Apr. 7th, 2011

seticat: (gen - moon-purple - moonchulde)
Those out there who 'know me' know I've been in one for or other of health care practically my entire life. More than just my adult life - both my folks were registered pharmacists so I grew up with a copy of ''Gray's Anatomy' in one hand and a mortar and pestle in the other. Literally. A long, sad story why medical school and I didn't make the connection, but 'stuff happens' and on your move.

It's simply safe to say that I know 'way too much about a bit of everything and a fair amount about the cardio-pulmonary system, which was my specialty.

Suffice it to say that when I found myself with a truly epic 'heartburn' that wouldn't go away and numbness and tingling in my arms and jaw ... well... after 24 hours of this, I began to freak out a bit. I'd tried everything at home I usually do the first evening it started in: double up on my heartburn meds, several swigs Maalox, a round of baby aspirin and a sub lingual nitro [not for cardiac chest pain, it really and truly is for something else - after all a smooth muscle is a smooth muscle] and some dairy products [they usually help - Yeah, plain vanilla ice cream!] and after a few hours it's settled out. However, it started up the next evening so it was rinse and repeat, this time with no changes. So after making sure everything was settled at home [bills paid, cats fed, etc], I hie myself off to the local ER about four blocks away. And yes, I drove myself. I just couldn't bring myself to call the nice guys in the pretty bus with the lights on top. Dumb - I know.

Hey - at least I didn't try to drive myself to the ER at Boise VA - a good 25-30 minute haul away.

Anyway... after 5 hours of labs and chest x-rays and EKGs and O2 and 'another' round of aspirin and nitro and a waffling fairly young ER doc who wanted to do a bunch more tests but couldn't talk one of the in-house cardio guys into coming in, I got my 'bus ride' after all. All the way to VA Boise. In defense of the local cardio guy, I wasn't acute, just 'quirky' and I was all for discharge and test as an out-patient my own self.

Anyway - after a midnight freeway trip, it took the kindly and well experience VA ER doc all of 30" to have another set of labs run and be comfortable with the diagnosis of 1: atypical heartburn probably secondary to the fact I've been on the same acid blocker for 10 years and most likely I'd gotten used to it. and 2: the tingling was, most likely, secondary to some muscular nerve entrapment and pinching because I started doing upper body workouts at the why about a week ago. My cardiac labs were primo, my chest film shows some mild degenerative disc disease but otherwise clear and my EKG is a piece of art.

So I was basically a 'treat and street' at 0130 with the recommendation not to change any of my meds and see my primary doc at my regular scheduled appointment on the 18th of this month. [We won't touch on the fact that my car was back in Caldwell and I was in Boise - thank Buddha my Mom-in-Law was more then willing to get up and come up and get me]. The ER Doc *did* suggest I get a cardiac workup/stress test simply to have a base line even though we both agreed that my usual YMCA workout [35-45" on the treadmill at a 3% incline and 3.0-3.2 mph with a max heart rate of 108 at least 5 times a week with the occ. line dance class or yoga session thrown in] was a stress test all in itself. Also, I should get an upper endoscopy to rule out any gastric changes, a small hiatal hernia [nothing was displaced in the chest film], etc. And... [I knew there's be an 'and' ] since my last routine colonoscopy was 10-some years ago, I should get a repeat. Her comment was to get both on the same day to 'make a day of it'.

Ha ha... I'm not laughing, but I *do* understand. Same clinic does both.

We'll see what my doc here says on the 18th.

And on to a much nicer topic.

I haven't really mentioned here that I've been conducting a total body overhaul the last few months. December I got on the scales and freaked. 200-'way too much and I was creeping into a pair of size 18 pants. Also my doc want to double the does of my cholesterol med because my values were still doing 'Bad Things' [tm]. I bartered with her to give me a chance to make some 'significant life changes' and she, grudgingly, agreed. So I got myself a YMCA membership for my birthday present to myself, started on a 1300 calorie, low fat diet and started a food and weight log.

Today, when the clinic nurse checked in with me to make sure I was still doing okay since discharge, we talked about the labs the ER in Boise drew.

All the bad lipids have gone down, the good lipid went up and my cholesterol went from 236 down to 163: a drop of over 70 points! Also, when I weighed in dry today [first thing in the morning sans food, drink or clothing] I was 186# and I'm comfortably wearing a size 14. Woo Hoo!!!

I'm not planning on staying at 1300 calories [actually I tend to fudge in the 1300-1430 range] and will most likely fudge up to 1500 and a scosh on occasion. But I haven't worn a size 14 in 'way too many years. My b/p has gone from 132/96 down to 96/66 which is normal for me. I tend to compensate with a slightly faster heart rate - the low 80's. My overall goal was to make 155# by 1 Jan 2012 so needless to day I'm way ahead of my goal. But that's okay. 150-155# is just fine. I have no desire to try for lower. Heck I was 145# coming out of basic training.

I've had my 'Year of Mourning' and letting my life run itself. I will never forget Jeff and I will always miss him, he was 20+ years of my life, both good and bad at times. But I also know he would kick my butt all the way back to Washington if I let myself get sicker and sicker because I didn't want to face life and what it could offer.

I've got no idea what tomorrow will bring, but I'm planning on handing around to see.


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