I had a complete physical this morning for the first time in... jeez. I don't know. I don't take any ongoing medications and I've been able to have my Pap smears done by my midwives for the last few years, so I've just never been motivated to see my primary care doctor unless I was sick.
I saw her last month for an ear and sinus infection, though, and she pretty much made me sign up for a physical. I worked myself up into a minor state of stress beforehand, figuring that she would lecture me about losing weight and that I would need to figure out what to say to her.
Except for pregnancy - and literally just
for pregnancy; I was below my prepregnancy weight a month after Alex was born, thanks to the revolutionary new "extreme stress verging on nervous breakdown" diet) - my weight has remained steadily between 165 and 168 pounds for at least the past seven or eight years. According to the BMI tables, this makes me 21-24 pounds "overweight," and 7-10 pounds shy of "obese." Since physicals are supposed to address ongoing health issues, it seemed likely that my weight would come up. I dreaded it.
"I'm not willing to consider dieting," I told the mirror in her office bathroom. "Research shows that 95% of dieters regain the weight within five years, and that repeatedly losing and regaining weight has more health consequences than staying steady at a higher weight."
Back in the exam room, the nurse checked my blood pressure (excellent) and pulse (excellent). My doctor came in and checked my blood sugar and kidney function with a urine dip test (normal). She went over my family health history, looked at my ears and throat, listened to my heart and lungs, felt my lymph nodes, did a breast exam, palpated my (pudgy) abdomen, asked about some weird little lumps on my feet, checked my standing posture, asked a couple of probing questions about my post-miscarriage mental health.
As we talked, she filled out a lab slip: complete blood count, cholesterol, comprehensive metabolic panel, thyroid level and thyroid antibodies (there's a family history).
I brought up my two health concerns: potential long-term damage from my acid reflux disease, and irregular menstrual cycles since my miscarriage. She was concerned about the first but not the second. Apparently I shouldn't be having any breakthrough heartburn when I take over-the-counter acid reducers - which I do, more often than not. She gave me a booklet on lifestyle changes and a bunch of free samples of Prevacid, and added serum amylase and H. pylori
tests to my lab slip. I'm supposed to go back and see her in a month to get my lab results and discuss whether the Prevacid is working - she'll decide then whether I need an endoscopy. I'm relieved that she didn't send me for one immediately. (She's usually very big on precautionary testing.)
Her major concerns:
1. I always need to wear my orthotics, because my feet suck. (She was a physical therapist before she went to med school.)
2. We need to get my reflux under control.
3. I need to try not to be anxious and stressed-out about conceiving again.
That was it. Not a word about my weight.
I suppose that she may be waiting to bring up weight loss until she sees the results of my lab tests. But they weighed
me, and that would've been enough ammunition for most doctors. So yay, for now.("But don't you realize fat is unhealthy?"
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