The Mrs’ cholesterol reading was over 6.3 two years ago. She became a pescetarian overnight, not because of a sudden ethical awakening, but from the urgent desire to lower the reading. It did not surprise me that her stress level went up from that point on. What is the point of taking a medical checkup if we end up stressed by the results, right? Does that make me smug or stupid not to undergo a similar checkup? The other drawback after her medical checkup is the disappearance of my favourite dishes. Her kitchen stopped serving her famous Hakka dalu ya, sour plum braised duck. The family’s secret recipe was passed down by her father. No one bothered to ask him where he learned it from. Secrecy wasn’t limited to just the ingredients, no one knows whose recipe it is. The Mrs’ kitchen also stopped serving her heart-stopper, honey braised pork belly and the unsurpassable Chinese roast pork. The pleasing sound of the crispy pork skin when the roasted pork is being chopped into bite size portions is now a distant memory. It wasn’t her intention to force me to become a pescetarian. She knew she couldn’t. I love tea smoke duck and rib-eye steak too much; when paired with Barossa Valley’s Greenock Creek shiraz, how do I surrender them? Instead, she regularly served me boiled pork. The tasty soup from the pork, once the side dish, became the main attraction once the boiled pork lost its appeal. Boiled pork dipped in soy sauce served with plain boiled rice cannot excite the palate once it is served with monotonous regularity. That was how The Mrs got me to reduce my meat intake. She served them frequently! I was being induced to reject meat unwittingly. Such a clever and caring woman! There was no bickering, no debate, and no ultimatums. Before too long, her vegetarian dishes were no longer frowned upon. The next favourite dish of mine got turfed out of her kitchen too. Tiger prawns, banana prawns and the best in the world, the Spencer Gulf king prawns disappeared from her menu. Surf n Turf was everyone’s favourite at home. Grilled or BBQ’ed Spencer Gulf king prawns and medium rare grass-fed South Australian Angas beef sizzling on an iron skillet. Simply irresistible, Surf n Turf. Once frequently served, now turfed out of her kitchen.
A fortnight ago, The Mrs had to undergo a series of medical examinations, prior to her hip operation. Many medical experts wanted to see her. Appointments were made with the orthopaedic surgeon, the rehabilitation specialist, the anaesthetist, and of course the general physician. The sudden re-enactment of her student days was particularly unexpected, but undoubtedly thrilling for her. She used to brag about her popularity amongst undergraduates in the medical faculty. In her late teens to early twenties, many a medical student tried to court her. The medical blokes’ enthusiasm to see her did not bother me this time. I was more anxious that there would be more adverse repercussions to our dietary choices. Of course, I was concerned about her well-being and the state of her health. But, I was equally concerned there would be no choice dishes for me to choose when it comes to the daily menu. What am I saying, do I sound delusional? The cook decides the menu at home, there is no choice for choice dishes. I partake in what is served – happily, or at least quietly, otherwise I risk being turfed out. The Mrs’ cholesterol reading has skyrocketed to 9.1 this time, a massive increase from two years ago. All the readings were perfect, for her age. The liver function test, kidney function test, blood sugar and glucose tests showed no trace of any disturbing enzyme markers. Perfect. So was her blood pressure and general fitness. Remarkably, her physician made only one recommendation. His written instruction to her GP was clear. Do not prescribe the patient any statins. Despite the high cholesterol reading, her risk of cardiovascular diseases is low. This may be an indicator that the statin controversy has finally raised sufficient doubt about their efficacy and safety. The Lancet Vol 393, on 2 February 2019 had this conclusion: “Statin therapy produces significant reductions in major vascular events irrespective of age, but there is less direct evidence of benefit among patients older than 75 years who do not already have evidence of occlusive vascular disease.” The Mrs is no where near 75! My interpretation is that The Mrs’ general health is so good that we can stick to our current diet, i.e. no further change to the menu is required. Today is her twelve day after her hip operation. This serf shall serve her his popular Penang Char Koay Teow tonight, he shall not be turfed out anytime soon – while she recuperates anyway.