Y’all, I had NO idea I would feel this old, this early in life! I swear, when we left Arkansas last summer, I felt pretty good. I knew I’d gained a few pounds since my husband came home from his deployment last year, but all in all I thought I was doing ok. Evidently, I’m falling apart at the seams. I think I’m allergic to Alabama…
Post deployment food binging aside, I had gained quite a bit of weight. Lack of activity during our crazy move certainly didn’t help. I started back on an exercise routine once we got settled here, but the scale didn’t budge. During a check up, my new doctor suggested my thyroid might be on the low side, because “for some women, that starts to happen at your age.” I’m sorry, my age??? Seriously? The mid-forties are the beginning of the downhill slide apparently. But yeah, I had the majority of the hypothyroid symptoms once we began talking about them. That discussion initiated a round of blood testing followed by inconclusive results followed by a referral to an endocrinologist.
The endocrinologist wanted more elaborate blood testing, of course. 16 vials of blood later there were only minor signs of thyroid imbalance but MAJOR signs of heart problems. My cholesterol and inflammation markers were through the roof. He said by appearances, I was the “fittest person” he had seen in a long time, but on paper my numbers were scary, seriously scary in his opinion. That’s always comforting. I got a referral for a nuclear stress test, both resting and exercising, an ultrasound on my throat and say it with me now, more blood work. That was tons of fun!
Assuming I passed the stress test, I’m looking at a prescription to lower my cholesterol and dietary modifications at the very least. Worst case? Well, I’m trying not to think about that. We’ll cross that bridge if we get there. I know I’ve got a family history of heart disease, but I certainly didn’t think it was going to affect me before I was 50. I’d prefer not to have a random heart attack though, so I’ll do whatever he tells me. Luckily, my liver panels were fabulous so he didn’t tell me to quit drinking wine! That might have necessitated a second opinion…
In between all of that, I’ve had two, yes two MRI’s. A few months ago while walking the dogs I had this weird random pain on the outer edge of my foot. I thought I had stepped wrong and assumed it would go away after a few days. A couple of weeks later it was still there and annoying me. I had an x-ray that didn’t show anything broken, so back home I went with my ibuprofen. A month later it still hurt. Went back and got a referral for a MRI, which was of course, inconclusive. No reason for pain in the area I reported, but arthritis on the opposite side of the foot. Great. Another fun new condition for people “my age.” Yippee!
MRI #2 was because I have very fibrous breast tissue and mammograms are always difficult. I usually have one, get called back a few weeks later for a diagnostic mammogram and then have to have an ultrasound to make sure it’s all ok. After this latest round, the radiologist suggested the MRI route to avoid the time consuming hassle. Haven’t gotten results back from that yet, but it was also a new experience. Although, I did find out conclusively that I’m not allergic to the dye they use in that one like iodine IVP dye. Good news!
I ran out of Restasis that my eye doctor in Arkansas prescribed for chronic dry eyes about a month ago, so I finally got around to making an appointment for that. The PRK vision correction surgery I had several years ago seems to be holding pretty well overall, but I am getting near sighted in one eye again. No reading glasses needed just yet thankfully. I got another script for Restasis and a recommendation to start on high powered omega-3’s to help correct the dry eyes. Coincidentally, he said he’s seen good results with patients actually lowering cholesterol with it too so I guess that’s a plus!
I’ve been stuck with needles so many times in the past few months, I’m surprised I don’t leak water when I take a drink! At this point, I think the only thing I haven’t had an issue with is my hearing! No doubt that will develop soon thanks to way too many car rides jamming out to hair bands in high school. Of course the real kicker to all of this is that when we move in 4 months, I’ll have to get all new doctors who may or may not agree with the previous group. I’m sure that will be a total blast.
If I’d known that turning 44 would make the wheels fall off, I probably would’ve skipped that birthday! Am I alone in this or is getting “older” starting earlier for you too? Have you had a mammogram or other diagnostic work done recently? February is American Heart Month – so get checked if you have any family history or concerns and take a look at the American Heart Association website for more information on keeping yourself healthy!