Saturday, January 09, 2010

HOW DO YOU LOSE TEN POUNDS OF UGLY FAT?
...Chop Off Yer Head...

That's an old joke I heard back in grade school. Of course, I have a size 8 and one-half skull, so maybe I'd lose 15 pounds? But...I have lost 10 pounds in the last 3 months, and I've hardly exercised at all. And far as I know, my head's still attached to the rest of me. Honestly, I was shocked to find out I'd lost weight. How did I do that? Well, first of all, I'm trying to ignore everything in the grocery store that is Sweet. And I'll tell ya, it's hard to bypass those Chocolate Stix with Orange Filling or store-brand cookies in those huge 48 Cookie Packs. I've been known to eat an entire one of those in a sitting. And that leads me to point #2; If I don't bring it home, I can't eat it. And, point #3 is, leave the 'non-diet pop' at the Grocery Store. I can go through 4 or 5 cans of Western Family brand Creme Soda, Cola, or their many other flavors. Instead, I've looked for a diet soda with a strong-enough flavor which will cover up the artificial sweetener contained therein, and after trying a few flavors, I think Western Family's Diet Cola does the best job of (almost) concealing the sweetener chemical, which by itself probably tastes like Battery Acid. Is my stomach corroding yet? As far as 'what do I eat instead of all the junk foodstuffs?', I eat Bananas. Loads and loads of them. I've eaten so many bananas lately, I'm sure to break out in a hearty rendition of "Day-O" anytime now.

Every few months, I get to go to the doctor. Y'know, the checkup thing. My doctor and I have embarked upon treatment for various things; I'm taking Niacin because my cholesterol has been somewhat on the High Side. My Uric Acid Level (the root of all things Gout) has been maintaining at about 4.5, which puts me right in there with everyone else; I believe a normal uric acid level is somewhere between 3 and 6 on the Uric Scale. The gout which has troubled me in the past (if you go waaay back into my archives, you'll find old posts where I was obviously trying to chase the pain away by blogging 'til I almost collapsed) is being kept at bay, which I'm really thankful for. The best anti-gout drug, Allopurinol (which I'll take the rest of my life) is thankfully about as Cheap as prescription medicines go, which is fine with me. I'm not easy, but I'm cheap.

Preceding each doctor appointment, the vampires down in the Medical Lab take their Fill of My Blood for analysis of all kinds of mean and nasty things. This time around, the lab guy tried to find a vein in my right arm. Three times he did try, and three times, he did fail. I told him I was left-handed and he'd find a better vein if he switched arms. Eureka! He struck gold (or should I say corpuscles) the Very First Time he mercilessly stabbed my Left Arm. So things could be worse, and I guess I'm either blessed or lucky, or perhaps a combination of both. My cholesterol level is down, my Uric Acid levels are now normal, I'm ten pounds lighter and the Doc says I've gotten into a nice little groove these last few months. Well how about that; I'm actually doing things right here and there. I can live with that.

My doctor is a really cool physician; he's working 7 days a week; two days a week he consults his regular patients, another couple days a week he's installing/adjusting or otherwise maintaining pacemakers (hopefully I'll never have to see him for that), plus he makes daily rounds at the hospital, and in spite of the fact he keeps an exhausting pace, for the 15 or 20 minutes that an appointment takes, he comes across as being genuinely concerned about my health, and does his best to maximize the quality of the brief time span my appointment takes. I help him along by listing any concerns I have, writing them down so I don't forget anything, and that seems to work really well, because there is a shortage of doctors down here and the more efficiently I can present my concerns, the better off he and I are. An appointment with him is almost like "Reader's Digest Condensed Medicine", but that's the name of the game, get in/get out, Hup Hup, Cram it all in there somehow. The world needs more people like My Doctor.

So he was concerned and greatly so when I told him I had a little 'growth' in one of my armpits (is that too much information?); he had me go get an 'ultrasound', and it was quite fascinating, actually watching my Tissues in motion. The nurse who operated the ultrasound machinery said there's no evidence of blood going thru the 'mass', and it's a good sign the 'mass' showed up as Totally Dark on the ultrasound screen. Tumors are nourished by the blood, and are generally lightly 'opaque' on the ultrasound monitor. After screening me, she took the results to the head nurse, and they both concurred that the 'mass' is nothing more than a benign calcium deposit, and that folks who are Old (like Me) tend to get things like that. He'll call to consult me about that next week, but it looks like I'm doing okay.

So I'm old. And Crusty. And I get the '55 and over' discount at Goodwill. Visiting the medical community is actually fairly interesting, and it's amazing, the technology that's available. In addition, so far I've found the medical community down here to be Very Professional. I live in a rather remote area of Oregon, and I marvel at the Medical Community and how great everyone's been. One more story and then I'll go: I know that Doctors have to know a lot, learn a lot, and they've spared no expense to become trained, doing residencies, consultations, amidst all the other stuff they do. So I found it rather amusing when The Doctor said that I am iron-deficient and I need to counteract that somehow. This educated, highly regarded professional told me to take a Childrens' multi-vitamin With Iron, because Children's Vitamins get into the system quicker. And he told me to try and find "Flintstones' Chewable" vitamins; I asked him why he referred to that brand...and he told me, "because they TASTE the best!!!" Is that cool or what? Yabba-Dabba-Doo!!!

Finally, one more Old And Tired Joke: Did you hear about the Doctor who went out of Business? It happened 'cos he lost his patients. Ergh...

2 Comments:

Blogger Dogwalk said...

Hey, how's the niacin working! My back Dr. agreed for me to stop my statin because of added pain and the gabapentin I was taking for pain tolerence was causing me to load on the extra pounds so now I have high cholesterol to worry about. My GP doesn't want to hear the muscle pain/statin story. She doesn't believe it. So I'm gonna try to do some experimenting on my own - again.

More than you wanted to know but we old achey folk need to stick together! Lol!

2:10 PM  
Blogger Lil ol' me... said...

Hi Mari; just in case you're tracking this reply to see if I'd reply, well, yes I did, and the results are right here. Hope all is well in North Idaho...

11:50 PM  

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