Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Health & Astros ... (updates) ...

First, my health update ...

Well, it's going on 3pm on Tuesday, June 3rd.

I went to see my primary care doctor this morning. I had a bunch of questions for him, all of which he answered. Nice man. I like him.

I showed him one of the teeny baggies I use to place a large pill in before pulverizing it with a hammer to a size where I can swallow it. The look on his face when I was demonstrating all this I can best describe as one approaching horror.

He looked over my bottle of calcium pills, 600mg ea. (Vitamin D added), along with the bottle of Centrum Silver multivitamin/multimineral supplements, and suggested that I purchase a chewable calcium supplement without the Vitamin D added ... the combination of the two was giving me way too much Vitamin D. (I'd already figured that out for myself, but was interested in hearing what he had to say.)

Next, I showed him the gel-filled insoles I had purchased, along with some callus care stuff -- the packages had yet to be opened. He approved both, so I will shortly begin that therapy. He had recommended during our initial visit that I get Rockport shoes. I have not yet done so, and on today's visit I shared with him the fact that during the winter months it is my proclivity to wear leather moccasins with fur-lined insoles along with very warm socks, NEITHER of which is beneficial to my instep but sure does help keep my feet warm!! I asked him about the advisability of purchasing more than one gel-filled set of insoles to accommodate the varying foot apparel. He told me I'd have to play that one by ear.

It is absolutely MANdatory that I start getting some physical exercise! WellCare, my insurance company of record, supposedly allows me free access to a gym. Well, I called WellCare in March and got several recommendations ... NONE of the ten or so that I called and where I reached an actual person had ever heard of WellCare! All, of course, were willing to give me a free trial membership to their facility. So, one of my questions to Dr. Bauer was, "Do you happen to have the name of any facility/ies in the Houston or SugarLand areas that accept WellCare?" He did not.

OK. Next topic! I was pretty much finished with my questions. Now it was his turn. (Did I mention that I like him? I do!)

Dr. Bauer was very concerned about the results of my bone density test. While it is currently not there, my body's bone density is approaching osteoporosis, and he's interested (as am I) in warding this off as much as possible. And so, he has prescribed a VERY strong medication, which I'm to take once a week. Similar to Boniva and Evista, which you might have seen advertised on TV about every other commercial, except this one is 'generic' and thus not so expensive. (In fact, it cost me zero $$!?!)

He cautioned me that I could not suck, dissolve, chew, pummel, or in any other way try to ingest it except by swallowing it whole. In addition to all that, he advised me, I would have to remain 'upright' for at least an hour (his advice, altho the actual paperwork that comes with the pill says 30 minutes). [By the way, I am going to take his advice!]

The most common negative side effect, he said, is that of heartburn. I said, "What's that?" All I got for an answer was a hint of a smile.

OK. I'm home. I have the prescription. (And yes, I DID check out the size of the pills before running and screaming back to Dr. Bauer, saying, "I can't do this!!") I might not be able to sleep tonite. I'm really nervous. This pill has to be taken first thing in the morning, and only with water. This is ridiculous! I'm a grown woman. Why am I scared of taking what is, in actuality, a very small pill?? Because I am, that's why!

I absolutely refused to buy any Tums, or whatever the brand name is, or Pepsin (same question) in anticipation of heartburn. I'm taking a lot of deep breaths here. I absolutely will not have heartburn, whatever that is. I will simply not allow it!! [Pause] More deep breaths. [Longer pause] Even more deep breaths. I'm scared, OK? Let's just leave it at that.

Next, we addressed the matter of my blood pressure. I've made it a point, over the last couple of years, to record my blood pressure whenever I go to Randall's (a pretty good-sized grocery store here in the Houston area). It's been all OVER the place!!

Well, the first time I visited Dr. Bauer, my blood pressure read in the 160's. I showed the nurse the card where I had faithfully recorded readings over the past couple of years. She said nothing. Dr. Bauer said nothing.

Twice since then, my blood pressure readings at Randall's have been 107 and 105, respectively.

Today, the nurse recorded another reading in the 160's. The doctor didn't like it. I didn't like it. Dr. Bauer told me he wanted me to purchase a machine that would accurately record blood pressure readings. He had a specific brand in mind, and said that the Randall's machines were often inaccurate.

OK, it's on my list of things to be purchased. By the way, I DID stop at a Randall's on the way home to buy some watermelon (LUSCIOUS right now!), and checked in both at their blood pressure machine (registered 138, still high) and to see what the price would be to purchase the one that Dr. Bauer had recommended. I didn't purchase it. Thought I would check out WalMart's price --- they're just around the corner from me. More later on that one.

Astros update ...

What can I say here? "Our" guys have lost five out of the last six games. They're still on the road, now in Pittsburgh. Last week they were one and a half games out of first place, this week they're seven games back ... incredible!!


Nancy said...

My dad used to crush up pills - he had a hard time swallowing them. I didn't know there was anything wrong with doing that. Good luck!

Goldenrod said...

Other than the fact that I knew if I crushed them they would work a whole lot faster, neither did I.

By the way, he made no comment one way or the other about continuing or not continuing to crush those pills. And so I'll continue on as I have been. The only one he was adamant about was the prescription medication.

Don't look for an update tomorrow on side effects. I made the mistake of taking a nap (a small one, I thought) earlier this evening, and three hours later I woke up feeling quite refreshed!
I'm a ninny, what can I say?

Janet said...

I tried out Curves and I love it. I mean, I hate the exercise, but this place and the people there make it easy. Plus it's a 30 minute workout, done in tiny steps, so time goes by fast. I paid $30 for the 30 Avon Fitness Study, no obligation to do a bit more and no pressure, either. I got visible, measurable results in 5 visits! My inspiration there is one 80 yr old woman, and a woman weighing over 300 pounds who has already lost more than 60 pounds. If they can do it, we all can. Ever tried the chewy fudge calcium? It's like candy and easy to swallow;-) My mom used Flonase for a while and now she only needs the regular stuff. Good luck.

Goldenrod said...

Appreciate the info, Janet. Will let all y'all know what's going on further down the road. Hope your back is doing better.