Today was my yearly physical. While the news wasn’t all bad, it was not all good, either.
The good news. This is always best to start with:
- My blood pressure was 120/80! Which is something short of a miracle, as I have been under a lot of stress the past several months, due to my mother’s and father’s health issues. Mother’s more so than father’s.
- My glucose was 96!
- The EKG looked good, although it showed some mild high blood pressure activity.
Now, the bad news:
- I gained ten pounds. Not good for someone like me with high blood pressure. I have not been eating well; relying more heavily on processed foods and take-out meals, which means an increase in carbs.
- The doctor noticed that my stomach is not as flat as it was this time last year, and my muscles are not as toned.
- Due to the fact that I am currently experiencing “caregiver stress” – my doctor’s moniker – I need to start taking better care of myself.
The doctor says my current blood pressure medication is working. Therefore, there will be no change for the foreseeable future. On the other hand, she is recommending a diuretic, to be taken once every two days, to alleviate the fluid retention in my ankles and legs. I have primary lymphedema, which was diagnosed when I was 16 years old.
My doctor did impress upon me that I must take better care of myself. After all, we’re trying to prevent deterioration of my kidneys, as a result of the high blood pressure.
I have been working out on the treadmill. As I do every summer. Things fall apart come September. But, it’s imperative that I am diligent and conscientious about working out.
So, here is my plan:
- Eating salads at lunch.
- Eating breakfast – every day.
- Consuming fewer take-out meals and processed foods.
- Drinking more water.
- Getting more sleep.
- Lowering my stress levels, which leads to anxiety and depression. The doctor suggested yoga and Pilates.
- Decreasing sugar and caffeine. Which incidentally elevate stress and anxiety.
- Lose weight – at least the ten pounds I have gained since my last annual physical.
- Continuing my walking/treadmill workouts.
- Performing strength training twice per week.
My doctor mentioned that more and more health insurance carriers are focusing on and promoting health and wellness. As a result, my health insurance plan may very likely cover the cost of exercise classes, as well as therapeutic treatment, such as physical therapy, for my osteoarthritis. My doctor said my orthopedic doctor should have mentioned this, but has not. Hmmm…
My doctor and I also talked at length about my mother’s health condition. Again, she imparted a lot of information that my mother’s own doctor has not. I immediately passed the information along to my mother through my brother. Hopefully, the information, and, the realities of her health condition, will lead her to move beyond her fear of the side effects of her medications, see the larger picture, and become more diligent and proactive in her care.
So, I have some work to do. Gotta get my health on-point. One of the things I will be doing tomorrow, after doing my workout, is visiting the grocery store, and filling up my shopping cart with fresh, healthy foods.
What are you doing to maintain proper health and wellness? Or, are you struggling like me? Share your experiences in the Comments. Thank you!