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Wow… a little praise from Dr Lisa? That’s not what I was expecting at all. Where was the usual foot up my ass?
“So that’s 2 out of 3. If only we could get the diet and exercise bit going consistently, I think we’d see a lot more of this.”
Yup, and pigs may fly…
“Maybe it would help if you could visualize how bad that Coke is for you. Set a glass of sugar on your desk, and every time that you want to get a drink, you look at how much sugar is in that glass.”
And then I made the motion of sticking my finger in the glass and licking it.
“No, that’s not what I meant!”
Does she really think that I don’t take pure sugar from time to time? C’mon… I’m an addict!
As I entered the blood pressure results into my phone (there’s an App for that!) I noticed that the numbers were far better than anything I had recorded previously. 139/97? 147/116? 158/102? 177/111? 184/116? How am I still alive?
Oh riiiiight… that nightly cocktail of prescription drugs that I try to remember to take after brushing my teeth!
“Have you been reading my blog?” I asked her…
“No, why? I don’t know how to do that, and I wouldn’t anyway” she said…
“Well because you just said that sometimes I need a kick in the butt… and I wrote a post once called Dr Lisa Drives Her Small Foot Up My Big Ass… ”
I had my latest checkup on Wednesday, and not a whole hell of a lot has changed. My blood pressure is still way up, even though I’m taking the medication. She’s booked me for December with some machine that takes several readings over a period of time. That sounds like fun.
I asked her again about the dark spot on my cheek. It’s been there so long that I don’t really remember HOW LONG it’s been there, but I remember asking her about it last year and she said that it was nothing to worry about. Now I’ve become a little self-conscious about it because people are asking ME what it is, including my kids, who seem to have all the subtlety of a brick to the head… So she wrote me a referral to see some doctor who does liquid nitrogen treatments. As a side note, I guess this has been in the news lately, but I hadn’t even noticed. The provincial government was considering removing flu shots and removal of skin lesions from the list of things covered by medicare. I knew about the flu shots, but missed the other part. So when I called to make my appointment, the secretary told me that I might have to pay for this procedure. Well, the next day the government announced that they would continue to cover the cost of these procedures. Yeah!
Aside from the vanity procedure… Dr Lisa gave me a bit of a stern talking to again… she reminded me that I will be 40 shortly, and that I require a significant lifestyle change. She’s concerned about everything from what I’m eating, to the shift work, and even living alone and what I do with my spare time. She’s a great doctor, and I’m so lucky to have been taken on by her when my daughter was born.
The physical health issues can be kept in check with medication, but I have to work on them more. The mental and emotional health is a little trickier to deal with. I’ve discussed it in length with some people, and there’s no point in going over it again, but there’s no doubt that significant changes are required.
For anyone who has been waiting for an update on the infamous “passing out” incident at the U2 concert, I managed to get in to see Dr Lisa on Friday. I felt bad, and told her as soon as she walked through the door… “I really hope that I’m not wasting your time with this…” Turns out that she was at the concert too! (Wasn’t everybody?) So she had a pretty good idea about the conditions on the ground and everything else. When I described what happened, she told me that my blood pressure was probably a little low from the 90 min walk to get there, and then the couple hours of standing. It’s doubtful that the lovely smell of marijuana I smelled prior to feeling yucky was the cause, but she did say that it’s possible that it caused my blood pressure to spike. It’s all theoretical, of course. I feel fine now. The encouraging part is that I felt “something” coming on. It was quick, but apparently if something serious happened to make me pass out like that, I would have just keeled over. So basically I’m just a big wimp who can’t stand on his feet too long without falling over. Great.
So as I stood up and started to thank her and make a run for the door, she said “Sit down again”. Hmm… uh oh. This didn’t sound good.
“I got your results back from your blood test 2 weeks ago. Most of it is ok, but your cholesterol is up. Here are your previous results and here are the new numbers.”
I’ve gotta admit… the numbers don’t mean much to me… Good cholesterol… Bad cholesterol… over-all ratio… blah blah blah… I DID recognize that my current ratio of 5.something was higher than the 4.8 of last time. Apparently bigger isn’t better when you’re talking cholesterol ratios. She then went to show me on a chart that with my current age and that ratio, I had a single digit risk factor of developing heart disease before I reached age 50. That wasn’t too horrible. Had I just kept my mouth shut and walked out of there, I’d still be a little healthier. But nope… I had to offer up that there was a history of heart problems in the family… and oh boy.. did that change things! That bumped me up a few notches right then and there! I’m surprised that she didn’t tell me to go out and buy a defibrillator immediately! I started to say something and realized that she was looking at me with her I’m your Doctor face… Oh.
“I need you to take charge of this. I can give you drugs, but this is something that you can control. The drugs are a last resort. I don’t want you to feel guilty (I guess my look betrayed me) but you need to start thinking before having a Big Mac or bottle of Coke.”
Ugh… There was no deflecting that with a witty comment…
I know… I know… You’ve heard this all before. I get it. I’m just throwing it out there more for myself, than anything else. Yet another reinforcement… and hopefully one of these will finally stick…
I had my regularly scheduled appointment this afternoon with my family doctor. I’ve mentioned her before… Lisa is awesome.
The first thing I had to do when I got there was step onto the scale. That was new. Something tells me that she`s going to be getting me to do that more often. Then we got into the question of how I’ve been. I told her that I was off work for a month, and then showed her my favourite pic on my iPhone. She`s a doctor… she`s seen it before. But she`s never seen it looking like THAT!
She laughed when I told her that I had been worried it might fall off. I think she thought I was joking. I wasn`t.
But then we got into the nitty gritty of why I was there. My blood pressure was surprisingly lower than I had anticipated. When she asked me how I was doing with work, and some other things… She could tell from the look on my face that I wasn’t doing well. I have a horrible tell when it comes to that personal stuff… I can`t look her in the eye… I just tend to stare at a spot on the wall or the floor.
Lisa thinks that I should go back and talk to my old psychologist about some of the things that are bothering me. It`s hard because if you ask me what needs to be done… I know the answers. I`m not stupid. Supposedly far from it (although I have my serious doubts). But it`s getting from Point A to Point B that seems to be the problem. I know what has to be done. But I can not seem to do it. And every time that I think I’ve hit rock bottom, I fall a little deeper in the rabbit hole.
She asked me a couple of very tough questions. I wasn`t keen on answering them, but I did. There`s no point in lying to her… she knows way too much about me.
I have to go back and see her in 6 weeks, which is a shorter time-frame than normal. I suspect that if things haven`t changed much in that time, that I`ll become a regular fixture in that office… again.
As I left, she reminded me about the Coke and fast food… and that I should really make that appointment with the psychologist… just to reinforce things… I nodded… we both know that I won`t make that phone call.
And in 6 weeks, we`ll probably go through the same thing again.
This post might make people cringe, so if you’re a little squeamish, I suggest that you skip this one entirely.
Today is Day #3 after having my vasectomy, and I would love to report that things are great… unfortunately that would be a bit of a lie. The bruising and swelling continues to grow. Until tonight, I was dealing with the pain strictly with Extra Strength Advil. About 30 mins ago I popped my first Percocet ever. I’m still waiting for it to kick in.
Last night I started looking on the internet for what a typical vasectomy recovery might look like. I’d say those men were pretty damn lucky! I didn’t see anything that even looked close to what I have! A little cut here, perhaps a tiny bruise there. Where was the massive swelling and the gigantic black bruise? Well, in order to find those pictures, you need to refine your search a little. Vasectomy hematoma does the trick! I started looking at the pictures, and reading some of the testimonials. Yup… that was me alright!
I’ve been taking pictures so I can compare the changes on a day by day basis. I’ll spare the general public with those, but I found a website that shows someone who was remarkably close to what I am currently experiencing. The bruising pattern is very similar to my own, although I have more lower abdominal bruising that essentially connects to the swollen and black scrotum. You can view that website here, but remember… it is graphic. I talk about it openly because it is what it is. No one has to read this post, but maybe someday it will get picked up in Google and someone else who has a similar experience will read it and gain some value from it.
So what happens next? From everything that I’ve read, I can expect the swelling and bruising to go down… eventually. The urologist told me to contact his office, my family doctor, or the emergency room if I ran into any serious problems. I think this qualifies, so on Monday I will give his office a call and see if I can go in. There probably isn’t much that he can do, but he needs to be aware of it. I’m sure that he’s going to chastise me for not paying attention to his instructions. I’m not too sure what I could have done better. I haven’t been overly active (no surprise)… no lifting… laying on the couch… minimal movement… not much sitting… using ice packs… I think the one thing I failed at was not wearing snug underwear to support my scrotum. I wanted room for them to move because they were sore from the surgery… well, I think that was the exact opposite of what they needed. Whether that was the cause of the hematoma or not.. it certainly didn’t help matters. So tomorrow I’m sending Paul into the drug store to buy me a scrotum support thingie… that should sufficiently embarrass him…
Waiting for the 2nd Percocet to kick in…