I can tell you about the Visit now that’s it’s over.
You see, I’ve been in the closet and now it’s time to come out, as they say.
I have a problem – I am a secret hypochondriac. Well, I would be a hypochondriac if I ever let it actually take root. I’ve found that most things just go away. And although my head gives a dreadful prognosis, I ignore that, telling my head that “you always think that”, and it does, indeed go away.
But I’m a little older now and being bombarded with “health scares” every day, in all newspapers, gets you thinking and then worrying and so on.
So, I decided to bite the bullet and, after about 20 years, go to a doctor. Not because there was anything wrong, exactly, just to check.
Of course, on the first Visit, the doctor, horrified that I hadn’t been near a doctor for 20 years and that I’d smoked for 45 years and I didn’t really keep fit nor worry about what I ate and drank, she ordered tests.
Oh yes, and my blood pressure was high. I explained that this was probably because I was visiting her, but she ignored that. So I had to go and see a cardiologist (or heart doctor, as I call her.)
So first the tests for blood, etc. That seemed OK and I accessed the results online and printed them. looking it up (which is always a mistake), I thought I probably had high cholesterol. But, at my age, it can be expected, I suppose.
Next was the heart doctor. She did the cardiograph-thing and listened to my heart and my breathing and stuff. She, too, was horrified by the fact that I had avoided doctors for so long – oh, yes, and by the fact that I had smoked so much for so long. My blood pressure was a little high, she said. My heart seemed fine but she wanted more tests. I felt she was determined to find something wrong. The appointments were booked but were months away and that wasn’t good enough. She wanted it all done before the summer holidays. My colleague re-booked everything for me.
Anyway, I had a “map”, a 24-hour blood pressure thing and an x-ray of my lungs. As I had looked at the blood tests and realised I had high cholesterol, I decided NOT to look at any more results. It’s better to be in the dark, was my logic.
My greatest fear was the x-ray. After all these years, I thought the x-ray would be the one.
So it was with some trepidation that I went back to see her today, 22nd July, with the results.
She went through everything. She said I was in the 5% group of humans who didn’t seem to be affected by smoking (or much else). My lungs were fine. My blood pressure was normal and, this morning, when she took the pressure again, was perfect. My heart was fine and my blood test was fine. There was, in short, nothing wrong with me.
She wants me to check my blood pressure once a month for about 6 months but, really, after that it’s OK.
So I had my colleague book a visit with my GP, just to close the loop and after Friday, I shall complete this post.
And, Friday, I went back to my GP. Of course, she looked through everything. And she noted that there was nothing really wrong. She said my cholesterol was a little high but nothing to worry about. Her advice was slightly different. She wanted me to check my blood pressure every week for six months. And she said I should reduce the number of cigarettes that I smoke. And that was that.
There was no “come back and see me in x months”.
Anyway, I don’t have to change my eating and drinking habits or anything much really, which is great and just what I needed to hear. Until, of course, the next time that I “think” something is seriously wrong with me. I’m hoping that my hypochondria will fade away for a year or two.
Anyway, guess whose advice I will be following?
Oh, yes, and, obviously, the first thing I did when I left my GP? Well, to light up a cigarette, of course!