The next time I see my internist I'll be sure to schedule enough time to discuss a few issues in the context of the new information, such as:
- The risks and benefits for me of low-dose aspirin.
- Target levels for my cholesterol -- HDL, LDL, ratio, etc.
- The risks and benefits of periodic ultrasound screening of my carotid arteries.
I've always tended toward a healthy lifestyle, but this news gives me extra motivation to:
- Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables and fiber.
- Maintain an ideal weight.
- Get regular, vigorous exercise.
After I got home from the meeting, I had to decide whether or not to share the piece of information with my husband. He adores me. I hate to worry him. So I debated in my head for about two milliseconds before telling him. We both agreed that if I ever develop symptoms suggestive of a stroke, we won't wait to see if things get better, as we might have been tempted to do. We'll call my doctor right away and/or go to the emergency room.
With my plan of action in place and this post now done, I can easily let my knowledge of the risk drift into the distant background. I'm back to focusing on my writing and planning two weddings. Life is good.