Last week’s column

Pub­li­ca­tion: Free­dom — OCR - Pla­cen­tia News-Times; Date: Aug 4, 2017; Sec­tion: News; Page Num­ber: 3

Good health for non-saints and cheese­cake lovers

One of the things I do every sum­mer is sched­ule all my doc­tors’ vis­its. This is a left­over from when Mar­cus was lit­tle. I lumped all our appoint­ments close together, to get them out of the way. “All” of my doc­tors con­sisted of my den­tist, my optometrist, and my gynecologist.

Times have changed.

Now I have added a Gen­eral Physi­cian to the mix. Back when I was of child-bearing age, my gyne­col­o­gist was happy to mon­i­tor my gen­eral health. Once I hit menopause, I found that, while he’s still inter­ested in my hor­mones, the rest of me is a lot less interesting.

It took me a lit­tle time to find a good GP. I wanted some­one who would be invested in my well-being, but real­ize that I’m try­ing to do my best. I admit, I’m no saint.

Espe­cially when it comes to cheesecake.

I had my yearly phys­i­cal this week. Usu­ally, the doc­tor dis­cusses my blood pres­sure, which is a lit­tle high, then orders a few blood tests. My response is to have the tests, receive a mes­sage from the office ask­ing me to come back in, then sched­ule another checkup in a year.

I’m not in denial. There’s just no need to overreact.

This year, I decided to have a real dis­cus­sion about my health. I’ve gained a sig­nif­i­cant amount of weight recently, pounds that do not want to leave no mat­ter how much I exer­cise and how lit­tle I eat. The plan was to deflect the talk about my blood pres­sure, and focus on why I was gain­ing and not losing.

My plan hit an imme­di­ate snag when the nurse took my blood pres­sure. It was nor­mal, so nor­mal there was noth­ing to talk about. The doc­tor walked in and checked my charts, ask­ing about my gen­eral well-being.

I began to tell her my long, sad saga of weight non-loss. She stared at my chart as I talked. I was expect­ing to hear her say, “It could be your flum­mox capac­i­tor. I’ll order those tests as well.”

Instead she told me, “It gets harder with age.”

That was it. When I poked about, look­ing for more answers, she held firm. Even if my thy­roid was out of whack, she said, cor­rect­ing it isn’t some magic weight-loss bullet.

But you should try a reg­i­men of no sugar, or whey prod­ucts,” she sug­gested. Actu­ally, it was less of a sug­ges­tion, and more of an order. It was also depress­ing, but not as bad as the next topic of conversation.

We talked about my need for a mam­mo­gram, and I said I was see­ing my gyne­col­o­gist next week for all that. She asked who that was, and I replied.

Did you hear his brother is retiring?”

No, I’ve been see­ing them both since they started the prac­tice in Fuller­ton,” I said. “That was well before Mar­cus was born.”

Mar­cus is 24. Now I felt old and depressed.

She wrapped up her visit. “Have you had your eyes checked recently?”

Yes, and they’re great. I had cataract surgery, so now I have bionic lenses.”

And just like that, I had hit the elderly trifecta.

All things con­sid­ered, I’m doing well. I’ve made the appoint­ment for my blood work, and promised myself I’ll make another appoint­ment if the office calls me. Of course, as I’ve said, I’m no saint.

The cheese­cake is call­ing, too.

Long­time Pla­cen­tia res­i­dent Gayle Car­line tracks those moments that shape her days as a wife, mom, com­puter whiz and horse­woman. E-mail her at [email protected].

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