Bit the Bullet
Friday, March 30, 2012
Last year I decided that the Spark People plan sounded smart, so I did it for about 9 months faithfully and gained ten pounds... I became convinced my thyroid was shot or I was diabetic. I worked in a hospital, medical school and NIH doing research, so I wasn't thrilled with the quality of medical care in my neck of the woods. Too many lapband surgeries, friends getting bizarre serum injections from doctors. I decided to do some research and perhaps focus more on health and activity and not monitoring... gained more weight. At this point, my hands and arms were going numb when I slept and when I drove! I felt terrible and nothing was working.
I was so confused. I work on my family's genealogy and I could see my shape was the same as my father's grandmother and her sisters "little refrigerator-shaped" german/canuck women! I wondered if this was something I can't accomplish, it was all genetic. Not having health insurance, well, I am in the process of getting on my husband's plan but with a $2,500 deductible, it is basically like not having health insurance. I was getting very depressed. Once again I was faced with buying new clothes soon in the official 'fat' sizes!
Serendipity works often in my life and at my favorite Farmer's Market, the woman I chat with told me I had to see her Doctor, he won't work with health insurance, he has a $40 flat fee and still does house calls one day a week. I went home and did my research. He was well published and had 30 years of metabolic research publications under his belt. So, I finally threw in the towel, my husband was shocked it didn't snow, since I said hell would freeze over before i went to a doctor (kinda common attitude for people who have worked with them) I didn't want to waste his time or mine so I wrote up my medical and family history, which got me depressed all over again.
When I called the receptionist immediately said that the Doctor "didn't do pain meds..." I immediately said, "good, I don't want to see a doctor who is high!" After a short silence, she explained that the doctor did not prescribe pain medication. I said that was fine, I don't take pills either! After I made my appointment and faxed her my history, I laughed. It's rural VA and meth and oxy are a big problem, and I realized what she meant.
So, my visit was very good. After a long beautiful drive through the backroads along the Blue Ridge Parkway, I found his office. (Note to self: winter will be a problem! Must lose weight before next snow) He actually had read my 3 page fax and had very good questions for me. He agreed that it most likely was my thyroid and maybe B12, my sugar was 104, which was nice to know! He asked if the tests came back normal, would I consider his diet plan? I blurted out: "If it's not crazy!" Then I apologized, but he said it was a good answer. His plan was the Mediteranean Diet with an appetite suppressant. I groaned but agreed to trust him, since nothing else was working.
He then explained that medical services are 3 times cheaper if doctors avoid health insurance!! He then sent me to the local hospital where they had a LabDirect service and anyone could have blood work done. Granted the majority of people were getting drug screening. A full battery of test cost me only a little over $100! They said they mail me a copy and fax the results to my doctor.
Before he called I decided to start using SparkPeople Tools but not the diet. This way I would be able to have reports for my Doctor to review what and how much I ate.
He called the next morning. All my tests were perfect except my cholesterol was high and my liver function was poor. He said my liver results were similar to a heavy drinkers, I have a glass of wine with dinner about 3-4 times a week. He said that would not cause these results. He said he has been seeing these results in obese people, the liver is too fatty and can't work right. I was confused, how could my cholesterol be high I already use olive oil and eat mostly veg and fruit with chicken breasts and fish for protein. But, I admitted to eating 1 or 2 eggs a day and cheese. He told me that was going to end. Stop eggs or limit to once a week. Only dry parmesan cheese, not cheddar for a while.
He then called in a prescription for me to a VA pharmacy, I live just over the border in NC but the same drug is $30 here and $10 up there! I started to whine but then shut up, I had agreed to trust him... here goes!