Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Let's Play Doctor

I saw a new doctor today. Well, the doctor wasn't new. Just new to me.

My doctors drop off my health plan like it's on fire (pardon that mixed metaphor). So I'm constantly having to find new ones, or just end up going to the doc-in-the box if I actually need something (like an appendectomy, for instance).

But today it was time for a physical, plus that little episode of my heart running amok a few weeks back had me mildly worried.

So here's what the doctor said, as she listened to my heart:

"You are so fit, it's taking too long for me to hear the next heartbeat!"

Here's the stats:

HR: 48 bmp (we'll assume that's elevated since I was at the doctor's office where you know, you get nervous!)

BP: 108/68 (ditto)

Height: still 5'9" (being nervous makes me stand up straight!)

Weight 162.8 (I have officially lost 2.2 pounds since starting tri training. In FEBRUARY. That's insane.)

Temp: 97.6 (At 11 a.m. So it's not like I just woke up or anything. This is why I am ALWAYS cold, work people!)

Do you notice a trend here??? Low BP, low heart rate, low body temp? Either I'm ridiculously fit (NOT) or I'm barely alive.

I do think I have some kind of depressed metabolism and that's my story about why it's hard for me to lose weight. (My thyroid's been tested to death, it's fine. Also fine is iron. My cholesterol results are coming, and they will also be fine.)

My doctor was unhappy with my heart rate being that low. "You need to do less cardio," she said, "and add weights," which I agree with (the weights part) but probably? won't do. I might add yoga or pilates if someone will please loan me an extra day each week.

She was not worried about my elevated heart episode. She said it would have to happen again before she'd do anything about it. She did do an EKG and I guess everything was normal. Let's hope it doesn't happen again this Sunday while I'm busy with this.

Wouldn't it be great to see a doctor who spent time talking and getting to know you? I mean I've had more substantive conversations about my health at cocktail parties. (I got mad conversation skillz!) I guess I'm just a cockeyed dreamer.

I felt like a piece of meat. The examining room I was in was colorfully decorated with a bulletin board titled "Patient Information," papered with no less than six notices to patients about what this doctor's office would no longer do for them (no longer call in prescriptions to mail-order pharmacies, no longer give vaccines, don't even think about walking in here to see us, and if you get billed for blood work, don't call us, it's not our fault, and other rules I've forgotten. Real homey feel.) Here's what I'm no longer going to do: return.

So there you have it folks. Please weigh in with your diagnosis, if you have one. Not that I have any acute problems at the moment.

Well, except for, you know, the fact that I'm nuts.


LBTEPA said...

You ARE fit, darl. You're getting slow confused with unfit (and BTW you're faster than me at running and cycling)

Bex said...

Hiya, stranger. Did you get my email a few weeks back? Anyway. That's great that all systems are go health-wise. Dunno whether your heart-rate scare was really a scare. If you used the 220 - age method, you probably know by now that that method is not accurate. I tested my heart rate, and at about 95 percent max, my heart rate is about 200 bbm. Yup.

21stCenturyMom said...

First off - I am SO jealous of your weekend plan. I REALLY want to do that race and the way I feel right now I could. I'm not sore from racing on Sunday and we know what THAT means - I didn't work hard enough.

Anywho... as someone how has low HR, low BP and low body temp and who gains weight just thinking about food let me tell you something - it's the starch. I know you think you don't eat any but log your food and just check it out. If you can eliminate 1 helping of grain or potato based food a day it will help.

You are fit and healthy and a doc who says "less cardio" is definitely a doc to get a divorce from.

Lesser is More said...

Focus on the positives here. Low HR and BP are great things. Something I love about physicals (aside from the awkward doctor interaction), is the shock on their face after they take your vitals. We all look like normal people, but its the details that tell the story. At my last physical, my doctor told me I was the healthiest person she's seen in a really long time. Take pride in your overall health and the rest of the stuff will come.

Runner Susan said...

HEALTH CARE IN THIS COUNTRY SUCKS ROCKS BIG TIME. Seriously. What the fuck is wrong that it hasn't been fixed. Oh wait. Maybe an idiot president?!

You know, it is actually cheaper for me to get concierge medical treatment than it is to have health insurance. And that is just sooo sooo wrong.

Jeanne, you are fit. You eat good. What is up with the "do less cardio? Keep an eye on your heart, take two aspirin and call me in the morning.

Good luck this weekend.

JEK said...

You are fit and should be proud.
It can be a challenge at times but there are good physicians out there.
To look at it from the other side, they struggle too. Most general practitioners don't earn a substantial salary compared with the cost of their education, monthly rent, staff, etc.
However, that is no excuse for being treated like a piece of meat. I have a great doc, though across the river, if you want to email me. The entire practice is great.
But keep up the good work! You have made huge strides this year and it has been wonderful getting to know you AND watching you improve. As for weights...I am one who will not argue. It helped me stay injury free (minus that pesky foot problem that kept me from running for 4 months) and I am convinced without the weight training I might not have crossed the finish line in Providence.
Just my 02.

jeanne said...

Bex! Welcome back!

JEK: Would love to know your doc's name, pls send your e-mail address.

Thanks for the comments guys, I'm actually thrilled with my numbers. Especially my height! (ha.) The weight will come off. Or not. But the muscles need some work. The doc was right about that.

Helen said...

I went through about a 7 year period of going from doc to doc until I finally found THE ONE. She is the one who discovered I did have a thyroid problem, even though I had said to 10 other doctors, "Do you think you should test my thyroid?" I love my doc. She is fabulous. I often leave her office amazed at the amount of time she took with me, even for a a simple bloodwork followup. It was hard while I was looking but boy was she worth the wait. Unfortunately if she ever leaves the area or retires from practice my next doc will have some mighty big shoes to fill.

Thomas said...

Jeanne, I would get a different doctor. A low resting HR is not a bad sign for someone who trains regularly, it's just an automatic thing. To say you need to do less cardio is just stupid. If you are really worried about your HR episode you should seek out a doctor who knows what they are talking about.

no-e-plz said...

Jean, I have an excellent dr. who was recommended to me by a friend who works in hospitals (and knows drs and their habits) I can share her info if you'd like; she's on the "edge" of Georgetown and takes the usual BlueCross/Carefirst stuff but not an HMO.

Rae said...

Healthcare is so nuts. I always wonder who they are spending so much time with, because I get all of 2 mins with them!!! You sit in a cold room in a paper dress for an hour and get 2 mins of attention. So messed up!!

Rainmaker said...

The last time I played doctor it was a lot of fun.

Oh...wait...nevermind. Umm...wrong post.

Actually - I'd agree with others, getting a Dr. that understands sports is pretty important. One that says 'less cardio' is quite simply a retard. R.E.T.A.R.D. Roughly speaking.

Oh, and good luck this weekend - I'll see ya out there!

Judi said...

I do think weights will help you lose weight. Or inches. Muscle weighs more than fat so how are you clothes fitting? I always go by that, not the scale. You really should start lifting weights if you want to lose inches Jeanne.

I was at the doctor's today too. It was all good. Heathcare sucks. I was in my primary care's office for about 7 minutes total. She just wanted to see me since it had been more than a year and she wouldn't give me my xanax until I made an appt.

David said...

You are nuts; but like almonds or pistachios - healthy nuts.

Sunshine said...

Congratulations on a lot of good health news! Good for You!

You could have borderline low thyroid that doesn't show up on the particular test that was done.
Raw broccoli/cabbage family vegetables can have a mild depressive effect on the thyroid. We know a runner that was eating raw broccoli for lunch every day.. discontinuing that helped him some.

Anyway, I agree about searching for another doctor. Best wishes!!

Susan said...

I have only heaed of anorexics being told they do too much cardio!

zandria said...

That comment from your doctor about your heartbeat is a FANTASTIC compliment! You know they wouldn't say it unless they really meant it. Awesome! :)

Anonymous said...

what would have happened had she shown you a photo of Mr Spin? see? she needed to use the right tools to get your heart pumping.

i had a slow heartrate once. so slow i'd faint all the time. doc said to drink more watty and stop cutting out the salt. mmmm... fritos.

maybe you're just in touch with your inner spicoli.