So this morning I had a blood test at our Island Health Centre. It's one of the bi-annual checks I have every year because I have borderline levels of many of the red-flag medical conditions like diabetes, cholesterol, thyroid etc. Normally I am summoned in February and August but this year I had a whole raft of extra tests as well as the routine ones at the end of May because I fell and fractured my right wrist badly at the end of March. They checked my bone data and inflammatory markers but everything was within normal parameters, which was a relief. Having already done all the routine tests three months ago, it seems rather superfluous to call me up to have the same tests done again
However, these things are set in 'computer stone' and I still got my letter calling me up for the routine blood test. I always get a call for a follow-up appointment after each routine blood test so I dutifully trek up to the Health Centre each time to have the same discussion with the GP. My current philosophy is to avoid regular medication if at all possible and I'm mindful of the fact that the GP would have had me on thyroid medication, cholesterol medication and diabetes medication for the past ten years if I hadn't stood my ground.
I've spoken to so many people who take multiple medications several times a day and often the medications counter-act each other, cause additional problems and need constantly monitoring to ensure the correct dose is being taken
I'm quite keen on avoiding that particular scenario ...
So I've made it my policy to do lots of research so I can be as well informed about my choices as possible. An example is the original insistence by the GP when I was diagnosed with high cholesterol that I immediately needed to go on statins and beta blockers. But the high cholesterol reading he quoted was based on TOTAL cholesterol and I pointed out that, actually, my cholesterol RATIO was well within normal parameters. So he agreed not to medicate me.
My thyroid readings indicate hypothyroid (low thyroid) but I don't have any of the symptoms of low thyroid. In particular, I'm never cold, have excellent blood circulation and immune system, don't have mood swings and don't suffer from a lack of energy. I asked the doctor why he would be medicating me for symptoms that I don't have, despite my blood test results. He couldn't give me a satisfactory answer so we agreed to disagree and I chose not to be medicated, based on my informed knowledge.
Now, I can understand why some would call me foolish and say that I am heading for health problems in the future. That's why I always get a full print-out of my blood test results so I can examine and analyse them before I see the doctor. Then I feel prepared to counter his arguments and make my own valid points. On one occasion, at an appointment with a locum doctor, I was actually asked if I myself was a doctor because I was so well informed!!!
Nevertheless, my current concern is my weight and BMI, at only 5ft tall I'm just over the limit into obese and I really need to address this. My diet is excellent, I don't drink much and I rarely touch junk food. But I'm struggling with walking due to a still-swollen knee after two falls on hard surfaces in February and August. So that is my target - I need to sort out the knee swelling and start walking again. Fortunately I've been given the all-clear for joint functionality, there doesn't appear to be any significant damage done and the GP has deemed my knee strong after doing a lot of tests on it. I have exercises to do and can ice my knee and medicate with Ibuprofen to reduce the swelling if necessary.
So I've done nearly 7000 steps already today and walked fairly briskly for forty minutes which is a good start. It was a lovely sunny morning which made for a really nice walk. My knee did swell but I've iced it and am keeping it moving. It's a start! (Apologies for the very long post ... sorry