Today is not a good day.
I just got a call from the lab to let me know that one of the tests didn’t work out. As she opened with this statement, my mind immediately raced to the one test above all others that I cared about, “please don’t say the NMR, please don’t say the NMR, please don’t say the NMR!!…” I was getting CMP, CBC, fasting insulin, hsCRP — any of those I can live with, just not the NMR!
It was the NMR.
I genuinely felt a rush of adrenaline hit me. This was terrible news. I began pacing as I talked to her on the phone. I could tell my fear and frustration coming through my voice, but I tried to contain it.
“Just come back this week and we can retest.” she offered. I’m sure from her perspective, I was probably just annoyed I’d have to travel there and get stuck one more time by the needle. But of course, it was something much more substantial than that. The reason the month of December was so relevant is that this was the finale test of the longest and most controlled experiment I’ve done to date. And once I got that blood in the tube Saturday morning at the lab, I made good on my promise to the family that I was done with the experiments and I could eat whatever I wanted, which made their lives easier as well.
Including the washout period, this was close to four weeks of work. And while I won’t reveal what I was eating yet (that will be a very big post), I can assure you my food logs look like an Andy Warhol painting, which is to say, very boring and repetitive to isolate the variables. Lots of time, money, and exhaustion setting up these tests.
I know it was an honest mistake and I truly have a lot of respect for phlebotomists and the lab that turns around these tests. But there’s no question it just sucks. Probably some of the worst timing I could imagine.
The silver lining? I wisely also included a basic lipid panel, so at least I’ll still have the toplines of TC, LDL-C, HDL-C, and TG. While not the particle subfractions I need for the deeper data, I’ll still get plenty of value from these, regardless.