Last August I finally decided to stop putting off taking care of myself.
I am mainly referring to the multitude of overdue doctor appointments. See I sort of have a little bit of that White Coat phobia. It isn't debilitating, but my blood pressure does shoot up when I am at the doctor office - regardless of reason.
So last July I finally thought to myself, you are getting married and you want to stick around for a good long time. I told Rob I am in it for the long haul - now it was time to prove it. The combination of COVID, moving to Dallas, and procrastination meant I was way overdue on some of these.
I started off easy with the one I hate the most - the dentist. I say easy because I just needed my teeth cleaned. But per usual my blood pressure sky rocketed and everyone freaked out. I tried to explain that the spike was caused by fear but it was still troublesome. The good news is I found a fantastic new dentist, close to home, that has numbing alternatives that do not make me break out in hives and swell up.
I went to my gynecologist because as a woman that is quite frankly my primary care physician as well. Or was. Anyway, I talked to him about a few things that had been troubling me including my inability to lose more than 20 pounds no matter what I tried.
He's the one that prescribed Mounjaro for me. And it worked great! It really helped to curb my appetite which helped me to keep my calorie intake down. I lost 45 pounds - 20 pounds before the wedding which really helped because my dress was TIGHT at my final fitting.
But the combination of the controversy behind this - it isn't quite FDA approved as a weight loss supplement and I guess some people use it to lose 5 or 10 pounds (vs me needing to lose 100 pounds) and insurance deciding they didn't want to pay for it/CVS stopped honoring the coupon so it jumped from $25 a month to $1000 a month AND it was causing a shortage for diabetics, made me reevaluate things.
First, I'm not paying $1000 a month, I'd rather be fat. But second, I definitely don't want to be taking this from people that need it to save their actual life. Again, I'd rather be fat.
So I stopped taking it right around Christmas. I don't remember if it was before or after. I've tried to maintain the caloric intake but it is challenging as now I am hungry. The good news is I've only gained 5 pounds back so far. I'm still a work in progress.
Another thing I was concerned about was my bladder. As a woman of a certain age *coughover50cough*, my bladder has gotten out of control. No, I don't pee myself when I laugh or cough or sneeze, but the frequency was such that I was considering not drinking at my own wedding for fear I'd spend all my time in the bathroom.
See also post about Dominican Republic from February 2020.
I offer this example. In July I was still searching for someone to do eyelash extensions. I made my appointment for 10am one lovely Saturday. I had no liquids prior to my appointment - hell, prior to midnight the night before. I went to the bathroom before I left the house and again on arrival at my appointment about 40 minutes later. One hour in and I had to pee so bad I had to ask her to stop and let me go to the bathroom. For the uninitiated, this means she had to untape my eyes and then redo it all when I came back. I wish I was kidding, but less than an hour later, I had to have her stop again. And at the end of my appointment, I had to rush off to the bathroom again.
What was supposed to be a 2 hour appointment turned into 4 because I could not stop peeing. And the doctor did check, I had no infections or other obvious cause. He prescribed something that helped and told me to see an Urologist as soon as possible but the prescription should at least see me through the wedding and honeymoon (and it did).
Overactive bladder is under control. I did follow up with the urologist, he confirmed I had no discernable cause and increased my dosage.
Next on my to do list was to see a gastroenterologist about some tummy issues I've been experiencing and schedule my first colonoscopy.
Here is my PSA for those of you who may not have had a colonoscopy yet (and please note, results may vary).
I was less scared of the actual colonoscopy and more concerned about the prep. My colonoscopy was scheduled for 9:45 Monday morning. This meant Sunday was a liquid diet.
And not just liquid - CLEAR liquid - no red or purple (my favorite flavors of anything) and no dairy or dairy like substances. Which meant I couldn't even have my Carnation Instant breakfast.
All this means I was very hangry all day.
At 5pm, the real fun began. I do not believe all prep is the same so I am just telling you mine. At 5pm I had 15 - 20 minutes to drink 16 ounces of water and take 12 pills. But I had to take the pills one at a time with just a sip of water.
It just feels like the pills will never end when you have to take them one at a time.
I'm not going to go into the nitty gritty, but things progressed as they were supposed to.
Then an hour after my last pill, I had to drink another 32 ounces of water in 30 minutes.
I like water. I mostly drink water. This is a lot of water to drink in a short amount of time.
By now I have sequestered myself in the bedroom, partly for it's proximity to the bathroom but also so I wouldn't be mean to Rob and Elliot.
At 9pm I had to take Miralax because things weren't progressing enough, and then again at 10pm. Then I was finally done. For now.
See here's something they didn't tell me when I made my appointment: You have to repeat the entire process 6 hours prior to your appointment.
The appointment I made at 9:45 to get it over with as early in the day as possible. That appointment.
So that meant I had to wake up at 3:45, drink more water, take more pills, drink more water. I fell back asleep around 6:30. Rob's alarm went of at 6:40.
So yeah I felt well rested.
So I show up an hour early for my appointment as instructed. They won't proceed until I can provide a urine sample. But I haven't been able to have any liquids since about 5:30 and trust when I say that was all gone. And thanks to the pill I take for my overactive bladder that works great, I didn't need to pee. But they wouldn't proceed until I could provide a sample so they could do a pregnancy test.
To prove I am not pregnant.
Trust me. There are enough goalies in place to make sure that doesn't happen but they wouldn't proceed with just my word. I wasn't taken back until 11:20.
Anyway, that's all over now. The actual procedure isn't scary because mercifully they put you to sleep for that. Also pro-tip: if you are allergic to anything don't assume they will read the red wristband you are wearing. Just tell everyone.
Luckily for me they just used a small amount of Lidocaine and I had a very minor reaction. But damn people. Why ask if you aren't going to pay attention?
Sidebar: While waiting for my procedure I was enjoying the music - Madness, Blondie, Madonna, just a lot of great '80s music. I commented to the nurse that I really like the music they were playing. Her response "yeah - they are playing a lot of oldies today".
Nothing makes you feel older than a full grown ass woman referring to the music of your youth as OLDIES. What's next? Is she going to say I was born in the mid 1900s?
Don't answer that.
Anyway, for the record, they are now recommending you start getting a colonoscopy at 47 to get a baseline so don't be like me and put it off. Early detection is always the key and we all want to grow old together, right?
I've also started seeing an actual primary care physician. She is helping me get my BP under control. She also put me on a prescription for Ozempic which I thought was odd because she wasn't super supportive of the Mounjaro and it is almost the same thing - except the potential side effects are WAY WORSE with Ozempic so I have opted to not do it.
I have also started to irregularly go for walks with Elliot and Mister Manfred so hopefully I can start making that a more regular form of actual exercise. Which should potentially have the additional benefit of lowering my blood pressure.
And I went to the dermatologist - another that I had been putting off for far too long. I like her a lot though I'm concerned that she only wants to see me once a year. I'm used to going every 3 months.
I also updated my eye prescription which mainly means I wear glasses all the time except when I am being extra vain and I wear my contacts. Which means I need to wear readers to read my phone or price tags and I don't want to do that in public either.
And finally, the appointment I am most nervous about - I have an ENT appointment next week. It was scheduled for February 1st but was postponed due to the ice storm. I've had a chronic sore throat for years - basically since my tonsillectomy. For what it's worth, I did try to get that doctor to take it seriously but he just said I needed to give myself time to recover.
It's been like 7 years so I feel like I should have recovered by now.
In addition to the nagging soreness, I have difficulty swallowing, especially when lying down. Which means I snore pretty bad most of the time , so bad that I sometimes wake myself up. And the main reason I am dreading this appointment is my dad had throat cancer that was undiagnosed until he was stage 4 - and he didn't smoke or drink excessively.
So there is a small part of me that is worried about that. I'm sure it will be fine and maybe I can get my throat issue fixed easily and I will feel dumb for having put it off for so long.
All this to say, if you have been putting off a medical appointment/procedure for fear it is time to let it go. Overcome your fear and take care of yourself.
Because I want us all to grow old together.
I found out through the grapevine that my sweet Trixie died yesterday. I am so sad that she had to live her final years with them. I hope she was still well loved and happy. She was a very good girl and has already been dearly missed for 4 years. Rest in peace sweet girl. I never stopped loving you.