Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Mistakes were made, Including by Me.

As part of a routine physical back in February my Dr ordered various lab tests. This particular time he ordered a few extra due to my insistence that I was eating a reasonable diet and exercising regularly. Despite my efforts and protestations, I somehow seemed to avoid losing weight. Even though by his own admission My body fat levels were not morbid, they were higher than he considered healthy, and I steadfastly maintained a 39 inch waist. So after some chatter of him trying to convince me that he was right and I was just being difficult, he agreed to test "everything". The first round of test came back and he said that some things were not normal and we should do the tests again. Given my history of issues with cholesterol and glucose metabolism, a second round of labs was not anything that raised a red flag. Second set of labs come back and Dr calls and said I should see an endocrinologist, a number of my hormone levels were not normal. So, I made an appointment, and saw the endocrinologist. More lab tests. Then an MRI, an appt with an optometrist, then a neurosurgeon. I felt like I was on the health care merry-go-round as nobody would really tell me what is wrong with me other than some abnormal lab work, but they all got paid, both by me and my insurance. After all of these visits I end up back at the endocrinologists office. The bottom line is that at some point my pituitary gland stopped behaving normally, and no one really knows why. He gave me a couple of prescriptions, a sheet for some more lab work and sent me on my way.

One of my biggest frustrations during that period was trying to get meaningful answers from doctors who barely spoke English. Not to mention the cultural issues some of these guys have when some one questions their decisions. I'm looking to get a second opinion, but the health insurance I have requires me to go through their process. I've come to the conclusion that managed care equals managed symptoms, not a cure. If nothing else, maybe this'll serve as an example to others. If you aren't getting results, and you are really trying, and following your chosen plan, go see your doctor. Convince him/her to test "everything". Leave no metabolic or hormonal test undone.

On the one hand the meds make me feel better then I have felt in quite some time. Many of the minor ailments I had attributed to aging and normal wear and tear are going away. I no longer have any issues with my cholesterol or glucose metabolism. I still haven't lost any weight, not that I've been trying. In fact my appetite has increased rather markedly. My exercise as of late has consisted of walking, and for the first time in quite a while I have something that resembles aerobic endurance. I'm not yet sure where all this is headed, but it promises to be an interesting ride.

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