Last week I went for a physical with my primary doctor. I’m really good about doing many of my annual medical check ups (mammogram, teeth, pap smear, etc), but I’ve let it go too long since my last complete physical. After my blood clot scare over the summer, my doctor had prescribed 3 months worth of Xarelto and then made sure I scheduled a complete physical after the course of blood thinners was completed.
So, that brought me to last week. Actually, 2 weeks ago I went for a fasting blood draw so that we could see what was going on.
And the news of my physical results was generally great.
I went back into my files to see if I could compare my health to something earlier – the only bloodwork I could find was from 2009. The interesting thing is that physical was just after I had started to make my health a priority. It was at the end of the summer after I had lost probably 20 pounds. And at this point, I think I weigh almost exactly the same as I did then. After that date in 2009, I had lost a lot more weight, battled some eating issues and then put some weight back on… (more notes on that in a bit).
The other interesting thing is that the blood work results from 5 years ago didn’t give me nearly as much information as the new one. There are a few new tests that are routine and much more information is included on my results now. So, that’s great.
I’ve always struggled with high cholesterol. At the same time, I always have very high good cholesterol, so doctors have never been concerned as the ratio of good to bad is in a good range. But, 5 years of healthy eating and consistent exercise has its benefits. My cholesterol in 2009 was 233 – now it’s 205! The lowest I can ever remember. And really really close to being in the normal range. My HDL (the good cholesterol) is 96 now (it was 77 in 2009) with a normal range of 45-60. YAY!! BTW, this is a major genetic thing – my mom, who has never had a weight problem, has always had high cholesterol and high good cholesterol and at age 65 had to go on medication to control it.
I’ve also always been borderline anemic. My hemoglobin is still a little bit low. But, after being on blood thinners for 3 months and enduring crazy horrible periods during that time, it’s not unexpected. Oy, that’s a subject for its own post.
Interesting results – my blood glucose level was 101. Normal is up to 99. Pre-diabetic is between 100 and 126 and above 126 is Diabetic. So… while that number is high, my doctor wasn’t necessarily concerned. Looking back on my bloodwork from 2009, it’s interesting to see that all the test showed was “normal” blood glucose (but, I have so much more information now). But, it’s still a potential issue. My doctor reinforced the need to eat right and exercise and said that staying as ‘lean’ as possible was the best course. He didn’t actually come out and say I should lose weight. I tend to think that BMI is a good starting point for health evaluation and mine is 26.22 (normal weight is a BMI of 25). And, considering weight is a factor in diabetes, it does make it somewhat of an issue for me. To get into that normal BMI range, I would need to lose 5 pounds. I don’t think that’s unreasonable. I don’t consider it vanity weight if there’s a potential to decrease my risk of developing diabetes. But, I’m still struggling with the balance that is my eating these days. I think I eat very healthy. I know that what works for me to lose weight is to track my food, but I also know that leads me down a disordered path and I’m not sure I want to go there. I actually started writing my food down in the last few days and I can already feel the tension that comes along with it. It’s a little eye opening for me, though, so I need to work it into a good balance. Clearly, this is an issue for me.
This year’s bloodwork also tested my Vitamin D levels (didn’t happen in 2009) and my results showed my levels were SUPER low. Normal range is 30-100 and mine was 13.8. Uh oh. I’m now taking 5,000IU of Vitamin D daily. The doctor said hopefully it’ll help with some of my bone strength issues too. So, that’s good. Here’s a link to some info about Vitamin D.
Finally – my blood pressure is very low – as is normal for me – and even lower now that I’m more active – 87/59.
Oh – and I got a flu vaccination and the Hep A vaccination. I usually skip on the flu shot, but I figured that now that I work in a big office setting, I’m around a whole lot more people and it’s probably best to get it. I had always been in the mindset that I didn’t fall into any of the high risk categories so it wasn’t necessary. But, my doctor is pretty big on preventative medicine and he pushed the vaccinations so that we could try to avoid having to push pills later. I do like that approach.
Finally, his overall final comment was basically – it’s good to know that a healthy diet and consistent exercise are really good for you – and for me to keep up the good work. YAY!!
Here’s the other half of the wall of inspiration in my doctor’s office – the first half is here.
Do you get a flu shot? I hope you all are keeping up to date on your physicals!