karen didn't leave for work until 8:30am this morning. i'm increasingly awoken prematurely by the sounds of her going about her morning business in the kitchen. i didn't get out of bed until 9am, got myself ready for my 10:30am annual physical at MGH.

the walk from my house to the subway station was uneventful. i was surprised the city of somerville plowed the fancy new cycle track on beacon street, but falling snow from the high snow banks lining either side of the track meant there was still plenty of icy obstacles. i saw someone actually biking on the track, but also someone just biking out on the street; so much for a dedicated bike lane. i kind of hate the cycle track: i think it's an eyesore, difficult to use, and i wish things could go back to the way it was before. beacon street is just a mess right now, made worse by all the snow, something the city planners failed to take into consideration. one more thing: the cycle track is only on one side of the road (inbound), which means on the way back bikers are forced to ride in the street, with just a sliver of bike lane since the roads are much narrower courtesy of the cycle track (outbound bike lane are currently nonexistent due to all the snow).

i waited half an hour in the waiting room and another 15 minutes in the exam room before i was able to see my doctor. earlier when the nurse took my blood pressure it was surprisingly low, 117/77. that got me thinking maybe i could drop one of the three different HBP medication i'm currently taking. doctor L told me that if my blood pressure was unusually low he might considerate it, but right now it's just holding steady at normal, and he wouldn't want to change up the drugs just yet.

i also asked him about the strange pulsing sensation i feel at the bottom of my left foot sometimes when i'm in bed. he didn't know what it was but told me to take a blood pressure reading next time. i also told him about my persistent cough but he didn't seem too worried about it, didn't say anything when i told him how i normally treat it is by taking a large dosage of mucinex decongestant. finally i showed him my wart and he referred me to a dermatologist, who will contact me within the next few days so i can make an appointment to get rid of it. he signed me up for a bunch of lab works asked for an urine sample before i left. wouldn't you know it, the one time i'm asked to pee in a plastic cup, i eat a bunch of asparagus the night before. i pity the poor lab technician who has to analyze my urine.

i went downstairs to the 5th floor to give blood for the lab works. my phlebotomist was the albanian woman i've met one other time before. she saw that my birthday was just a few days ago and wished me a happy birthday. she also asked what was the secret of looking young, while she collected half a dozen test tubes of dark red blood.

i briefly thought about walking down to chinatown (wasn't so far) to get some lunch and groceries, but the sky was grey and there was a forecast of imminent rain so i decided to return home instead. besides, i didn't eat the whole day, and i had 30 tea eggs waiting for me at home. my mother called me to let me know she and my father were going to a free screening of the great wall tonight, so i'll have to make my own dinner.

i tried one of the tea eggs. even after just a single night of soaking, this tea egg was better than the ones i made back in january. the egg was easier to peel, marbling on the egg white was more pronounced, and the flavor was perfect. in fact, i think they're ready to eat now, no need for additional soaking, although i did divide up the eggs into plastic quart containers and filled them with brine. i forgot to add a tsp of sugar to the brine, but i think the flavor is fine as is.

by late afternoon my preliminary test results for my blood work were already done. i received an e-mail letting me know i could check my data online:

lipid panel
componentmy valuestandard range
HDL40 mg/dL35 - 100 mg/dL
CHOLESTEROL241 mg/dL<200 mg/dL
TRIGLYCERIDES111 mg/dL40 - 150 mg/dL
LDL179 mg/dL50 - 129 mg/dL

basic metabolic panel
componentmy valuestandard range
SODIUM140 mmol/L135 - 145 mmol/L
POTASSIUM3.7 mmol/L3.4 - 5.0 mmol/L
CHLORIDE100 mmol/L98 - 108 mmol/L
CO226 mg/dL23 - 32 mmol/L
BUN11 mmol/L8 - 25 mg/dL
CREATININE0.94 mmol/L0.60 - 1.50 mg/dL
GLUCOSE94 mg/dL70 - 110 mg/dL
CALCIUM10.0 mmol/L8.5 - 10.5 mg/dL
EGFR>60 mL/min/1.73m2mL/min/1.73m2
ANION GAP14 mmol/L3 - 17 mmol/L

i'm right over the limit. even my doctor told me today - without seeing these latest results - that he might consider putting me on some cholesterol medication. i'm already taking 3 different HBP drugs, what's the big deal with adding one more? i like to think i try eating healthy, but really, i think probably only 10% of my diet is actually healthy. the rest is a mix. i've made changes, but they've been incremental at best. my cholesterol also changes depending on the season: during the summer when i'm more active it's slightly lower, and then it goes back up during the winter. but say i really hunker down and seriously eat healthy for 6 months. how much lower could i reduce my cholesterol numbers? or continue the lifestyle i have now, and just fix it through modern pharmacology?

i went to the dollar store in the afternoon to pick up some snacks. not to eat for today, but to store up in my larder for when i have a craving for the sweet and salty (so much for healthy eating). they already removed most of the valentine display, and put up the easter and st.patrick's day items. is st.patrick's day a big deal elsewhere in the united states? or is just in places like boston, where there's a large irish population?

i remember i had some small errands to take care of. first, pay my motor vehicle excise tax ($15). next, pay my credit card balance (i don't use autopay, i do it manually every month). finally, i packaged up the defective samsung microSDHC memory card, sending it free via UPS so i can hopefully get a replacement card.

for dinner i cooked up the other half of my asparagus bundle. i roasted them this time in the toaster oven, drizzled with olive oil, garlic powder, and sea salt. they weren't as good compared to when i sautéed them in the frying pan, but at least this way they didn't smoke and smell up the whole house. i also cooked up a cup of small penne pasta with a simple tomato sauce plus frozen chopped spinach and some parmesan cheese.

karen came home around 7:30pm. i was afraid she walked home from longwoods again, but she took the T today, and stopped by the supermarket before coming home. there was nothing good on television until 10pm, where i streamed the latest episode of legion on FX in my browser (there was an option for chromecasting but every time i selected it, it wouldn't play back on my tv).