Daddee Yah!

A working Daddee learning to cope in a big big world

Had my full medical checkup some three weeks ago now.

The bloodwork came back all good news. The Dr, whom had presumably a few minutes ago rummaged through the pages before calling me in, was flicking through the four-page report, pencil-pointing to me the different categories and the corresponding figures and how each were within acceptable range etc.

And then we came to the last page, where he used the word “awful” to describe my cholesterol levels.

I kinda already expected bad news in this area. My family, no- my siblings & my mum, have always had high levels. The last time I checked was in the mid-90’s. Yes I know I have been slack about this. Back then, it was already at 6.3, if I remember correctly.

So, couple with these histories and how I have not really been watching what I eat, I was already prepared to hear the “awful” news.


Alright, I wasn’t prepared to learn that it was that high.

I don’t eat shellfish foods; the only seafood I eat is fish, and the occasional prawn already prepared, like in dim sum, stir-fries, etc. I won’t go out of my way to order huge prawns or crabs or anything like that. Never was into them since young. I think it all started with “what an effort just to get that little bit of meat, when it’s not all that tasty to me anyway” attitude that kinda stuck as I grew up. I do like meat though, like steaks and lamb (shanks) etc. That’s probably why I knew that it would still be on the high side.

But again, never expected it that high.

Was it a wake-up call? Kinda.

Upon seeing another Dr (the panel doctor, to get the medication) he was saying that since my family history is already such, and that my last check was already so high, there is no point changing diet just to see how low it falls- to go straight to starting medication as well as changing my diet.

Kinda tough considering I already don’t eat much seafood, if at all. So I started looking into where else I could modify.

With my understanding, exercise also helps in some ways: Along with “flushing” away fats, the act of exercising also makes the liver produce less bad cholesterols. It has also been a while since I got back into that regime.

Some of you would know that I had started attending Bikram yoga since April/May. I ramped up my frequencies after this wake-up. I had also started going for walks at the Kiara trek whenever I was able to finish work early.

But I think it was also that I really started watching what I eat, and more importantly, how big/small the portions are, in my every meal, that had made the difference.

I won’t bother trying to identify which of these factors helped, but these days I do feel more energetic, and able to chase my 2 little monkeys around a little more :)

Since it is pretty evident that this is a congenital characteristic that’s literally in the blood (genes), I am also starting to coach Caitlin to avoid high cholesterol foods.

Taught her about good fats and bad fats, by borrowing my own experience when I first learn about cholesterol in my teens. This was my brother in law’s analogy of how to remember them. There are HDLs and LDLs, high and low density lipids. The way to remember which one to reduce, if you spoke Hokkien, is H is for “ho”, as in “good”; and L stands for “lousy” :)

The human liver produces these lipids. In our case ours basically produce too much of it; and consuming them in foods doesn’t help my/our cause. These drugs basically blocks the liver from producing so much, and it is hoped that coupled with reduced intake in foods, that my levels would be brought down to more favourable levels.

But that doesn’t discount the fact that, since my levels have been so high for so long, I’d probably already have some levels of deposits in my internal blood-tubes…..

Now Daddee has to start taking medications every night, “forever” :-\

So on our way home I swung by to pick up some fresh milk at a small mini-mart. Upon reaching the check-out my two little monkeys wandered over to the magazine stand and started rambling about some kids-show publication.

I spotted the latest issue of Time, and tried discretely to hide it behind some other mags.

“Daddee, why did you do that?”

“Doesn’t it scare you?”

“.. A little bit..”

Later I proceeded to tell her that some bad people had done that to her, “Just like those bad people who robbed us last year…”

I am not sure if I should shield her from these images, still. She is after all only turning 6 this November. Little brother Caleb didn’t appear to see that cover; in his little happy-happy-joy-joy world as usual :)

Caitlin was contemplative in the car this morning.

Will standard 1 also have gym class? (Like she has now in preschool)

What will they teach?

“PE”? What’s that? What did you do in PE?

What about when you were in standard 2, 3, 6, Daddee?

Gym, computer class, and the short swimming lesson, are weekly lessons that she looks forward to in school now, that I know of. I just hope that when she starts the Chinese vernacular school next year at a proper primary school level, that she will remain as enthused about school as she is now.

Probably because she is doing alright in her schooling and the social side of it. It’s no surprise that schooling will only be fun or at least tolerable when these main things are going well for kids, at any age.

Personally I have been through Chinese primary schooling. It wasn’t easy in that “capital punishment” was enforced, particularly when I wasn’t such a good kid to begin with ;) But I hear that it has since gotten tougher- that the workload has increased, and also that kids are better “protected” by their parents.

On the latter, in my day we were kinda on our own. If you were caned, you were caned for the right reasons. These days, I hear about parents turning up in schools protesting about “abuses” from their kids’ disciplinary actions. My view? These kids will learn that they can get away with more things now, ‘cos the school “fears” disciplining them. And where there are naughty kids, there will also be bullies. By boys and girls.

And on the former, I also hear of stories where kids can’t even complete their homework by bedtime…

I worry about these negative effects that may deter my kids from wanting to go to school to learn and socialise; especially when my kids seem to exhibit traits of strong-headed-ness. On the one hand they may be immune from bullies, and be popular instead, but of course these have to be from the right reasons….

It is as parents that we ensure they are. And for them to have something to look forward to all the time, at home and at school.

That means I gotta think of something for them to do this weekend!