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Friday, May 31, 2013

Importance of a Routine Physical for Adults, even if you have a chronic illness

I have a chronic illness, so I seem to be going to one doctor or another at least once a month during the year.  I also see my primary doctor every 3 months, for pain medication follow-up and a check-in with how I am feeling.  One doctor oversees some labs and medicine, but another may focus on something else; which is why once a year I schedule a routine physical/pap smear with my primary doctor.  I make sure she takes labs for everything I am being treated for, but also labs you would normally get taken at a routine physical.  I schedule my routine physical and also my yearly mammogram in May each year, so I can keep track of when I need to schedule from one year to the next, but I could also say I do it so I know how my health is when I greet my birthday that year on June 1st.

My labs have been all over the place, since I had a gastric bypass in 1996, so I am use to seeing highs and lows all over my results.   During my routine labs, my primary doctor became concerned because my platlet count was sky high and she performed a Hep C test, which was negative. She wanted me to have a Liver Ultrasound asap, to see if I had any problems with my liver.  I scheduled the appointment and was surprised at how painful the ultrasound was on my right side, in fact I was still sore the following day from the ultrasound, because she was having to press so hard to get the pictures. That afternoon, my primary doctor calls me with a new diagnosis, like I need another and I hate the name as well, fatty liver.  It is not from drinking, as I don't drink.  Not sure why I have it, but I do know after having the gastric bypass I have many vitamin deficiencies.  I have lost weight the last couple of years and continue working on getting as healthy as I can be, so understandably this was not great news for me.  However, it is information I need,so that I can try to reverse the affects of fatty liver.  So I now have a new diagnosis to add to my list: Lipedema, Lymphedema, Hypothyroidism, Low Vit D, B12 deficiency, anemia, depression from chronic illness. 

Good news though, is that my mammogram, bone density(1st time having test), and pap all came back fine.  Knowledge is power, so even though I may have new diagnosis to manage, at least I know about it, and it is not sitting in my body undiagnosed and perhaps getting worse.  So now I am ready to greet my 48th birthday tomorrow, knowing where my health stands....having my Routine Physical was a priceless gift for me and my family, so Happy Birthday to me!

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