daidoji_gisei: (Shall bones live?)
Last Saturday at this time I was hanging out at the Chicago Kotei. It was a wonderful day and I keep meaning to write something about it so I won't forget it, but that hasn't happened yet.

Today started unpleasantly with a dream involving a choice between drowning in cold, stormy ocean waters or getting bitten to death by a shark. This was followed by a dream where I was in a hotel somewhere and I needed to get to an airport for my flight home but I wasn't sure where the airport was and I had reason to believe that I was already late for my flight. I grant that missing a plane is less dire a fate than a shark attack, but I am getting really tired of airport-based nightmares. It's especially a downer now, when I am contemplating going to a bunch more Kotei this spring.

On Tuesday I got back the results of my blood test. Very good news: My blood sugar was normal--I'm not a diabetic. Yet. But every year is another year to improve my eating habits, my exercise program, my weight. Another year of trying to swing the odds in my favor. It's enough. Slightly bad news: my cholesterol is in the borderline-high range. This slightly depressed me as I have been eating a fiber-rich diet for some time now and I had hoped that this would help control any cholesterol issues I had. Apparently not. Or it is, and without it my cholesterol would be out-of-control. Anyway. My doctor sent me some info on how to control cholesterol with lifestyle changes, all of which I am currently practicing. I went to the Mayo Clinic site for more info and decided I can still improve by adding more fish and olive oil to my diet. If I continue my current trend of weight loss that will also help. I am to be retested in three months; I guess if it doesn't improve in that time I'll have to take drugs. I hate taking drugs, not because I am morally opposed to Big Pharma (nasal steroids are my new best friend) but because I find remembering to take them to be such a strain.

Tuesday was also the day of my mammogram. This was easy for me because Bryan West is across the street from work: I walked in, did the paperwork, got scanned and walked out. I expect I will get the results sometime next week. I am expecting a positive finding, not because I have any reason to think I have breast cancer but because I got a false positive last time and I can't think of a reason why this time will be different. So then there will be a bunch of follow-up test and bills and whatnot. It is annoying, but when my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer I swore that I was not going to be like her and ignore any signs of trouble, so I guess I will live with the annoyance.

According to the UNL Extension service, I can start planting cold-tolerant vegetables like peas and radishes in mid-March. That is contingent on being able to plant at all; my soil is currently too wet to turn over and we are supposed to get more rain and snow next week. Still, I need to be starting seedlings this weekend: tempus fugit and all that.
daidoji_gisei: (Shall bones live?)
I had my "annual" physical today. "Annual" because it's been three years since I've had one...Bad, I know. I don't even have the excuse of not liking my doctor; every time I've seen him he has always been very respectful and kind. But I lack the habit, I guess, and it's hard to embrace a new habit that only requires action once a year.

So, anyway. I showed up this morning to my doctor's office and very quickly got taken back to an examining room. I was surprised but pleased: since I was having bloodwork done I hadn't eaten breakfast, and the sooner I got this over with the sooner I could get something to eat. (As a confirmed breakfast eater, this kind of thing puts me out of sorts for the whole day.) To my surprise the nurse took my blood pressure, my weight, and my temperature, but did not instruct me take off my clothes and put on the gown. Thus, when my doctor came in to the room to start my exam I was still clothed and we sat and talked about my current health and any concerns I had at the moment. I bring this up because I think it is a pretty slick trick on my doctor's part: most people feel more comfortable when they are in their own clothes, so this would make it easier for them to talk to him. It's a small thing, but I think being attentive to small things is a sign of quality.

I had previously come up with a short list of things I wanted to talk with him about, the chief of which was my exercise program. All the guides to exercise warn you to see your doctor before starting vigorous exercise, so I had carefully kept my heartbeat in the moderate range. I wanted to know if I could push to a little more challenging level, and what he thought was a good range. He seemed to think I was doing a good job where I was, and recommended a level only slightly above where I am now. I am somewhat relieved, to be truthful: while I do want an effective exercise program I generally do not come home from work raring to train for Iron Women competitions.

My other burning issue was my sinuses: my pain was still gone but some of my breathing issues were coming back and that made me unhappy. After a series of questions he determined that I probably was not suffering from asthema and that I therefore was probably suffering from allergies. He gave me some samples of a nasal steroid spray and a prescription for more if I found them effective. After one day of usage I think I am in love. I don't have gunk in the back of my throat! My cough is gone! I can breath through my nose whenever I want!

Then he left the room and I changed into the gown and he came back and did the prodding part of the exam. This included my pap smear and gyn exam because my doctor is also an ob/gyn which is convenient since I don't have to schedule a separate gyn exam. I was in the stirrups and things were just getting started when I gasped out, "this part of the exam sucks! Is it ok if I make funny noises?" "Sure, no problem," my doctor said. Did I mention that I really like my doctor? It is amazing how being able to yelp, grunt, and audibly grind your teeth helps smooth things over.

After that I got dressed and went to get the blood drawn for testing. It came out a beautiful deep ruby red, so whatever else we find iron anemia will probably not be part of it. I am panting with eagerness to know what my cholesterol numbers are, since they were a trifle high last time and I have been diligently trying to eat well since the new year. If oatmeal and an apple for breakfast and beans once a day isn't fixing it I am in trouble. I hate taking pills every day!

So then it was over. The building where my doctor's practice in also has a spa, a gym, and a small snack bar so while I waited for my ride I had a belated breakfast: cheese string, blueberry bran muffin, and a large cup of tea. It was wonderful, though professionally speaking I wasn't all that impressed with the texture of the muffin. Moist and tender /= gummy. But it was breakfast, so I was happy.
daidoji_gisei: (Shall bones live?)
I had some minor pain today, but nothing like my pre-doctor visit days, so I am ok with that. I might hope that after 18 hours of treatment all of my symptoms would go away, but I wasn't exactly holding my breath over it. Still, I had enough energy this evening to start the allergy test for my hair-coloring; some thing I have been meaning to do for a couple of weeks now. (I plan on being a red-head for my Chicago trip.) Assuming I don't break out in hives or something, which I never have before, I'll do the coloring Sunday night.

This morning I gathered up my courage while getting dressed and stepped on the scale. To my amazement I had lost a few pounds since the last time I checked, meaning that I have now lost over ten pounds since Christmas. I hadn't been riding my bike since I started feeling ill, but I have been trying to maintain healthy eating habits, so I guess that was enough to carry the day. I am planning to start riding again, at an easy pace, tomorrow though. My blood pressure was "average" according to the nurse, but checking the Mayo clinic site it is higher than ideal, so I am curious to see how much my 30-minutes-per-day goal helps if I am dedicated to it.

Looking up

Feb. 10th, 2011 11:37 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Shall bones live?)
Today was delightful.

Yesterday I finally decided that I didn't have to live in pain and made an appointment to see my doctor; and his office was able to get me in this morning. I explained my symptoms and what I had and had not done, and he diagnosed a sinus infection and prescribed a steroid to de-inflame my sinuses and an antibiotic to clear out the infection. He didn't do any lab tests, but maybe when the patient complains of constant crawling pains up and down the sides of her face lab tests become unnecessary. At my request he also wrote down his recommendation of a humidifier or vaporizer, so I can use my flex plan money for it.

While I was there I discussed my health-related (irrational) anxiety with him. He agreed (in a nice, reassuring way) that my paranoid anxiety really was far-fetched and unworthy of worry. His opinion was that it would probably fade on its own, but if it did not then I should talk to someone about it. He also said he could write me a prescription for something to get me 'over the hump' if I needed, and if I do end up seeking therapy I will be sure to discuss this with my therapist. If a medication can get me some breathing space while I develop some healthy coping strategies I'd be a fool not to use it.

I may not need to, however. I took the first steroid at lunch and the first antibiotic at dinner and the change is amazing. I still have little twinges of pain in my face, but they are pale reminders of what I have been living with. And it is amazing how much my outlook on life has improved now that I am not in constant pain. It's magical!

The other thing that made this day good was that I wore the shirt that I had embroidered, and collected a lot of nice comments on it. In the afternoon a co-worker with a cell phone that could take pictures and email them took some photos of it, so I can post them later. This is doubly exciting, as it means I can finally put something up on my deviantArt account; until now I've only used it to keep tabs on a few artists I like.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I am not feeling healthy, but I am much less sick than I was yesterday at this time. I took my temp a couple of hours ago and it was only slightly above normal. Granted, this was under the influence of aspirin, but still. At this point it seems a likely thing that I will get to the Kotei, but there is no saying how many drugs I will be on. I'll have to time things so that they all run out before the parties on Friday and Saturday night, I guess.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I woke up this morning with a sore throat and pressure on the right side of my face, so I knew right away today was not going to be good. Those are the classic signs of Nancy getting a sinus attack. This is never a good thing, and it's all the worse now because I'm supposed to go to the Sioux City Kotei this weekend and have fun. I can't get sick now! I've been looking forward to this for months!

I went to work, sat at my desk for a few hours pretending to work, and then gave up and came home. My concentration was shot, which is a sure of sign of me running a fever. I don't know how high it is at the moment, because as soon as I came home I took some aspirin and crawled into bed for nap. In a few hours my second dose will wear off and I'll check it.

Because hope springs eternal I reserved the rental car I need for the trip. Also, started my packing list. If it's only a light attack I should be ok-ish by Friday. I decided to do my biking in spite of being under the weather, because I have a faint memory that exercise is supposed to help your immune system, and since it couldn't hurt, there was no reason not to try it. To my surprise, I lasted the whole half-hour. Perhaps I am getting better at this?

I shall probably stay home and sleep tomorrow. That is also supposed to be good when you are sick. It's annoying though because I'll have to break into my vacation hours to cover it. I wiped out most of my sick time the last time I had a sinus attack. *sigh*
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I ended up taking myself to the local emergency room last night. I'll say right not that it was not at all life-threatening, but it was painful and quite worrisome. A long and not very epic tale. )
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
After two doses of antibiotics (and less than 24 hours) my finger is dramatically improved. The swelling and redness have gone down to the point where the infected finger looks pretty much like the others, and I have its full range of motion back. It is still a little warm, and a little tender, but the antibiotic clearly has the upper hand. I shall dutifly finish out the remaining eight and a half days of my prescription, so as not to contribute to the rise of antibiotic-resistant microbes.

That sounds somewhat melodramatic, but I really do hate having to remember to take pills everyday. I can't even manage to take a vitamin on a daily basis, so taking two doses a day at roughly the same time for ten days is a really commitment. The 28-day course of antibiotics for my sinuses was horrible and confirmed my decision to eat right and exercise on daily basis because there is no way I want to end up with daily diabetes or blood pressure medicine.



ARRG!

Dec. 8th, 2007 03:33 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I just spent a large part of today seeking and getting medical care for an infected finger. Arggg! After all of the medical issues I've had this year I had hoped to get through the rest of the year with no problems. But no, I get--a finger infection?

Neither the doctor nor I can quite figure out how I got the infection, though he points out that in this weather and with the amount of hand-washing I do it would be easy for my skin to develop small cracks. (And, in fact, it takes constant vigilance for me to not to do so.) So now I am on an antibiotic again. I have had more antibiotics this year than in the past ten. Maybe the past 20.

However, let it not be said that the day has been completely bad. As is standard they took my blood pressure reading, and it was down from the last time I was there. I am very pleased, because when I first started going there my blood pressure was really high--part of it, I think, was just that I was very stressed but part of it was that I had been neglecting my healthy-lifestyle efforts. I've been trying hard this summer and fall to restart and maintain good habits, so this was very encouraging.

Updates

Jul. 26th, 2007 07:17 am
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I haven't posted a lot this month.

Most of my silence probably was caused by various health things; the side effects of the vaccine left me strung out and whiny, and I wasn't sure if I really wanted to be able to go back and read what I was thinking then. Also, I had a sinus infection in the middle of the month that really wiped me out.

With one thing and another I finally got myself a doctor and had an annual physical done. Having no better ideas I went to a doctor that one of my friends goes to and really likes, and I think I made a good choice. I had the usual blood tests done and got the results back Tuesday: to my surprise my blood sugar is normal! I don't consider this the last word--diabetes runs in my family--but I have another small slice of time to continue making lifestyle changes, to try and swing the odds in my favor.

I also had my first mammogram done yesterday. The relevant health experts say that you should start getting mammograms when you are 40, to start establishing a baseline, but when I turned 40 I was helping my mother through her breast cancer treatments and the idea of spending any additional time in a medical facility was unthinkable. (I am aware that there is a certain irony in this.) I was warned that it might be painful, but it really wasn't that bad--the radiologist said that women with large, squishy breasts generally have an easier time of it.

In the meantime, I'm now in my pre-vacation frenzy of getting-stuff-ready. I'm going to go visit my best friend for awhile, and am really, really looking forward to the chance to relax. This has been a very stressful month in a very stressful year! Now I need to go arrange for my mail stop and figure out who is going to water my plants when.

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