independent

Monday 23 April 2018

My doctor has put me on a low cholesterol diet and now it's a psychiatrist I need...

By Justine O'Mahony

My doctor rang me the other day. My doctor never rings me. We don't have that type of relationship. We're not on first name basis. At least I'm not. She calls me Justine and I call her 'Doctor'.

She always looks slightly amused when I come in to see her. I usually stockpile all my ailments so I can get value for money. Well it is €60 a pop. She alternates between finding this funny and irritating. I know she thinks if I was really sick I'd just come and see her. And she's right. There's never much wrong with me besides the odd viral thing.

So it was a bit of a shock when she rang me. I was on my lunch break having something to eat. There wasn't much small talk. 'I got your blood tests back.' She had taken bloods the week before. I thought she'd done it to appease me because I was complaining of a particularly vague illness.

'Everything is fine…apart from your cholesterol.' She then proceeded to tell me my cholesterol was extremely high and I was to go on a low cholesterol diet for three months and take over-the-counter medication to see if that would work in bringing it down. Failing that I would need to go on prescription medication.

I needn't tell you I was a bit taken aback. Cholesterol is for…well, old people isn't it? My father has high cholesterol, my father in law has high cholesterol. People my age don't normally have high cholesterol…do they?

The doctor pulled no punches. Nor did she give me any sympathy. And I do love a bit of sympathy! She asked me what my diet was like. I told her it was grand. I don't really eat frys or burgers or chips….except on a Friday when we get a takeaway from the chipper.

'And what about butter, cheese?' she asks. 'Oh I'm a divil for the butter and the cheese. My death row meal would be fresh baguettes, Kerrygold butter and a massive cheese board!' I inform her.

'Well! There you go!' she says triumphantly. Jaysus you send someone to university for a few years and they come out a Know All! So now for my sins I'm on a low cholesterol diet which means no butter, no cheese, no burgers, no chips, no wine (ha! Like that's going to ever happen!) no mayo…..the list is endless.

It's not going very well. As soon as I was told I couldn't have cheese, I wanted it for breakfast lunch and dinner. I was good for two days then succumbed to my craving and bought an eight quid chunk of Maasadam and ate it in bed under the covers so no one would catch me!

It's probably a psychiatrist I need, not a doctor!

Wexford People