Retired people’s cycle of medical appointments

chocolate-clipartkid

Source: clipartkid

I’ve just been through a bunch of medical appointments. All were normal and routine. There is nothing physically wrong with me. I don’t need prayers (at least for that) but any chocolate you want to send will be appreciated.

My favorite doctor question is “When did this start?” How often can you pinpoint timing?

For appendicitis (had that a long time ago) it’s easy. For other things, you have no idea. You start having a sensation. It doesn’t go away. You idly mention it to a friend. They reel off a list of terminal illnesses you might have. (Note to self: Don’t tell friends about aches and pains!) Next thing you know you are in a cycle of appointments and tests.

Doctors like to replicate things. A doc will press a body part and ask if that hurts. If you say yes they will press it again. I had a dentist put an ice cube on a tooth to check for a bad root. I screamed in excruciating pain. He said “Did that hurt?” followed by “You need a root canal.” He attempted to show me again by bringing the ice cube dangerously close to my face. I threatened to neuter him (this was when I was a sweet young thing! Today I wouldn’t threaten.).

As you age you get stuff and there are no answers for it. If you’re lucky, it goes away. Sometimes it doesn’t. Many years ago my right hip ached. I couldn’t sleep on that side. I didn’t get it checked but I got a bad respiratory illness that required steroids. It fixed my hip and the soreness never returned.

By the way, the steroids also cleaned my entire house…in a day. Powerful stuff. Too bad it’s toxic on a regular basis.

Things change. Even medical advice. Several years ago my “then primary care doc” insisted I go on statins. My cholesterol was borderline. After years of fighting it, he wore me down. This year my doctor is taking me off. The statistics say that half of the people who have heart attacks have good cholesterol readings. I am looking forward to eating grapefruit which you can’t have with statins.

Also, that baby aspirin for everyone theory bit the dirt years ago. I roll my eyes when a new medication is discussed.

Maybe retirement affords you more time to explore causes of things that you ignore when you work. Maybe you listen to too many stories. Maybe sh*t happens. In any case, my medical cycle is over. I’m gonna live!

Send the chocolate!

 

 

56 thoughts on “Retired people’s cycle of medical appointments

  1. I laughed outloud at the remark about “not telling friends.” I have NEVER been able to have just a moment with sharing about not feeing well or struggling with an issue. My friends are generally in the “can you top this” camp. And they can always top me! Guess that’s a good thing to not win at the game of “who has the worst health concerns,” but it’s true I try very hard not to bring up the subject! I’m glad your concerns were all addressed and you are doing well!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sadly, the merry-go-round of doctors is my life. It is complicated, of course, by my job working in bloomin’ drug safety. Wanna get nervous? A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing! I would love to be drug free, but alas, that will have to wait until my next life.

    A lot of the changes in drug recommendations comes from new studies and new technologies. Scientists can look at drug effects at the molecular/cellular/DNA level now, which is seriously cool. And with poly-pharmacy, there are interactions. And don’t get me started on supplements.

    As a patient, when I know what’s wrong, or what might be wrong, I research conditions and treatments before going to the doctor. Then I can be more of a partner in my own treatment. Doctors today are more open to this partnership — or at least mine are. There is less of a “do this because I am god” attitude.

    And with any medicine, especially a new one, pay attention to how you react. Serious stuff is rare but does happen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You have to research to ask the right questions. My GI doc does not like supplements at all. Calcium and Vitamin D are ok but he says that anyone with a sensitive or problematic gut should not be taking them because you don’t know what’s in them. (His exact quote was “They are only good for giving you expensive pee!”) For meds I always ask for the lowest dose first. I’m small in size and weight. I know “they say” that isn’t important, you can’t convince me of that. Statins were a good example. My cholesterol bounced between 200 and 210 and he wanted to put me on 20 mgs. I asked for 5. He said they didn’t come in 5. I said they did (always do homework first). The 5 mg dosage brought my chol down to 140. Now they send a prescription directly to your pharmacy. I like to get a paper prescription so I can research it and price around. There are times that after a conversation with my pharmacist, I don’t pick it up. Doctors, at least in my experience, give choices. Even with the breast cancer, I had choices for the treatment. No one knows your body better than you do. I have an unusual quirk to my IBS that no doctor has been able to explain.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been on the same high does of statins for several years with no changes to my numbers. BUT I eliminated grains in January and my HDL went UP 15 pts and LDL went down nearly 20. My doctor wants to keep me on the statins as a “protection” and b/c of family heart history (sister heart attack last year) – I agreed, for now – but if next time I’m asking to cut statins from 80 to 40 and see how it goes – my goal is to get off them completely.

    Bring on the chocolate! MJ

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting coincidence that this post appeared just now. My stepmother has lately been getting on my case to read up on some of my regular meds (for high blood pressure, cholesterol, osteoporosis etc.) and not just “be a sheep” (as she puts it) who accepts everything the doctors tell me. I’ve already ditched the osteoporosis meds, which weren’t doing me any good anyway, and the aspirin – and now I’m wondering about the statins. Her theory (which apparently works for her) is that the right diet and exercise will take care of everything.
    I’m supposed to keep off sugary foods (which, alas, includes chocolate) but what’s the point of living longer if you can’t enjoy it?!

    Liked by 1 person

    • She’s right. For osteoporosis, diagnosis is at 3 points. I only was at the border at one but they rushed to get me on drugs. I waited 6 months for cost reasons and before I left the doc’s office I had to listen to a semi-lecture on all the bad things that could happen in 6 months. I am on them but will take another density test next summer. If there is no change, I’m outta there too! There are people with real conditions that require meds like diabetes and other chronic illnesses. Some of the “prophylactic” meds to avoid diseases are not dependable. You stepmother is right! Sorry about the chocolate. Everything (including chocolate) in moderation.

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  5. I have been doing the Dr. rounds since April and my appt. on Monday with the dentist will end it until next April. I am stuck with the cardiologist because of my stent but I am thinking of cutting some of these every 6 month appointments out. My gyn said now that I am 65 I can get a pap every 3 years… still thinking that over. Now since the basal cell back in spring, now I have added another doc. I am tired of the doc visits being all spread out over the year and want to get them out of the way and NOT during the fall but because of insurance we just keep getting pushed ahead. I used to have all this stuff done by June and now because of insurance it goes on all year long… pffft. Glad you are good to go! Enjoy the chocolate… I wanted to eat a whole bag of tiny chocolate morsels yesterday but I was good… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hear your frustration. I have it too. Sometimes I am surprised at how narrow the primary care is now. So many doctors, so little time. Yesterday we had the vet visit for 2 cats. All the way there I was telling them how lucky they were since it’s only once a year!

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  6. Will ou accept chocolate Halloween candy? Really need to get that out of the house as it is always the downfall this time of year…we fall victim to the “get some bags of what we like so in case it’s left over…”
    I have white coat syndrome ( it started when by blood pressure became high while I had a really bad, never ending cold and my dad then became seriously ill) and my doc worried – but he was older and when things stabilized and I started checking it at home after he checked the calibration of the monitor, he said the office readings were fairly common situation and said not to worry about it. I like the old doctors that were willing to listen and open to adjusting treatment.
    Oh, please be aware that generic drugs are not exactly the same as name brands. The drug component is the same, but the cheaper vehicle components vary widely – with some drugs it doesn’t matter. Some it does. Some people are more sensitive to the fillers than others. My older doc always knew which you could go with the cheaper version and which had to be name brands.
    Always a good thing to have doc visits over with!

    Liked by 2 people

    • When I worked benefits came under my scope. I learned a lot about brand name versus generic as often that was an issue with an employee getting denied. I loved the experienced logic of the old docs but I also love the cutting edge of the new docs. I have learned that some are more likely to prescribe “forever drugs” while some are less likely. I am constantly amazed at what was the best yesterday is no longer in vogue. *bangs head on wall*

      Liked by 1 person

      • Whiplash from medical advice these days HA HA. But yeah, we keep a close ear to cutting edge med. treatments – what they can do now is truly a miracle.
        (Did you see that weird article about how what questions and discussions you get from your doc during yearly visits reveals political leaning of the doc? Data. Far too much data and people analyzing/ interpreting it)
        Best idea: eat carefully, exercise, get fresh air, and don’t get sick, right?

        Liked by 1 person

  7. After taking Celebrex for years, in spite of all the ominous warnings of the dangerous side effects, they have now decided it is not so dangerous after all? What? Likewise, after taking meds for osteoporosis for years and years, they decided the bone it grows is not real bone. What? And now they tell me I’m too old for hormones. Maybe if I could take hormones, I would not be so old. Steroids are good stuff, until they wear off and then you crash and burn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I heard that about Celebrex but not about the osteo meds. Not real bone? Does it grow plastic? I’d love to have some estrogen but once you’d had breast cancer they don’t want you in the same room with it. Funny thing about that, in one of my more recent visits, there was a fellowship doctor I saw first. He said that is changing too. Studies are showing that even if you had an estrogen receptor cancer, it does not mean that you can’t have some level of estrogen. Should be an interesting conversation with my cancer doc in February. I was on an estrogen blocker for 5 years. (It gives me something to blame my wrinkles on.) At the end of the day, you have to die of something.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Glad you’re going to live and chocolate is in your future.
    Doctors can be a frustrating experience and the meds that are good for you today may not be good for you tomorrow.
    They ask all the right questions but sometimes I’m surprised at how little they hear.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My concern about specialists is to be sure they understand my body as a whole. One med may be good for one thing but kick up something else. Really I’m a healthy person. I have no idea how a person with multiple issues fares.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m glad you received a clean bill of health! You comment about cleaning your house on steroids made me laugh. Long, long ago when I was undergoing cancer treatments, I remember the amazing amount of energy I had when taking steroids. I would be up in the middle of the night cleaning and reorganizing my closet, or mopping the kitchen floor, or scrubbing the bathroom. Fortunately, I was living alone at the time. 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    • Once you’ve had a cancer, they want to do routine testing not only on the original site but overall to insure you don’t have a recurrence somewhere else. That’s when all these visits started. I’ve whittled some down — no longer need an oncologist or radiologist. Without statins I probably won’t need the cardiologist unless there is a problem.

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  10. If I obeyed my doctors edicts, I would be on several life long meds ~ for high blood pressure (prescribed in 2005, never filled the RX), rheumatoid arthritis (prescribed in 2002, never filled), and low thyroid (prescribed in 2014, never filled).

    Meanwhile, without going on the meds, my “high” blood pressure is usually 110/70 (and almost always below 120/80).
    Other than occasional stiffness, my arthritis is non-existent/well behaved.
    And since going wheat free in mid-September, I’m at my lowest weight in years.

    Enjoy that chocolate! And the grapefruit, Kate!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ok, why would they consider 120 high bp? My husband refused to go on them but he bounced between 140 and 160. He tracks at home because he gets high coat syndrome (bp goes up in doc offices). The problem with meds is that it may fix one thing but it kicks up another. I have dry eye syndrome. It’s extremely annoying or I wouldn’t bother. I recently got a new eye drop that I think is affecting my throat. (Drops runs down the back.) The thigh bone’s connected to the knee bone……

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I am not a doctor-goer but a few years ago I fell and broke a bone in my knee. This of course led to the establishing of a primary care doctor and long story short, I have diabetes (I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant so it should have come as no surprise). My blood pressure and cholesterol are fine but the doctor wanted me to be on blood pressure and cholesterol meds in addition to meds for the diabetes. I refused to add 3 meds to a body not used to taking any. So far so good on just the diabetes meds. I believe we have to keep some control! Glad your visit went well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Diabetes doesn’t run in my family (except for cats) so my knowledge is limited to cats. Jake did fine for 9 years on small doses of insulin (expensive Lantus no less — that cat demanded the best). Never had bp issues. Eventually he got some form of cat dementia and that’s what did him in. I’m rarely sick which is what makes this all crazy.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I did dentist this week too. Derm was in the summer along with the gyno. December is the eye doc. It must have been bursitis. I’m waiting for a side effect that makes me look younger and taller. February will start the cancer checks again. Sigh!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Glad you’re okay! An older sister of mine (single), went out on a date a few years ago with a guy who spent nearly the entire meal talking about his health problems. A romantic apparently he was not.

    I just completed the open season look at health plans. I was all set to make a switch to a less expensive plan that still had all of our doctors, but then got hit with a new med that my wife only started taking in the last couple of months. The costs for it were all over the place, but our current plan had it at its most reasonable. So I guess we’re staying put, though I’ll end up cursing to myself if her doctor ends up swapping meds again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve become more aggressive about meds when I’m in the doctor’s office. I always inquire about price and if there is something generic. The last eye med I got (for dry eye syndrome) was $415/month. It’s not covered by any of the plans because it’s new. I have a free month supply to see if it works. It will have to do miracles for me to pay that (and I already figured I can get 2 days out of a tube). DES is not life threatening, just annoying and painful. Not only are the new drugs getting priced outrageously but some of the old ones too.

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  13. I’m always a little suspicious of any daily drug that a doctor pushes. I’m a doctor’s daughter you know. Who exactly benefits from you taking this drug? You or a drug company? That’s the question I ask myself. Enjoy your grapefruit.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are very smart. It was the same with hormone replacement therapy. Now statins are losing their shine. I am borderline osteoporosis. They want me on meds for that. My mother was never tested for bone density or cholesterol. No pap smears or mammograms. (I am not suggesting that we stop routine testing but maybe the urge to medicate early.) She did have asthma and at that time they prescribed steroids (which are also not in favor either). Up until my late 50s I had one doc apt a year and that was my gyno. Now those were the good old days.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m a bit of cynic when it comes to healthcare. I have annual check-ups, but avoid all the drama that seems to come with each new miracle medicine. I think you’re right about how most of these meds lose their shine quickly.

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    • I know. A big difference is that there is a “specialist shuffle” so many things take at least 2 visits — one to the primary care and a second to a specialist. Then there is the routine eye and teeth docs. Yikes! It’s a good month when there is NO appointment except for the chocolate shop.

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  14. the chocolate is on my shopping list :O) I must laugh as I read about the ice cube… that’s what my dentist did too… after the torture was over she came with the ice cube again… I turned into a mouse, ignored the pain and said : ifff alll finee noff… sadly the mouse was back on the torture chair one week later and fortunately this time the ice cube was just an ice cube and no icy knife :o)

    Liked by 1 person

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