6 December 2002
Yesterday I met with the PharmD (Doctor of Pharmacology), who was supposed to be
checking up on my blood pressure medication and other things in general. Two days before
I'd given half my blood to the lab for doing all sorts of tests: lipid panel
(cholesterol), A1C (blood sugar), albumen (well that was a urine test), etc., etc., etc.
Only the A1C results were in.
First thing he did was to weigh me. No trudging reluctantly to the scale for me. I love
being weighed these days because each time I go to Kaiser, the numbers have dropped
significantly. Holy moly--talk about dropped. I couldn't believe the scale could possibly
be right--it weighed me fifteen pounds less than WeightWatchers had weighed me. I
was ecstatic. (The doctor decided to weigh me again later after our meeting--and it was
more in line with the WeightWatchers number--2 lbs less, but more believable).
Then we went to the little office where he checked my lab results on his computer,
asked all those probing questions and took my blood pressure.
Before going on this diet, my blood pressure was 150/90. Unfortunately, the diet and
exercise didn't bring it down, so my primary care physician had put me on a blood pressure
medication--not unexpected, since my father's side of the family suffered from high blood
pressure . When Dr. G checked my blood pressure 2 days after I started it, it had already
dropped to 135/85. The last time it was checked before Dr. G left on vacation, it was
130/80. Yesterday it was 127/75. The PharmD was ecstatic.
Next he checked my blood sugar levels and they were so low...as were all of my results
from all of the lab tests...that he wonders whether I'm really diabetic at all.
Then came the questions:
How much exercise do you get? Easy: 8 miles of biking 3 times a week, 40-50
minutes at the club the other two days, longer bike rides, sometimes, on the weekends. He
says that most people say "oh, I get exercise at my work," which includes
walking to and from the copy machine. He was very pleased with my response.
Do you smoke? Nope. Never have.
How about cooking--do you cook from scratch? What sorts of foods do you cook?
Well, I told him about the WeightWatchers program and the kinds of things I've been
cooking. Another check mark in the "good girl" column.
Coffee? Well, OK. Coffee--but not more than 2 cups a day. He let that pass.
In the end, he decided that I was doing everything right, all my numbers were great, I
"may not be diabetic any more," my blood pressure is right where it should be. I
got a clean bill of health and he says he doesn't need to see me again, unless my primary
care physician decides I should have things checked again.
I can't tell you how great a feeling it is, first, not to be worried about what they
were going to say to me when they discovered that I'm not doing all the right
things--because I am doing all the right things, and secondly, to have a doctor
smile through all of our meeting and tell me over and over again how I'm doing all the
Never, in 60 years, has that happened to me. Talk about incentive to (a) stay on
program, and (b) keep up with the suggested doctor appointments.
Add to that the fact that I've been pretty compliant with the dental program Cindy set
out for me after she changed my life by fixing the damage 22 years of neglect had done to
my teeth, and that I have my teeth cleaned 3 times a year and love to hear the hygienist
tell me that everything is looking good.
I'm finally taking charge of my life, taking charge of my health, determined to be as
healthy as I can for the remaining years of my life. It's such a strange feeling, such a
strange mindset--but it feels very good. I'm not ready to drop over dead of a heart attack
because of bad habits. There is too much life in this body to just throw it away.