Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Truth Hurts

My name is Rix and it has been more than two years since my last doctor's visit. I do keep up with my "Crazy Doctor" visits so that she can monitor my crazy pills. But other than that, I haven't had a regular checkup for almost 2 years. (And yes, there is much discussion about whether the crazy pills are working.)

I struggle with allergy issues and asthma. I'm overweight, have a family history of hypothyroidism and am genetically predisposed to elevated cholesterol. I have a bleeding disorder and often have irregular PAP smears. Last year I went to prompt care and was diagnosed with pneumonia...never did the follow up.

So, yeah. I'm like the last chick who should be avoiding the doctor. But I have. Look, I know I'm fat...for almost 5 years I've been more than 50lbs. heavier than my "normal" lifetime weight. I know I need to lose weight. There's MORE going on than just being fat. I know how to count points and exercise. I gained 50+ pounds in the 6 months preceding our move and have had a hard time finding a doctor who actually believed that the gain happened that fast.

Things finally came to a head because I'm constantly exhausted. I sleep AT LEAST 8 hours during the week and closer to 10 hours on the weekends. I'm short of breath and have hot flashes all the time. Zero energy. My memory, especially short term, is totally shot...alarmingly so.

So, yeah. Finally went to the doctor and had all the blood work done. Referral to a sleep specialist, OB/GYN, mammogram...the whole tune up.

Blood work up = high cholesterol, high LDL. This is not a surprise to me. My mom has had levels well above 400...I'm certain it's a genetic thing. My blood pressure the last three times I've had it taken (over about 6 weeks) has been roughly 150/90. (I've done the "prompt care" thing at least twice this year and my BP has never been above about 112/70.)

TSH is elevated. My doctor and I had a difference of opinion about whether my level warranted medication. My previous TSH was 4.75 (a year ago...done by my Psychiatrist) and most recently it's 5.02. Certainly it's not alarmingly high, however, my husband has Grave's Disease so we have become intimately familiar with the differences in opinion about TSH "norms" between Endocrinologists and the rest of the medical community. Ultimately my doc ordered a Thyroid anti-body and prescribed low level sythroid.

I also have elevated calcium and iron levels. Which is odd...I have a bleeding disorder and have often worried about being anemic. One thing I did for myself what start taking a multi-vitamin, but my doctor said I should stop because of these levels.

So, I'm having a sleep study done next week to evaluate whether or not I'm dealing with apnea. If so, treatment for apnea could improve the high blood pressure and exhaustion. The low dose synthroid could improve that as well.

My focus over the last 4 years has been making sure my kids adequately dealt with our move, getting Mr. Rix through the diagnosis and treatment of Graves Disease, making sure my mother-in-law (and husband) had all they needed to handle the diagnosis and death of my father-in-law and re-establishing my career. My personal health has been dead last.

During the upcoming year, I will do more to improve my personal health. Hell, I have a sleep study, OB appointment and mammogram all scheduled for January...this is a resolution that won't be hard to keep.


Sarah's Blogtastic Adventures said...

I am making e go to the doctor too this year Rix after not going in probably 10 years. Glad you are getting all the tests done as unpleasent as they are! Happy New Year and thanks for being my friend!!! : )

Katie said...

I'm glad to hear that you are going through with getting those tests done. It's about time you took care of you! :)

Ramble On said...

As a 12 year survivor who had not been to the doctor for 10 years prior to the big diagnosis, I am living testimony to the need to take care of yourself. Keep this promise to your self and I hope that everything eventually turns out fine. All the best!