Monday, October 30, 2023

A New Doctor

 ​I actually for the first time ever was a bit excited and ready to go to the doctor.   Yes, I hate to go to the doctor!  But I was looking forward to it and ready.

I was trying out a new doctor.  Technically, I was trying out a nurse practitioner.   The office was quite laid back with everyone wearing shorts and jeans.   Was that because it was Friday?  Was it in deference to the upcoming holiday?  Or was that the normal dress code.  I’m unsure.  But who cares what people are wearing, I’m there for the knowledge in their heads.   The NP was a bit older than I, and she had pink hair.  Once again, a Halloween thing or a normal thing? Not sure.

This office was also appalled that I had been told by a previous doctor, to ignore the acid reflux since it was a ‘silent’ and none severe case.  We have adjusted my meds to a ‘long term’ medication.   However, the NP is very aware that I do not plan on being on meds all my life…and that my goal is to manage this naturally and she is behind that goal   I knew that meds were going to be a thing for the near future so I didn’t fuss.    I know we have to figure out exactly what is happening and need it under control in the meantime.

She has ordered a barium swallow test of some sort (I have it on my paperwork in the other room) to start to try to figure out exactly what is happening.  What is causing my cough and throat clearing after I eat.  (And of course whatever that is ultimately caused the flare up that landed me in the ER).  That test may solve that mystery.  However, she predicts that it will simply be the guidance needed for the follow up tests that will be ordered by the gastroenterologist that she is recommending that I visit.  The other reason for the referral is the fact that she wants me to see a specialist since this acid reflux has been left unchecked and we need to see if it has caused any damage.  

We talked about my cholesterol (it was slightly high at 215), my blood pressure (always high at the doctor, but always normal at home checks) and   we talked about the calcium spot on my lung (that was discovered when I had X-rays  after my accident on the bike a few years back.). Unlike my previous doctor, she scoured the paperwork and information provided by that urgent care facility and radiologist and she picked up on a wee little line about some degeneration of my spine and added that to my clinical notes.  We talked about my weight and how I feel as if I am beating my head against the wall in a futile effort to lose weight.     All of these things will be addressed in the future.  When I brought up my weight (she was not the one that brought it up…I did) she readily admitted that most of my issues would be eradicated with weight loss.   I know that historically when I drop the weight my cholesterol drops, my blood pressure regulated, my arthritic knees feel better.   And weight loss would also help this acid reflux thing.

I just had chest X-rays at the hospital the other week so the spot on the lung is a simple thing of comparing the X-rays to make sure the spot didn’t grow (which would indicate some unchecked infection in my body). So that will be an easy check once she has my records and X-rays from both places.

However, we are not working on my weight together right now.  Of course she wants me to continue trying.  But at this time our one and only focus through doctor visits is the acid reflux/GERD.  Mainly because of the long term damage it can be doing to my body.   She doesn’t want to introduce any new meds or greatly different routines to my body at this time…not until we get a handle on the reflux.

She did recommend adding fish oil..for the cholesterol…to try to combat it naturally.  She also recommended that along with my daily protonix pill for the acid reflux that I add in an allergy pill.  (Zyrtec, Allegra, Claritin) since my acid reflux really doesn’t seem to be all day..and only after meals…certain meals.  She said my acid reflux may be caused by an allergy.  

So I am heading down a path of tests to solve the mysteries.  Medicated for the time being, but with the blessing of the doctor heading toward a more natural solution!

Weight loss….I’m still going full steam ahead with trying to lose weight.   I restarted my exercise today!