Another year, another visit to Dr. Ob-gyn for my annual checkup/Pap this past Monday. Dr. Ob-gyn & I are well acquainted... after my failed pregnancy, he shepherded us through the initial stages of infertility testing and referred us to an RE. I continued to see him for my annual Pap, which turned into colposcopies every few months when one Pap came back showing abnormal cells. He calmed my fears, emphasized that it was NOT cancer, just some cellular changes that we'd keep an eye on, & they'd likely reverse themselves... which they eventually did, thank God.
Anyway, although I like & respect Dr. Ob-gyn hugely & appreciate what he did for us (he has a very calming manner about him -- I guess 30+ years in the business will do that), it's never easy going back to see him, for obvious reasons. On the bright side, he has moved from the office I visited him in during my pregnancy, so I don't have to return to the exact scene of the crime anymore, so to speak.
On the other hand -- he is now on a floor of the hospital that is entirely devoted to maternal-fetal medicine. I have to walk down two very LOOONNNGGGG corridors to get to his office area, which are lined wall-to-wall with pregnant women & babies. In his own waiting area were several pregnant women, a woman with a toddler & a two-month old baby (whom the nurses were cooing over), an old lady who looked to be in her 70s... and me, lol.
Every year for the last several years, Dr. Ob-gyn's nurse would take my blood pressure, frown at me & say, "Your blood pressure is high. Do you have high blood pressure?" "No." (And hey, no offense, but some of the happiest times of my life have NOT been spent in this office -- do you think that might have something to do with it??) "Well, you'd better follow up with your family doctor." I'd go to my family dr -- 120/80. And that would be that until the next year, when the scenario would play itself out again.
Last year, however, when I followed up with my family dr, I got 140/90, which is borderline hypertensive. Hmmm. High blood pressure is something I never thought applied to me, but I do have to be aware of, since my mother takes medication for it, and my paternal grandmother had it -- died suddenly of stroke when she was only 68.
Well, suddenly I was very much aware. Family Dr said he didn't want to put me on medication just yet. I said I didn't WANT to be on medication. I promised him I would try to cut down on sodium, exercise more and lose some weight, & have been mildly successful in both cases -- lost 10 lbs since last year through both diet & walking (although I could stand to lose at least 25 more) -- & have cut way back on the salt shaker & tried to make better choices re: sodium content (although have you ever read food labels or restaurant nutrition guides for sodium content?? YIKES. It's tough!! SCARY stuff.). And I've been back every month or two to check with him again. It's been up & down & back up again. I tried using one of those drugstore machines between visits, but the way it clamps onto my arm scares the crap out of me. The reading I usually get from it also scares the crap out of me ; ) but I chalked up the one to the other. I tend to do much better at the family dr's office!
Anyway, having run the gauntlet through the halls & sat in the waiting room with all the pregnant women & babies, I then had to endure Dr. Ob-gyn's nurse asking me how many kids I had. (Hello, I've been coming here for 10 years -- and she's been there that long, if not longer -- & shouldn't this stuff be in my file anyway?) "None living, one stillbirth," I said. No reaction.
I held out my arm for the cuff & braced myself for the inevitable lecture. "Good," she said. "Good? What was it?" I asked. "120/70." I nearly fell off the bed. Go figure?? I don't think it's been that low ever. Here's hoping it continues...
Although I will have to wait on the Pap results, the rest of the checkup was normal. He said the few episodes of spotting I have had lately are probably due to fluctuating perimenopausal hormones, & the way I've described them, he's not concerned.
Yay me. Over & done with for another year.