Sunday, May 31, 2009

Tune Up Results

“You are probably the healthiest person I’ve seen in six months! WOOO HOOO! You are starting off my weekend RIGHT! Whatever your doin’… keep on doin’ it…cuz it’s really workin’ for ya!”

Those were the words of my nurse practioner, Jerry, as we reviewed the result of my “Tune-Up.” And I am sure he meant what he said...especially since he spends most of his time helping sick people get well. Certainly great news to hear…but certainly not quite the news I was expecting .

He continued.

NJ: “You have stellar cholesterol levels (he practically danced around the table as he announced my numbers and explained what the acceptable levels are), your thyroid is functioning normally, blood counts are good, metabolic and hormone panel are all within range. Even your pap and mammogram are clear…You don’t know how rare it is to see everything functioning as it should. Your blood pressure is a bit high, but for right now, it’s nothing to be alarmed about. Since hypertension does run in your family, we will just keep an eye on it for now. But that’s it…If I had a bottle of red wine available…I’d salute you, even at 8:30 am!” (Jerry knew I was an oenophile!)

But something’s not right…and I knew it! So, I had to ask…

DJ: “So why is it so difficult for me to shed a few pounds? I am apparently eating right, and I get in a fair amount of exercise daily (although I admit, I’ve slacked off a bit), and I even take a multi-vitamin when I remember to take them. But I also have been feeling sluggish, even fatigued from time to time, some insomnia, and even a few bouts with depression... (I know, right... me???) it's just not adding up?”

NJ: There are a number of things that can trigger these symptoms…but the one thing that I know about you, is that you work too much! Stress could very well be one of your issues. Tell me about your diet, describe a typical day of eating.

DJ: Well, just prior to this physical (two weeks ago) it was usually…

Breakfast- usually a bowl of oatmeal, or if I don’t want to get up early enough to make oatmeal, I will grab a WW frozen breakfast sandwich. Usually I drink 2,3, 4 cups of coffee in the morning. Sometimes tea, but mostly coffee.

Lunch – usually a “Healthy Choice," "Lean Cuisine," or a WW frozen something with a side salad or a vegetable. If I am out of veggies then I will make sure to grab a fruit of some kind.

Dinner- is almost always chicken or fish with veggies & brown rice or a sweet potato. Almost always with glaze or a salsa of some sort…something quick easy and flavorful without a whole lot of sugar or calories.

Weekends- Dinner is usually out on the town- mostly sushi & sake, but since I’ve been trying to get out and explore the city, so I’ll pick a new restaurant and try it out…and yes, it almost always includes a wine with my meal! Can't resist a great pairing! Could be a margarita or two if I decide on Mexican...this is TEXAS, after all!

NJ: LOL!!! I hear you talkin'!!! What did you mean by…"up until the physical?" What happened after?

DJ: I got hooked on the "Pearl Farmers Market"…So I'll buy some things there and take them home to play in my kitchen, sort of my version of "IRON CHEF"…it’s been a YUMMY, but eye opening experience. I used to buy the bulk of my foods from the local farmers market at home, but I didn’t know how much I missed that, until I moved here, and didn’t have the access any more. HEB (the local grocery chain) just isn't cuttin' it for me!

NJ: “Well, it sounds like your on the right track. If I could make a few suggestions, I would say completely eliminate the processed foods, especially the frozen lunches. I know they are convenient, but they are usually pretty high in sodium, which could explain your higher than normal blood pressure, and they usually contain all sorts of preservatives that your body just doesn’t need. Reducing your caffeine levels can also do you wonders…maybe you stick to tea instead of coffee. It could explain the insomnia, if your drinking caffeine after 4 pm. Also try to work on getting into a regular exercise routine. You’ve already admitted, you’re a little hap-hazard…and I suspect that your body is pretty used to the normal exercise you do get in. I say…up the anti, but make it fun and enjoyable so that it becomes something that you look forward to. Last but not least, find ways to lower your stress levels. Don’t cha’ know…stress can kill ya!”

Well, there you have it in a nutshell! I have decided get a second opinion, and consult with an endocrinologist, just to be sure. After all, just because something is in the “normal” range, doesn’t make it normal for me. And usually, your first instinct is the right one. I was expecting Nurse Jerry to tell me that I had a hormonal or metabolic imbalance or a perhaps a thyroid issue, but that wasn't the case here. I guess that's why I am inclined to consult an expert in the matter. Worse case scenario, I am back where I started.

I will still take Nurse Jerry's advice...but now I feel like a dummy! The truth is, he didn’t really suggest anything that I didn’t already know. Frozen foods…high in sodium??? Really??? And I am sure that all the “Splenda” in my tea, coffee and diet coke really does a body good, huh??? They might be saving me a few calories...but at what cost??? I know frozen meals are convenient…and I also know that time isn’t always my friend. This kind of cooking and shopping for fresh foods a few times a week will certainly take more time than I have available. But now, I am forced to find a way to make the time. Although I recognize that I am blessed to not have acquired the diabetes, hypertension and arthritis that runs in my family, I could very easily have that blessing taken away if I don’t do what I need to do. God gave me this one and only temple, and it is my exclusive and individual responsibility to make sure that I take care of it. I am reminded of the “Parable of the Ten Talents”…If I don’t multiply my talents, I could very well lose them…

“For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not, even that which he hath shall be taken away.” Matthew 25:29

Sounds like I’ve got some work to do!

No comments:

Post a Comment