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11:36 PM - Weds 06.17.20

Risk Factors

Since I wrote about my blood clot, I'm unhappy to report I've now got a couple other "medical scares" to deal with...

Since the blood clot had me thinking about my age and mortality and what-all, and I've got time-on-my-hands, I decided it was time to get my yearly physical, which I did on Friday.

I'm used to these being fairly routine - though was disappointed about my cholesterol last time (I'm now on Lipitor) - and never really expect anything worrisome to come up (More on this "fairly routine" point in a bit).

But my EKG revealed "premature atrial contractions". Which the Dr said were not necessarily a problem in-and-of themselves, "but with your risk factors...".

"What risk factors?" and "Risk of what?" are questions I did not ask, for some reason. Maybe because I assumed I knew - The "risk factors" were "I'm an old fat guy", and the "what" was "bad heart stuff".

So in three weeks I'm scheduled for a video consultation with a cardiologist.

Telling myself, "Okay, it must not be too serious because the cardiologist doesn't even need to physically examine me or run another test or anything". So I'm hoping that whatever the "premature atrial contractions" are about, it's something that can be dealt with via diet and exercise (Or, barring that, with an inexpensive prescription).

But I'm not happy.

And if anything, I was even less happy when my blood test showed me making the leap from "pre-diabetic" to "diabetic"(I don't have it in front of me, but my ALC was 6.6 or 6.7, just within "diabetic" range).

I had not fasted like I was supposed to (They'd drawn blood when I went in for the blood clot, and when I set the appointment for the physical, no one gave me the usual rap about fasting beforehand, so I'd assumed I was set), so I'm hoping that when the test is redone and I've fasted like I was supposed to, I'll get a better number (Early on, I thought we'd decided to not do the blood test because of the not-fasting thing - again, I've got nothing but time these days, so it was nothing to me to go back in a day or two and do it for real - but then suddenly I was in the lab and they were doing the thing...and here I am).

Really want this to be a wakeup call where, again, I can reverse things by taking better care of myself. Because I do not fucking want to have to deal with Diabetes. I just don't need that to be a thing I gotta deal with.

(But wait! There's more!)

You're not supposed to ask about other shit during the annual physical, but when I told Jane R. about something that was going on (A pain under my right nipple), she said I should, and then the Dr actually asked, so I told him, "I got this pain under my right nipple".

He felt it, noted some swelling, and said it was "probably nothing" (perhaps an infection of the gland - He prescribed an antibiotic), but "Just in case..." gave me a referral for...I don't really know what.

A mammogram?

Something along those lines.

Anyway, I'm pulling for the infection thing, maybe a cyst, as opposed to being the one-in-a-million man who gets breast cancer.

So a fair amount of uncertainty. A lot of "probably nothing" and "hopefully nothing" but...who knows?

And I'm now struggling with a wave of guilt and anger over all those "routine" physicals where I was told to lose weight, to use my CPAP, that my ALC was not in a great place, and I just treated them like "suggestions" that could be ignored.

Hoping these various issues aren't going to end up being serious, and really hoping they aren't on me bringing myself to this point by my own actions (Or inaction).

But there's no point in speculating, and there's no point in being angry at myself - If anything, I'm wondering why the fuck I'm ever angry at myself if I'm not going to do anything about it anyway.

The thing now is to just do what needs to be done, what's in front of me.

Not panic. Not be self-pitying. Not be angry.

Just do what needs to be done.


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