Posted by wendiwendy
We’re waiting for a furnace repair fellow to show up, so I figured I’d pass the time by writing. The furnace is still hanging in there, but a few days ago I noticed a … burning? … smell right before the furnace fan kicked on. It was hard to describe, not really alarming but definitely noticeable. I mentioned it to Dave and he checked it out. He said it looks like the furnace starts to ignite and then fizzles out one or two times before it finally catches. So maybe it really was the furnace and not the thermostat when it stopped working overnight a couple weeks back.
Our landlady is very cool and she responded right away to Dave’s email. We all have our fingers crossed that this is a quick fix – our landlady for her pocketbook, Dave and I because we don’t want to be without heat for very long. It’s not as cold as it has been, but still … it’s a brisk 18 degrees outside, and we have no space heaters or fireplace here. We would like to be without the furnace for the shortest time possible!
I finally conquered my completely irrational but entirely consuming fear of making an appointment with a new doctor here. I have no idea why I was so frozen with fear over the idea of simply making an appointment, but I was. Finally last week I just told Dave, “Today we’re going to return my library book, then stop off at the clinic and I’ll make my appointment.” Boom.
After I explained my situation to the front desk clerk – new in town, don’t have a doctor yet, meds are running out and I need refills – she said, “Oh, we can do that in the walk-in clinic.” And not only did I have my appointment, I was also being seen that same day, in a matter of minutes.
One thing I was pretty sure of was that I might not need my blood pressure medicine anymore. One of my goals when I started counting calories and losing weight was to be much healthier in my 50s than I was in my 40s. My 50th birthday was looming, so right after my 49th birthday I really dug deep, found my willpower, and started losing weight. I added exercise reluctantly – I hated most forms of exercise – and as the weight came off, exercising got easier.
I don’t credit the exercise with helping me lose weight; it never has. But it makes me feel better, and I look forward to doing it every day. My stamina has increased so much. I told Dave that I used to worry I’d be sent for a stress test, the kind where you run on a treadmill, and I wouldn’t be able to last even one minute. (Seriously.) I feel better than I have since I was in my 20s. My knees don’t hurt any more, I don’t have aches and pains when I get out of bed, and I don’t run out of breath.
There’s been a few times in the past couple months when I’ve felt a little goofy – sometimes my heart is kind of racing, sometimes I feel a little lightheaded. I never know if it’s from perimenopause (which I’ve found can give me heart palpitations on occasion) or something else, so I always ask Dave to check my blood pressure to make sure it’s not sky-high. Every time he’s checked it, it’s been really super low (for me), like 80/60 or in that range. It scared the crap out of Dave, and he kept telling me to go to the doctor because I probably didn’t need blood pressure medicine anymore, now that I’ve lost weight and I exercise daily.
I started on blood pressure medicine when Paige was still nursing, in the mid-90s. My blood pressure was high during my pregnancy with Eric, and it was the same deal with Paige. The doctors and nurses would make a big deal out of it (rightly) and they’d tell me to lay on the table and try to think relaxing thoughts. Then they would come back later and check it again. That never helped me; it just made me more nervous. I’d dwell on the fact that they were coming back to check it, and if it was high would I get put on bedrest? Would they want to induce labor? I would work myself into a worrying frenzy, and my blood pressure stayed high.
This turned into a major case of White Coat Syndrome, and I still have it today. Every time I set foot in a doctor’s office, I get nervous. Crazy, heart-poundingly nervous. Dave has talked to me about it, tried to help me rationalize it and realize there’s no reason for me to worry, but it’s an instant reaction that I can’t control. Deep breathing, meditation – I do them all in the doctor’s office, and I’m still a nervous wreck.
Well, I was already worked up about simply making the appointment, so when I realized I was actually seeing someone that day I was mentally freaking out. They called me back pretty quickly; I got weighed (not bad), they checked my height (one inch less than I thought I was – I refuse to believe I’m 5’ tall and not 5’1”), then did my blood pressure. 140/84. Looks like I’ll be staying on that medication for a while longer, thanks to my insane doctor office phobia.
Then I had to sit there for a long, long time – at least 30 minutes, maybe more. When I finally saw someone, it was a PA. She listened to my lungs and heart, and entered a 3 month refill for my cholesterol and blood pressure medicine. Then I talked to her about establishing myself as a patient there … and that was it! All that worry for nothing.
I went back to the front desk to talk to them about establishing myself as a patient, and it turns out only one doctor is accepting new patients. It just so happens to be the female FNP I was hoping to get, so that was a bonus. I filled out a form so they could get my medical records from Illinois, and then once she gets them she will look them over and decide whether to accept me as a patient. (I guess if I am a complicated case she won’t take me on.) I’m hoping to hear good news, because I really liked this clinic. I guess they’ll call in a couple weeks, and if she accepts me then I’ll make the appointment for my real first doctor visit.
Of course, I’m already worrying about it.
About wendiwendyI'm a real-life bionic woman.
Posted on January 26, 2015, in Medical Visits, Not Related to Hearing Loss and tagged blood pressure medication, doctor office phobia, exercise, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, weight loss, White Coat Syndrome. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.