Earlier today on Twitter I mentioned that I have a doctor appointment for the sole purpose of talking to me and going over some test results. I’m really concerned about this visit. It’s atypical for a doctor to insist that you come into the office to tell you good news, and because of some recent events, my mind is busy anticipating what it could be.
Stressed Out Early
At the young age of 28 I developed hypertension. It wasn’t due to lifestyle; I had a yet to be met parent to thank for it. The condition developed suddenly — Within a 24 hour period. Seriously. — and within a week I was started on daily high blood pressure medication, which I’ve been taking ever since.
Taking daily medication meant that I needed regular check-ups (which I was doing anyway). The medication could affect my liver function, my heart, and probably some other stuff too. For many years everything had been fine, with only a single blood test with concern for my liver, which was later determined to be okay with a follow-up. And then, this year’s test.
Since I got laid-off I haven’t had medical insurance. My doctor was aware of this, but before I could get a refill for my blood pressure meds she had to make sure I was okay. So I had to have an office visit. I had concern about what it would cost, but I was reassured that we’d figure it and to just come in on the day scheduled.
The appointment was scheduled for the Wednesday after Christmas, a weekend that went something like this:
- • Several Manhattans on Christmas Eve
- • Some wine on Christmas
- • Hockey Game with beer on the 26th
- • My pub night on the 27th
- • Maybe a beer on the 28th. Not sure, but it probably didn’t matter.
Obviously I was giving my liver a workout that weekend. The problem was, nobody at the doctor’s office told me to fast for the visit.
Failed My Test
I got a call a few days after the visit because my doctor was concerned about the test results. Liver tests weren’t good. Cholesterol was too high. Who knows what else. When I conveyed that I hadn’t fasted before the test there was a “Oh that would explain it all then. We just need to retest.” There was not extreme concern at that time, and it seemed that a just retesting while fasting would reveal that all was right with my world. That retest was scheduled for last week.
For the month leading up to the visit I was eating better and exercising. I wasn’t doing it in anticipation of the office visit. I was doing it just because the holidays were done and I was getting back into my regular routine. I did intentionally cut back on drinking, drank no alcohol for several days before the the appointment, and intentionally ate liver friendly foods. I had donated blood a day or two before the visit. They test for cholesterol levels when you donate and mine was good. If I had any concerns regarding the blood tests, it was obviously my liver.
What, Me Worry?
The appointment was for three specific things: redo the blood tests, an EKG, and a chest x-ray. (I couldn’t afford the EKG and x-ray during the Dec. appointment, so those were already planned for this return visit.)
With only these tests being performed it means that there are only a couple of reasons I need to talk to my doctor:
- • Cholesterol I’m ruling this out because of the good test during my blood donation…without fasting.
- • EKG
- • Chest x-ray (which was mainly to look at my heart)
- • Liver functions
- • Unknown
Of all that, it’s the unknown that concerns me the most. I’m pretty sure I’m not being asked to stop in order to share how I improved all my tests in only a month. I’m wondering if my blood donation could have affected the blood test too.
It is possible that it’s the liver, which would be disappointing on a lifestyle level. I do drink, but really not that much (I think). I have friends that drink lots more than I do. I’ll have a few on a hockey game night, but I’m not downing a 6-pack at home nightly.
Bottom line: I’m concerned. I don’t like the mystery involved here, and the closer I get to the appointment the more stress I’m feeling.
I just keep reminding myself that whatever it is, I can’t change it at this point.