A few days ago, I scheduled an appointment at the clinic of our new duty station to get some blood work drawn, mainly to have a baseline to measure my progress for next year’s low-carb cruise. I was so inspired by the success stories of this last cruise, that I made a promise to myself to make this year count. I was particularly inspired by the stories of Andrew DiMino from Carbsmart, Dana Carpender, Amy Dungan, Susan Winkler, Kent Altena, Kim Eidson, and Vanessa Romero, just to name a few. With all this motivation, this is definitely the year to get healthy!
At first, I was worried about the reaction of my new doctor, because every time I went to see one at the military clinic at our last duty station, which was usually a different physician each time, and mentioned that I was eating low-carb, they were appalled that I did not eat any HEART-HEALTHY GRAINS and that I ate SATURATED FAT. Of course, they told me that what I was doing wasn’t healthy. At that time I didn’t have any ammo to counter with yet. But this time would be different!
Before my appointment, I made sure to do my homework. I asked my new expert buddies at the Low-Carb Cruise Facebook Group, which additional blood tests I should get done, and made my list:
♥ Standard tests
♥ Full Panel Thyroid
♥ LDL Particle Size
♥ Vitamin D Level
I also played out in my mind what I’d say to the doctor, when the low-carb thing would come up. None of my previous physicians were open to this lifestyle, so I wanted to be ready. Some things I wanted to say were:
♥ I eat more veggies than ever in my life. What’s wrong with that?
♥ Isn’t this how diabetics should eat?
♥ Isn’t this how food addicts in recovery eat? Nobody says that that’s unhealthy. Why can’t I?
So, confident that I was ready for my appointment, I drove to the post hospital, ready for battle, if the need would arise.
At the clinic, a Red Cross volunteer took my vital signs. I was shocked that my blood pressure was 154/105. What? It’s never been that high! Yes, I had high blood pressure for years around 145/95, which was easily controlled by meds. Then, after I lost some weight by eating low-carb, I stayed off my low-dose HCTZ and monitored my blood pressure, which was usually fine. When I returned from the cruise, it was still normal for a few days, then shot up to the 150s/90s and I thought my machine at home was broken. Since I had no way to test it, I just waited a few days for my appointment to verify that my blood pressure machine indeed went belly-up. But I was wrong. We checked twice. Yep, I was really up there.
The volunteer then told me that my physician assistant will be with me shortly and left the room. What? I’m seeing a PA? Nothing against PAs, but I really expected a doctor. Oh well, nothing I could do at that point.
A few minutes later, the PA came in. After some small-talk, she asked me why I was here. I told her that I’m due for a physical and that I just came off the Low-Carb Cruise with a lot of experts and that I wanted some blood work done, so I can compare results right before the next cruise. She nodded and got her pen ready: “What tests do you want?”
Really? No push-back? I like that lady!!! So, I rattled off my list to her. She repeated the tests to me to make sure she got them all, did a quick physical and then we discussed the blood pressure issue. She thinks that it could be the altitude, since I just came from a week at sea-level back to Colorado at 6200 feet. She wants me to come back in two weeks for a follow-up and to see if my pressure goes back down. We’ll then discuss my test results and if I need to get back on blood pressure meds. As I went down to the lab, I was still amazed about my PA’s reaction, or non-reaction. That was easy!
Update: Thursday afternoon, I received a phone call from the nurse. My PA wants me to come in sooner to discuss my thyroid test results. Great, now I have to wait until Tuesday to find out what’s off on my results…
To be continued…