Friday, November 30, 2012

To Good Health

A couple of weeks ago I switched to a new doctor's office.  I had been thinking about it for a few years and finally decided that it was past time.  My former physician was okay, but I did not go see him unless I REALLY needed to.  I just did not feel too confident having him as my doctor and sometimes I felt like he just was not listening to me.

So I am assigned to a physicians assistant now in another doctor's office.  I had an initial new patient visit with her two weeks ago.  We went over my family medical history and what my health concerns might include.  It took about an hour to talk through everything.  She is very nice and I am very pleased.

Now my mom hated doctors and going to the doctor for herself.  I do not want to be like that.  If I have a valid medical question, I want to have a doctor that I know and trust. With both parents developing cancer in their 50s, I just don't want to leave anything to chance.  I want to be more pro-active about my health.  I am not going to look for cancer around every corner, but I also want to have a doctor that will be able to catch it at an early stage if it does occur.  

We also have Type II diabetes on both sides of my family- my dad, my paternal grandma, and my maternal grandpa- which puts me at a higher risk.  I already have to watch what I eat to avoid the dreaded capsicum; to watch my sugars too, I am not sure that I would remain sane.  I do know that I should reduce my sugar and starch intake to reduce my chances of developing it sooner than later.  

A person's weight also goes hand and hand with Type II diabetes.  I have know this for a long time and I keep telling myself that I do need to work on reducing my weight.  According to the charts (which I do not quite believe) I am just on the border line of been obese.  Most people that look at me, would probably say no way to obese, maybe overweight, but not obese.  I think that those charts are based on the average person with a medium frame, and skewed on both ends of the height scale.  I am 6'1" and I have a large frame.  It is close to impossible to find a chart for my height and frame, but I think I just found one.  According to it my ideal weight would be 161-182 pounds.  Well I am definitely over that.  

Since I chatted with the physicians assistant, I have managed to drop five pounds in two weeks.  I discussed with her that I wanted to work on managing my weight to reduce my risk of developing diabetes.  Her suggestions were to reduce simple carbs, increase complex carbs, eat more vegetables, eat greek yogurt, eat lean meat, increase protein, drink skim milk and limit starchy foods and white grains.  

Now I haven't drastically changed my diet.  I have been trying to have an omelet in the morning seasoned with cracked black pepper (no I am not allergic to this), garlic powder and dill weed instead of cereal.  I have increased the number of times during the week that I eat a salad and have been trying to forgo the cheese.  Greek yogurt with fruit is actually pretty tasty and is high in protein. I just can't do skim milk, but we did switch over to 1%.  I have also tried to limit my soda intake to occasionally.  

Now typically women do not relieve their weight, so shhhhhhhhhh and be nice. As of yesterday I weighed two hundred twenty four pounds, but I would love to whittle that number away to one hundred ninety pounds over the next few years.  I have no illusions that it will occur quickly, because it did not come quickly but instead increased overtime.  So over time it must go, with tiny baby steps. Which is how it really came, through two pregnancies, the stress of parents battling illnesses, and the heartache of losing a parent.

So I think my baby steps will include trying to increase the healthy foods and decrease (but not eliminate) the not so healthy foods.  I am not really hip on exercising, but maybe this spring we can start up walking in the evenings with the kids around the neighborhood.  We use to do this more often, but the plantar fasciitis on both of my heels usually sidelines my efforts in favor of the non-painful couch where they can be iced instead.  But I am hoping that as I shed some pounds, the pain from the plantar faciitis decreases.  We are possibly looking into how much it might cost to join the Y, but we may not be able to afford it anyway.

Okay back to the appointment.  In the eight years that I had my other doctor, he never ran any blood tests on me to even check if I had diabetes.  I actually had the eye doctor ask me if I had developed it a few years ago because my nearsightedness improved, which apparently can be linked to your blood sugar levels.  So I also discussed this with the physicians assistant and she wrote up orders for me to have three blood tests.  

I went just this past Monday morning.  I wanted to wait until after the Thanksgiving bustle was all over and I had to fast.  They drew three tubes of blood and my results came in the mail today.  They did a comprehensive metabolic panel, complete blood count with differential, glycohemoglobin total, and lipid panel.  All of the results came back within normal limits.  Yay!  Now some might think that this is a waste of time and money, but the way I think of it is that I really know number wise how I am doing and I now have a baseline to refer to in the future.  My glucose level was 92 mg/dl and the glycohemoglobin A1c was 5.1%.  So that translates to the normal range for my blood sugar levels.  Yay!

Well I think I have spewed enough this evening.  I promise that the next posting will lighter in subject.

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