Doctor Update

Yesterday, I had a follow-up with my primary care doctor to review the results of my physical, to review my high blood pressure meds, and to get a referral letter for the gastric by-pass surgeon.

First a note on my bp meds.  I take three medicines for my blood pressure.  The one pill, Norvasc, is great a lowering bp, but it can cause you to retain water and cause swelling in your extremities.  I did really great on Norvasc for a long time.  The past couple of months though, my feet and ankles have been swelling up out of control.

Now, I have had my feet swell as a reaction of eating something I’m allergic too.  That can sometimes be much worse than what I have been experiencing the last few months.  The pain from anaphylactic shock is extreme to say the least.  The tops of my feet would swell.  The bottom of my feet would swell.  Ankles. Legs.  It is terrible and very painful.

I have not had that in a very, very long time because I am very careful about not eating allergens.  Occasionally, stuff slips through, especially if I eat at a restaurant or eat something someone else cooked.  A good example is the night my company took us to Fogo de Chao for a Christmas party.  OMG FdC is totally awesome.  It is a glutton paradise.  They literally bring you endless amounts of food, most of it in the form of some kind of really yummy meat.  Oh they do have an endless salad bar as well, lest you miss you veggies or not get enough steak.  But I digress.

When we arrived at the table they put baskets and baskets of rolls on the table.  I immediately started eating them.  I was like maybe on my second roll and I turned to one of my co-workers and said, “These rolls taste kind of yeasty, don’t you think?  I wonder if they cooked them all the way?”

At which point my co-worker, who knows of my milk allergy, said, “OMG Colleen you cannot eat that!  They have cheese inside!”

Yes, it had been so long since the last time I had cheese, I forgot what it tasted like when placed in bread.  Fortunately, my feet didn’t swell up that night, I just had an upset stomach.  But that also could have been from the vast quantities of meat I ate.

But back to my meds…My doctor decided to take me off the Norvasc for a while.  Just a month.  I also have to take my bp every day to make sure it does not spike back up.

The other thing we discussed was my cholesterol.  My cholesterol normally runs between 199-206.  That is a borderline high number.  Doctors have been bugging me for years to try to bring that number down.  As  I have discussed, I have been seeing a nutritionist.  I have made some changes in what I have been eating, how I have been eating it, and paying attention to my hunger levels.  I have not really lost any weight as a result, so I was pretty sure my numbers would be pretty much the same.  Are you ready for this?  My cholesterol was 155!  You heard me, (or read) 155!  Nope that is not a typo, 155!  I am so excited.

I have not made big changes.  I’ve added fruit to my cereal at breakfast.  I’ve included fruit or a veggie in snacks.  I have added more veggies at lunch and dinner.  And I have very nearly cut out all forms of junk food.  I say nearly, because I still eat a small amount of chocolate and the very rare small bag of chips or pretzels.  Those are not every day snacks, but very rarely, I will still indulge.  I have also cut back on my restaurant food intake.

That was the good news.  Now for the bad.  My triglycerides were 239.  Really, not good.  Yes, it could have been worse, but considering my family’s history of heart disease, this is not a good number.  So, my doctor and I talked about things I can do right now to improve that number.  I apparently have to bring it down below 155.

So, the last thing I discussed with my doctor was the letter she needed to send to the surgeon.  Done.

I also had the last counseling appointment with the nutritionist.  We went over the things I need to maintain doing.  We talked about my recent obsession with margaritas.  And she gave me information about the supplements and protein shakes that I will need for after the surgery.

I will still have pre-op sessions with both my doctor and the nutritionist, so this is not the last time I will see them before the surgery, but things are getting really close.  I am still working on getting the psych evaluation.  I thought I found a psychiatrist in my area, who accepts my insurance to do this, but we have been playing phone tag and the meeting has not happened yet.  I hope to get that done in the next two weeks.  After that, the surgeon can actually submit to the insurance company for approval.  Once they have the approval, they will schedule the surgery.  The office told me they are thinking late August, early September, which is what I am thinking as well.  OMG it is getting very close!

Today’s kitty pic is from my friend Wendy.  She is in both of the writer groups that I belong to.  This is her cat Kowi.  Kowi is a tough, resilient little cat.  They found her in the Florida everglades where I’m sure she took on many alligators.  She is smart as well because she can fetch.    So, here are several pictures Kowi, warrior kitty alligator slayer!


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