Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Visit to Herr Doctor This AM

This morning, in a couple of hours, I will be at my doctor's office on a follow-up visit to see if the blood-pressure med I changed to a few weeks ago is helping. It might be; my own admittedly unscientific barometer of my blood pressure is how quick the ingrained volcanic temper bubbles to the surface, and I've been pretty calm for most of the last few weeks--and more importantly, when the big problem came with my daughter last week, I didn't completely lose my shit in the middle of it, like I have a few times in the past. But I am also painfully aware that the single biggest factor in my blood pressure reading is my weight, and I simply am not losing any at this time of year. There is far too much in the way of good-tasting-but-seriously-fattening food that is going to be tempting me for the next four weeks to seriously contemplate actually losing weight. I am glad that we have the dog, because I am actually getting a fair amount of exercise and so far, playing Coronado through the West Side every day is causing a wash with the increased caloric intake. But I'd have to walk to Endicott every day and get a severe case of influenza to actually lose weight in November/December.
Other than being about twenty pounds overweight (I'd love to lose thirty or even forty pounds, but I can function quite well in the neighborhood of 190), I'm actually in pretty decent health for 53 1/2 years old. Getting my feet operated on a few years ago helped a lot; it wasn't everything that was advertised in that the range of motion in the toes still is very restricted, but the constant, daily, usually-dull-but-sometimes-excruciating pain is a distant memory, and my big toes no longer predict the weather, a blessing I thought I'd never experience again. The sciatica that occasionally flares up hasn't afflicted me in months. On occasion, if I'm in bed too long, my back gets stiff and whichever hip I've been sleeping on aches, but I am sure that is largely due to the insane sleep habits that working third shift imposes on me. I am not engaging in any sort of risky behaviors now--a understated benefit of being committed to someone. While it takes a lot less physical activity to make me sore the day after doing something, I'm never prevented from doing anything that needs to be done by pain.
Which is why I am fully prepared for the lectures I am going to get. My doctor has been my doctor for two decades; she came into my life when I had mononucleosis in 1996, and has become more than just a physician. She knows all of my story (when I dropped forty pounds in four months in 2005, she was all over me wondering if I had started smoking crack again), and most of the time when I go, we have very frank and open conversations about much more than whatever the physical issue of the day may be. And one of those is that she is forever wanting me to get all sorts of blood work done and prostate exams and a whole lot of other stuff. My view is that if it isn't broke, don't fix it, and so we usually have good-humored arguments every time I go there. I am expecting more of the same today. But she is one of the many blessings I have received over the years, and I am truly frightened by the prospect of having to find another doctor soon, because she's a bit older than I am and has been talking about hanging up 'the stethoscope soon.
But that's for the future. Ideally, I will have a blood pressure reading today with a lower number around 85, and considering that I take the pill at night and that I haven't lost weight, I'd be happy. I will get serious about losing weight in a month, and maybe by time Lauren comes home, I'll be 185 pounds and my blood pressure will be normal.
We all need goals.

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