blog you have written! I laughed and laughed...HAHAHAH!

Jen said...

I'm sorry . . . it's been a long week . . . I don't get it. It's probably because I've had two of each this week . . .

W.Pat said...

I was just about dead at age 47 from hemochromatosis.

And no matter how close I look, I can't find any veins around my waist.
Lots of HH info here:

Zaphod said...

W.Pat: Most people are vain about their waist

Judie said...

Heeeeeeeees back!!!!! (W.Pat) Rebecca, Tony (my oldest) carries one gene of HH. Beth has none. Ray would have to be positive for it to be a problem. But your father is correct, it doesn't show up until you are older, so you have some time.
Yes my brother is a funny man. Fortunately as he has gotten older he refrains from playing tricks on his baby sister. But as we were growing up he was unmerciful (??). I never knew what was coming.

Katscratchme said...

I would have laughed and laughed like Dara, but my little boy is sleeping in his carrier next to me.. so I had to laugh in my head... and try really hard not to cough.
Gummy worms... awesome! :D

I also don't get the title... could I google it and save you some trouble?

Marja's Recipes said...

One clear sign of old age is all this talk about your ailments.

By the way, maybe nobody else noticed but I saw you eat two salads at Bea's party on Friday night. Not that I was counting...

Still hungry? We had an extra dessert, did you want it?

Zaphod said...

I realize this is a little late, but potpourri is a collection of things. Mine is an iron pourri pot. Potpourri also literally means something's rotten. I thought it befitting. Yes, I did eat a second salad; waist not waste....something