Monday, May 14, 2007

Medical Mania

Actually this is a happy post! Last week was awesome timing...the planets must've aligned, because I didn't work at allllll. My job is great for killing you one week and leaving you with crap-all to do the next week. (I hate that by the way, but I think I've beaten that horse good and dead so we'll move on.) I felt like low-level shite all week, so it was good to have a paid vacation. I sat on the couch, monitored work emails, and did whatever I could without arousing the headache demons.

I've decided that doctors really are a little...sigh. I don't know. Sadist? Funny? Utterly perplexing and infuriating? They're like computers...can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. When they work they're great, when they don't you want to throw them out of a window. Pick your cliche, I've got 'em all! I have two examples from the past 7 days or so.

I went to my gynecologist on Tuesday of last week, after I met with my endo. She wanted to confirm that my lymphy lump (lumpy lymph?) was truly of lymphatic origin and wasn't something like a hernia or the C-word. Sure 'nuff, WebMD and myself were correct - Dr. Vag* took one quick feel and said "Yep, that's definitely your lymph node!" He then asked if I had any infections in my nether regions that would cause such ire to form in my groin. I couldn't think of a darn thing, except for my pilonidal cyst.

"But it hasn't flared up in almost a year! I do my best to take care of it and it's not that's never messed with my lymph nodes before."
"Well, can I see it? I used to be a general surgeon when I started practicing medicine 500 years ago."

So I mistrustfully turned over, even though I think my pilonidal was probably not at fault in my lymphatic catastrophe. Things have been relatively quiet down there. Dr. Vag immediately stuck a finger right on the tender spot that I do my best to keep off of at all times and PRESSED and RUBBED, just to assuage his curiosity.

Extreme pain! I should've flipped over and treated him with a swift kick to the jaw, but he's elderly and I'm too nice to people.

"Ha, this is nothing. This is a baby pilonidal. Out of all the pilonidals I've ever seen, yours is nothing."

THANKS, THANKS A LOT, I DON'T CARE ABOUT MY PILONIDAL, I KNOW IT IS PRETTY UNREMARKABLE AS FAR AS ASS ABSCESSES GO. Now that I've got my daily dose of pain and you've poked at all of my tenderest spots and confirmed what I had already figured out myself, am I excused?

He then proceeded to tell me that the only way to cure pilonidals was to "cut them out all the way to the bone" (not true) and that diabetics are prone to infection and that I would probably have a lot of problems with infections in my life.

Sigh. Yeah that's me, the leper. I'm just fallin' to pieces here.

My second example of exasperating doctors concerns the aforementioned cholesterol worries I've had over the past months; ever since I've started going to my new endo, in fact. Today I got the results of last Monday's blood work:

A1C: 6.5. Woohoo!
LDL cholesterol: 68. WHAT THE?! Down from 109 four months ago?! I haven't changed my diet or exercise habits.
Total cholesterol: 120, down from 136. WHAT THE?!

So my endo said my HDL was a "little low" in relation to the LDL, but that it looked "fantastic" and if I exercised the HDL should go up.

Ummmmmmm. Okay. How does my cholesterol from "slightly elevated; you should go on statins" to "fantastic"? The only difference I made was that my bloodwork this time was fasting, whereas usually I eat cereal/milk before I go in for my appointment. Could that really have that big of an impact on cholesterol readings? And if so, how many people are inaccurately placed on statins? Can cholesterol really fluctuate that much? Don't get me wrong, I'm ecstatic - but I think I'll be darned before I let myself get pressured into going on pills for my "elevated cholesterol." Seems like blood work is highly variable...?? Is my A1C even reliable? What the heck?

*Name changed to product the innocent and also for minor humor value. If you're into toilet humor like myself. Hur hur.


Scott K. Johnson said...

Not sure about the cholesterol stuff, but that is a fantastic A1C! Way to go!

Penny said...


I'm a nurse and just wanted to let you know it is actually very important to be fasting when you get your cholesterol checked. It does really make a difference.

I second what Scott said, wonderful A1C!

Kendra said...

Gosh darnit! Thank you so much eating for me when I go to the endo! EVER!! :)