Incubation Period
Volume 3 Book 9 Part 11 of
Living in the Bonus Round

Dr. Ruchi

[ Book 3-8 ] --  [ Pt 1 ] [ Pt 1a ] [ Pt 2 ] [ Pt 3 ] [ Pt 4 ] [ Pt 5 ]
[ Pt 6 ] [ Pt 7 ] [ Pt 8 ] [ Pt 9 ] [ Pt 10 ] [ Pt 11 ] -- [ Book 3-10 ]
May 24-31, 2004.
Bare, Test Results, Ending.
Refreshed and feeling cleansed from my weekend concert in San Francisco, I approached Tuesday's blood draw with more than a little trepidation. For one thing, over the weekend on the TV show Queer As Folk one of the major characters died from -- guess what? -- Yes. High cholesterol and triglycerides, side effects of the HIV meds.

Review: Last test mine were 800. Short term goal: Get them down by half. Ultimate goal: Get them below 200, and if possible, below 150.

I have very good caregivers, by the way. My primary care physician is Dr. Tony. At his office, the first person who takes care of me is Peter the nurse:

Peter is gentle and loving. He's a great nurse.

Dr. Tony always greets me with a great big hug.

Dr. Ruchi is my endocrinologist. I like how thorough she is in describing my test results. At our previous meeting the week before, she expressed strong concern about my triglycerides. So, to set up this test I had to come in early, before eating breakfast.

I showed up on Tuesday, they took about four vials of blood and then I left. Easy as pie. But man, I wanted the results to be good. Driving home, I also saw that KFC was selling 10 pieces of fried chicken thighs and legs (my favorites) for some scandalously low price.

Fried chicken. Mmmmmmmmm.

I wanted so badly to pull in and just pig out. Right there in the parking lot. After all, my blood was already drawn. No one would know. Crunchy fried chicken.

I drove past.

I'm an athlete in training. I can't let go. I'm too close.

At home the next morning, I get an Instant Message. It's from Damon Intrabartolo -- back home from New York! He's gonna be in Los Angeles and wants to meet up. Damon has been in The City with his -- as the press has it -- "musical sensation BARE." Readers of this diary might remember that we have a long history together, including the night Jimmy and I were on stage to award him and Jon Hartmere the L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award.

Well, BARE is becoming a very hot commodity in New York. It opened to good reviews and HOT word of mouth and now you can't get a ticket. Already, it's slated to move to a larger venue and Damon is becoming the toast of New York. Naturally, the more famous he gets, the more I take credit for his success. Jimmy and I met with him at the Denny's he loves near our house. It's become a tradition.

Damon Intrabartolo, composer of BAREDamon Intrabartolo, composer of BARE
Damon Intrabartolo, composer of BAREDamon Intrabartolo, composer of BARE
We had a great time listening to all of Damon's Manhattan stories. And by the way, I have to give Damon a lot of credit for a young writer. When he was approached about going to New York, he didn't just say yes to the first offer. People were wanting him to change the concept, change the sexualities, change the director, etc. But instead, he waited it out until the Dodgers came forward. His description of how they've supported the production and skillfully promoted it was very insightful and gave us ideas for both "Africa" and "The Big Voice."

He gave me one of the promotional CDs they've been handing out at the performances (another great idea) -- 11 songs on the promo CD! -- and it sounds fantastic. I can't wait to see what they've done -- plus now it's going to open at the brand new Dodger theatre complex in an off-Broadways transfer. Very exciting. I love it when my friends are successful -- but especially when they deserve it.

After saying goodbye to Damon, we went shopping to get food for the cats during out time in Omaha (which starts next week) -- when we got home, there was a message from the doctor's office with my blood test results.

Dr. Ruchi came on the line and literally said, "Are you sitting down?"

I sat down.

She said, "Your triglyceride level is..."

I held my breath.


I screamed, "ARE YOU SERIOUS???"

She said, "You are my best patient. It's amazing."

171. I was hoping for less than 400.

She continued, "And this has brought your cholesterol level down to 120."

I'm glad I was sitting down. Passing up all that KFC was working. It's driving Jimmy crazy that the only thing he can cook for me anymore is chicken.

Now, the last time I got my levels this low, I celebrated by ordering a huge pizza. Then I got lazy. But not this time.

I realize that I can't afford to ever stop training.

We're spending our 19th anniversary together by cleaning the house, packing, finishing up last minute work and then trying to get as much sleep as possible before our Monday morning flight to Omaha. And I'm just at the age and mental attitude that that sounds like the most romantic option anyone could ever offer.


[ Book 3-8 ] --  [ Pt 1 ] [ Pt 1a ] [ Pt 2 ] [ Pt 3 ] [ Pt 4 ] [ Pt 5
[ Pt 6 ] [ Pt 7 ] [ Pt 8 ] [ Pt 9 ] [ Pt 10 ] [
Pt 11 ] -- [ Book 3-10 ]


© 1996-2004 by Steve Schalchlin.
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