A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Yapa, Cholesterol & Blood Sugar
Thursday, March 18, 2010

From the late 60s to the early 70s in Mexico City, Rosemary and I went through a small generation of VW beetles. All were purchased new. By then the folks of Wolfsburg had pioneered an early version of computer diagnostic.

I would take our VW for service to the dealer and an obviously German manager would meet me in a pristine doctor’s white coat with a bulletin board in hand. His German accent, when he spoke Spanish, was plain enough to give me the comfort and trust that my car was going to be in good hands. Picking up the car the next day I would be given a computer print-out of the compression of each of the four cylinders. After a year or two I would see the unevenness between the individual compression figures to know that my brand new VW was aging. I would eventually get bills for brake drum repair or told that the clutch was slipping. It was almost impossible not to get a fender bash in Mexico City in a year. People often parked by ear and bumpers would be bent out of shape. It was soon evident that the up and up graphs of the compression measurements would start that inevitable decline. The shine of the new car would wane and that inevitable corrosion of the body and the decline of its mechanical parts would push me into melancholy.

At the time in the apex of my youth it never occurred to me that our little VW was mimicking the course of my own body graphed as the compression of four cylinders in a period of time.

Yapa is a Peruvian word that is used in South America to denote something extra. The 13th loaf of a baker’s doze would be called yapa (that y is pronounced like the Hungarian Z in ZaZa Gabor!). A peanut butter jar offering 15% more would be in Spanish 15% yapa.

(Del quechua yapa, ayuda, aumento).

1. f. Ingen. Azogue que en las minas argentíferas de América se añade al mineral para facilitar el término de su trabajo en el buitrón.

2. f. Am. Mer. añadidura.
de ~.
1. loc. adv. Am. Mer. además.
2. loc. adv. Am. Mer. gratuitamente.
Real Academia Española © Todos los derechos reservados

I believe that half a century of existence is just about right and that anything over that is yapa.

For most of my life I have eschewed exercise and a too healthy diet. Rosemary and I eat well. We have lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.

It was a few months ago that my daughter Hilary convinced me to see one of those half & half doctors. These are doctors that are 50% conventional and the other 50% is dedicated to prescription of natural medicines that will equalize or improve blood sugar counts etc.

I went to see the woman and she insisted I have one of those thorough blood tests. One of them involved a full fast which meant that even though I was not looking at the woman removing the blood (“Are you a vampire? I asked her.) or the blood being removed I felt faint. I had to repeat the procedure that afternoon.

Then I had to wait for two weeks before the tests were sent to the doctor and then another week before an appointment was made for me to see it.

Would the tests reveal cancer of the pinkies or failure of my adrenal glands to secrete adrenalin which would mean that I would never ever have the pleasure of losing my temper or feeling stress?

I went to see the woman with that fear that I had when I would take my VW to face that white-robed paragon of Teutonic efficiency.

It seems that my blood sugar is up a tad as is my cholesterol (the nasty one not the nice one). The doctor recommended chromium (will my new found health make me shine like my VW’s brand new bumpers?) and niacin. I am to go back to the vampire for a blood test in a month to see the results. Meanwhile I have been told to exercise. Perhaps I will walk with Rosemary. Perhaps I will reduce the sugar in my tea from two to one teaspoon. Perhaps I will eat fewer carbohydrates.

But I am not going to try too hard. After all, with a half a century gone in my life the rest is yapa.


Previous Posts
Flaming Facebook

Lillian Gish - First Lady Of The Silent Screen

A Regal Lauren Surprises The Old Man

Raising The Bar by Lenny Kaye

Shelina The Graceful

From The Heart

The Vancouver Art Gallery & The Boer War

The Pleasures Of Editorial Collaboration

Who Shaves The Barber?

Just A Handful Of Magnesium Sulphate

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010