Konyaaltı Beach at Antalya, Turkiye.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Antalya, Turkiye.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Paris, France on May 1st.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Back to the cardiologist

On Thursday, I had my other eye lasered. You can read about that in yesterday's post. But the cardiologist who confirmed that I was okay to have the laser repair said that I did in fact have a separate issue that I should have checked out. My blood pressure was too high!

So I was to come back and see her at 9:00am Friday for some tests. I was going to put it off until Thailand where I was planning on having some tests done anyhow, but I figured it would be cheap to have these blood tests done here. And it was.

So we arrived at 9:00am and she took my blood pressure again This time, it was even higher than the day before... 160/90. 

We had complete physicals done in Turkiye in February of 2022, and at the time the doctor said that my blood pressure was higher than it should be, but nothing to worry about. He also suggested I take a daily baby aspirin, which I never ended up doing.

She also did an ECG, and it was totally normal. Also, my resting heart rate of 70 is very good.

Then they took a few vials of my blood, and said to come back at 3:00pm to discuss the results of the tests, and what we should do about it.

So we went of to do some more exploring. We saw a big Ferris wheel in the distance, and headed that way.

Can't resist a Ferris Wheel, especially when the price is right!

20,000 SOM ($2.25 CAD, $1.65 USD) each for the twenty minute ride.

Enjoying the view.

The roller coaster didn't seem to be operating.

We would be walking over to the base of Tashkent Tower afterwards.

Looking downtown.

And looking towards the mountains.

Another view.

Fancy pedestrian bridge.

After that, we walked the 3 kms (1.8 miles) or so to the tower, which near the base of is a famous restaurant called Beshqozon. One of our readers, Danielle, suggested we go here for a plate of plov, the national dish of Uzbekistan.

They have these big ovens where they bake fresh bread.

You can see the bread stuck to the inside wall.

And they have these huge pots full of plov.

Look at that fire burning underneath!

Where they fill the orders.

One plate of plov.

We also split a salad, but it was mostly a mixture of tomatoes and onions.

Total bill was 114,000 SOM ($12.75 CAD, $9.25 USD) for the two of us. We were stuffed, and wouldn't need any dinner!

Then we took a taxi to another part of town...

Some kind of museum.

Stork statue on the roof of another building.

Broadway. Apparently a busy spot on weekends.

Open air table tennis.

Back at the doctor, we sat down and went over the results. Everything was within normal parameters except one thing... cholesterol. 

My father always had abnormally high cholesterol, as does my uncle and many male cousins. It's a genetic thing. And, both my grandfathers died of heart attacks in their sixties. And it's not due to poor lifestyle. There are no overweight issues with any male relatives, and most are very active. 

But the doctor said that having either slightly elevated cholesterol, or slightly elevated blood pressure is one thing. But to have slightly elevated cholesterol along with stage two hypertension (high blood pressure) at the same time is not good at all.

The normal fix for all of this is 1) exercise 2) eat less salt 3) lose weight. But obviously I don't have an issue with any of those things. And she said that sometimes, you can do everything right, and still have problems. That's where medication comes in. It's a little frustrating, but I guess it just is what it is.

So she prescribed a daily pill to lower the blood pressure, and a daily pill to lower cholesterol. And said that I should get it all checked again in three months time.

This time, I think I'll do as I'm told. Almost a month's supply of medication cost around $3 USD here in Uzbekistan.

Today, we take a five hour train ride to Fergana!

Great deal on Dark Roast Coffee Pods.

And in Canada...


  1. Only 20% of cholesterol comes from food and eating habits. The liver produces the other 80% naturally and that, as far as we have researched, can only be controlled by medication. LDL is the one that builds up plaque in the arteries.

    1. Kevin has come to the conclusion that it has to be genetics that is causing both of these issues because it certainly isn't the food we eat or the lack of exercise and yeah, it looks like the only way to deal with it is with medication. He doesn't like the idea but he also doesn't like the alternative if he doesn't that the medication.

  2. Kevin, you certainly look like the picture of health, but I know hypertension can be a silent killer. I am very glad you got checked out, and I think meds are warranted in your case, since you're already slim and fit and eat a healthy diet, though you might consider ditching red meat. I can only imagine how much the meds would cost (without insurance) in the US!

    1. We have always felt that we have done everything right when it comes to our health but we realize that even doing all that doesn't guarantee you good health and it looks like this is the case with Kevin. He has always been worried about a heart condition because both his grandfathers died of heart attacks, an uncle who is very fit had a heart issue a few years ago and a cousin has also had problems so he isn't going to ignore what the doctor has said and he will take the medication that has been prescribed to him.

      He has already thought of that and normally we don't eat very much red meat but since beginning on this trip in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan we have been eating more red meat than usual, so yes, he will be cutting it out or at least cutting it down to a bare minimum.

      He still wants to get a proper heart check done when we get to Southeast Asia though where they will do a battery of tests and even a heart stress test. He really wants to have some peace of mind on this issue.

      Even in Canada, the medication would be expensive without insurance!


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