Yesterday was my annual physical at the VA. I have a few very interesting updates relating to that.
#1.) The doctor was suitably impressed with my weight loss. We’ve been trying for over 5 years to get my weight under control, but last year when I got my annual physical I weighed in at 237 pounds, and at the hospital in Fayetteville a few months earlier I had hit the magic number of 248. He asked me last year what I had done to drop 11 pounds, and I told him about my starting the Paleo Diet.
Well, yesterday I weighed 199.3 – with my 6 pound tennis shoes on. The weights I record in my progress notes other times I’ve blogged about my Paleo progress have been on my home scale without the shoes. So, my actual weight is closer to 193.
#2.) The neurologist I was seeing in Fayetteville told me it was alright to take Excedrin with the Imitrex when I need extra help with a migraine – but he didn’t tell me that he put it in my treatment records that he feels PART of my problem is my irregular sleep pattern. I wish knowing that could help, but it actually doesn’t. The migraines are part of the CAUSE of the irregular sleep pattern. I can’t figure out which magic wand to waive to suddenly start getting a solid 8 hours at a time every day.
#3.) I had a rather humorous exchange with the doctor about my arthritis. I was limping rather seriously while I was there – a combination of extreme cold and impending foul weather made my left hip and knee irritated. He saw it, and asked if I wanted him to prescribe a cane. I laughed – and told him that I have 5 canes at home that I can’t use anymore. When he asked why, I had to remind him that I have arthritis AND bursitis in my left shoulder now. When the hip and knee are acting up, so is my shoulder. He laughed at himself briefly and admitted that I was right.
At that point, he inflamed another concern – by asking me if I was ready to start thinking about hip replacement surgery. I’ve been holding my breath, metaphorically, expecting this conversation to begin sometime. I have thought it through pretty thoroughly, I think. I told him that the door is certainly open on that discussion, but I’m not ready to face it just yet. Then I reminded him that the REASON I have arthritis in my hip is that I had a bone tumor near that hip in the femur, and if we did a hip replacement we’d have to replace the whole femur with it. He thought about it a few seconds and agreed. I’m not ready to face a surgery that huge just yet. I’m not sure I ever will be, but I know I don’t want it right now.
#4.) My blood pressure continues to confound establishment medical professionals. The basic rule of thumb, that I was told in 1981 when I was a US Army Medic learning to perform annual physicals, is that the top number should be the patient’s age plus 100 (or less). That rule of thumb would make anything below 154 on my BP acceptable. What confounds the doctors is that I’m 53 years old, and my BP is a raw 120/82 without any medication.