I have one sad Cardio specialist right about now. All my tests have come back negative — even the BNP test which basically shows how much harder your heart is/has been working than a normal heart. Mine is dead normal, just like my multiple EKGs and my ECHO. Like everything else about me, the textbooks say one thing and my body says another. A doctor just doesn’t know what to do when that happens. So, in order to save face, she’s decided to “fix” my white-coat pressure.
For anyone who doesn’t know, some people are stressed by going to the doctor, so their blood pressure goes up when they’re there. I’m one of them. Since no doctor is going to take MY word for it, I see a BP specialist every two years who puts a monitor on me which I wear for a couple of days and return to him. His helper reads the monitor and discovers, lo and behold, I have normal pressure, except when seeing the doctor. So that’s what my cardio doc is going to fix by messing with my BP meds, which have kept my pressure okay for over a decade.
My GI doctor is equally stressed. I was sent to see a GI doctor because I had become anemic, a common problem amongst vegetarians. To be fair, colon cancer has become a sort of “silent killer” amongst us older folk, even though it’s quite treatable in its early stages. Unfortunately, by the time we start having symptoms, it’s too late to do anything about it. So, over the years, the medical profession has become jumpy about the few symptoms it does allow. Since a colonoscopy is the only way to say for sure that cancer is or isn’t there, the current medical advice is to get one the minute you have any symptoms at all. The earliest flag is anemia, due to blood loss through the bowels, and doctors don’t wait a minute when they see an old person with anemia. They definitely don’t wait a week, which is how long it takes to do multiple tests on your stools to see if blood is actually there. (Multiple tests are recommended in case you stopped bleeding for a minute.)
Of course, the fact that they get a lot of coin for the colonoscopy and nothing for the stool test (it’s available over-the-counter) has nothing to do with it. They’re just thinking of the patient’s well-being. No rush–of course, we might be able to catch it before it’s too late if we do it right away, but it’s your decision. You can wait if you want to… (Cancer, CANcer, CANCER!) I did the blood stool tests anyway. I bought the most up-to-date FIT tests; the ones the doctor would use if he didn’t see Medicare Money dancing before his eyes. Each test takes 10 minutes.
My results were all normal, of course. And my anemia? I started taking some Iron and B-complex and everything’s headed back to normal. So I figure I’m safe to wait until next year to get my regularly scheduled buttscope. If I die of cancer between now and then I’ve left word to tell the doctor he was right and I was wrong and he wins.
So, thousands of dollars later, what do we know? All indications are exactly what I expected: I’m old, I’m fat, and I never really get any sleep, so I’m tired. And that’s about the size of it.
Come on Dawg, enough of this — let’s go dancing!