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Looking for some happy suggestions
Old 07-14-2008, 07:13 AM   #1
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Looking for some happy suggestions

Okay folks, this is likely as far as I'll get -- posting stuff in a health forum on a discussion board. We're all different, and I come from a long line of matriarchs who don't see doctors and lived to their late 90's.

I don't dislike doctors, I just don't have experience. My life experience is every problem goes away.

Here's the basics. Active, just turned 46 years old, favorite activity is hiking in NY and VT. Have a camp in the mountains, very wooded. Taken precautions for ticks/Lyme disease for the past two years. I don't do anything else remotely considered a risky behavior. (Maybe I should.)

In Feb 07, I was doing something else when I noticed a mild pain in my arm and that it was swollen (the pain was the swelling), and I followed it back to my elbow, where I touched a more painful spot. I didn't remember hurting it. It lasted for about two weeks, but I noticed it did not get worse so I did not see a doctor. (I have to be unconscious to do that.) In March 07, the same thing happened in the other elbow, but was gone in a week and was milder all around.

I said geesh, both elbows. That's different.

A few months later my arms would hurt when I carried groceries home from the store, tears in my eyes, but that passed too.

In the fall, something happened with my feet. The bottom of my feet, the arch area, would go into painful spasms. Both feet, but more one side than the other.

In both situations, I tended to grab and massage whatever hurt -- which helped. I learned to sense when my foot or elbow would do that, and hold it tightly.

There's no other problems otherwise. I sleep well, enjoy my life, not slowed down at all. No family history of any kind of issues like this. Rarely sick.

I'm guessing ticks and Lyme before I started paying attention.

Any other thoughts? It crossed my mind again when I was gardening and moving big pots and told my arm to go to hell yesterday.

I'll probably delete this post in 20 minutes but maybe not. Just wondering if there's any other thoughts I could kick around.

Thanks!

Kate
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Old 07-14-2008, 07:25 AM   #2
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Okay folks, this is likely as far as I'll get -- posting stuff in a health forum on a discussion board. We're all different, and I come from a long line of matriarchs who don't see doctors and lived to their late 90's.

I don't dislike doctors, I just don't have experience. My life experience is every problem goes away.

Here's the basics. Active, just turned 46 years old, favorite activity is hiking in NY and VT. Have a camp in the mountains, very wooded. Taken precautions for ticks/Lyme disease for the past two years. I don't do anything else remotely considered a risky behavior. (Maybe I should.)

In Feb 07, I was doing something else when I noticed a mild pain in my arm and that it was swollen (the pain was the swelling), and I followed it back to my elbow, where I touched a more painful spot. I didn't remember hurting it. It lasted for about two weeks, but I noticed it did not get worse so I did not see a doctor. (I have to be unconscious to do that.) In March 07, the same thing happened in the other elbow, but was gone in a week and was milder all around.

I said geesh, both elbows. That's different.

A few months later my arms would hurt when I carried groceries home from the store, tears in my eyes, but that passed too.

In the fall, something happened with my feet. The bottom of my feet, the arch area, would go into painful spasms. Both feet, but more one side than the other.

In both situations, I tended to grab and massage whatever hurt -- which helped. I learned to sense when my foot or elbow would do that, and hold it tightly.

There's no other problems otherwise. I sleep well, enjoy my life, not slowed down at all. No family history of any kind of issues like this. Rarely sick.

I'm guessing ticks and Lyme before I started paying attention.

Any other thoughts? It crossed my mind again when I was gardening and moving big pots and told my arm to go to hell yesterday.

I'll probably delete this post in 20 minutes but maybe not. Just wondering if there's any other thoughts I could kick around.

Thanks!

Kate
I quoted this so you can't change your mind and delete it...

You mentioned maybe you should consider taking up another "risky behavior" - you already have. Experiencing serious medical symptoms and not consulting with a doctor is about as stupid risky as it gets.

I'm not trying to offend, just get your attention. "Coming from a long line of matriarchs who don't see doctors and lived to their late 90's" doesn't mean squat.

See a doctor if you want to keep the "live to their 90's" string running. That IS a happy suggestion.
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Old 07-14-2008, 07:57 AM   #3
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You could be right....

I went to a doctor for a check up when I was 30 and she told me not to come back for ten years: "You're too healthy!!" I'm six years over due.

But I was in a car accident at 39 -- bounced back fine -- and saw docs then too.

My experience is problems go away if you give it time.
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Old 07-14-2008, 08:02 AM   #4
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I'll second see the doctor just for a check up . A lot of problems can be headed off if caught early .
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Old 07-14-2008, 08:09 AM   #5
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My experience is problems go away if you give it time.
As you get older you'll find your experience may be in for a change. Don't ask me how I know...
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Old 07-14-2008, 08:19 AM   #6
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Seeing a doctor is "cheap insurance" on the rest of your life.

You may not die early (the "easy" way out ). You may live (many years) with something that could have been controlled/eliminated if you had just done a "check up".

I get my cars oil changed on a specific interval (much more then the computer tells me that I "have to") to ensure that they perform well, save gas, and give the mechanic the chance to check "under the hood" for any other possible problems. Would I do less for myself ?

- Ron
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Old 07-14-2008, 09:17 AM   #7
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What was the question again? Are you asking for a medical opinion from nonuntrained gadabouts? Yeah, that's a much less risky behavior than actually seeing a medically trained doctor... since I <gadabout opinion> don't believe you have anything to worry about, it doesn't sound fatal to me.

I will be curious (in about twenty years), however, to hear how that works out for you.

Oh! Yeah. Did these long-lived ancestors of yours also avoid professional advice? If so, do you attribute that longevity to such behavior?
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Old 07-14-2008, 09:31 AM   #8
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I'll likely go see a doc in September. (Want to look into my insurance first.)

I think I posted it here because it did not add up to seriousness for me, since I was not bleeding or sick in bed.

As for my Mom and grandmother and great grandmother, as I understand it there was no need to see a doc, using a higher bar than the average person. No female I'm related to can tolerate being fussed over.

But my Mom did finally see a doc when she got shingles in her 70's.

Okay, thanks. You all made an impression on me!

kate
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Old 07-14-2008, 10:04 AM   #9
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You could be right....

I went to a doctor for a check up when I was 30 and she told me not to come back for ten years: "You're too healthy!!" I'm six years over due.

But I was in a car accident at 39 -- bounced back fine -- and saw docs then too.

My experience is problems go away if you give it time.
The problem is when you are wrong. When they don't go away and get worse.
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Old 07-14-2008, 10:14 AM   #10
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Facts are always useful, opinions/conjectures/speculations/diagnoses/prognoses are less so. Your doc can order a full spectrum blood test, which might uncover some abnormalities worth poking into. Just because a doc gives you advice doesn't mean you have to take it.
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Old 07-14-2008, 10:42 AM   #11
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My experience is problems go away if you give it time.
I have a serious case of white coat syndrome, but I overcome it because I want to improve my chances of living forever. I avoid doctors whenever I can, but not to the point of foolishness. Also, I have three recent examples of what can happen if you take not seeing the doctor too far.

In 2001 my younger brother (42) died. He had had a very mild heart attack a few months previously, ambulance and everything. He saw the doctor, but didn't take their advice. Had another not so mild one, and now I'm an only child. One who is losing weight and eating better.

Two years ago my DWs uncle (65) keeled over dead. Turns out he had been ignoring a toothache for 6 months or so. They didn't do an autopsy, but the doctor thinks that's probably what caused the attack.

Just a couple of months ago my Mom's husband finally went to the doctor because the pain in his back and shoulders had become unbearable. They were testing him for Rheumatism and other causes, but while that went on he went into serious decline, and by a couple of weeks ago could barely get out of bed. She took him to the doctor, who put him in the hospital. He died after 5 days. Lung cancer this time, but if he's been going to the doctor more than once every 30 years they might have picked up on it.

As I said, I don't go unless I have to, but at 52 I think once every couple years isn't a bad idea. I'd hate to miss seeing my granddaughter (and any future ones) grow up because I was afraid of what I might find out. JMHO.

Harley
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Old 07-14-2008, 11:50 AM   #12
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Kat,

If you can't stand being fussed over, find a doc who doesn't do that. I've got one who gives it to me straight, doesn't patronize me, and respects my choices about my body. We're a team.

I suspect that part of why our partnership works so well is that she trusts me to bring things that don't seem right to her attention, and I trust her to give me sound, practical medically-based advice. I also like who she is as a person; that helps.

So, spend some time looking around for a doc who will meet your needs, both emotional and physical. It'll be worth it in your extended life span!
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Old 07-14-2008, 12:07 PM   #13
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You could be right....
I went to a doctor for a check up when I was 30 and she told me not to come back for ten years: "You're too healthy!!" I'm six years over due.
But I was in a car accident at 39 -- bounced back fine -- and saw docs then too.
My experience is problems go away if you give it time.
That's an impressive medical-avoidance syndrome you have going there. Not even the Seventh-Day Adventists or the Scientologists are performing at that level.

How do you handle the warning signs of cancer, the onset of conditions like arthritis or multiple sclerosis, or the symptoms of a stroke? Is it possible that you're focused on the relatives who lived into their 90s to the exclusion of those who died in their 40s? Do the problems go away because their bodies miraculously heal themselves or because they're dead? Will your future generations refer to the matriarchs who dropped dead well before their time?

My father got a similar "too healthy" assessment from a doctor and "never got around to seeing them" for another decade. What turned out to be an annoying patch of psoriasis was later diagnosed to be high sodium in his diet and high blood pressure. When the routine blood tests came back the doctor had to add high cholesterol and stage IV prostate cancer to the list. What could've been a simple series of treatments turned into life-threatening surgery and a whole panoply of scary guy side effects best summarized as "... but at least you're still alive!" So ironically his bad dietary habits saved his life.

I'm in the best shape of my life yet I didn't realize that I'd torn both ligaments in my knees. They didn't get better just because I lectured them, but the medical education & monitoring from healing experience has kept me from doing further damage. The example set by my father is also inspiring me to have annual prostate checks and to use the medical expertise to monitor my health, not to aggravate it. I'm also inspired by the fact that I have a spouse and a kid whom I'd like to be around for a while, even if it's just for further aggravation.

What did the car mechanic say in the old commercial? "You can pay me now... or pay me later!"

REW's being far more tactful than usual. To put it in a very blunt and impolite manner: Grow up and get over yourself. Go see a doctor before a treatable condition turns into pain control & hospice.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go yell at my father some more. He and his doctor are still trying to figure out the right combination of blood-pressure medications and Dad's just not what you might describe as an enthusiastic participant. He's only 74 years old but he's going to have a tough time making it to his father's 97-year mark.
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:09 PM   #14
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"How do you handle the warning signs of cancer, the onset of conditions like arthritis or multiple sclerosis, or the symptoms of a stroke? Is it possible that you're focused on the relatives who lived into their 90s to the exclusion of those who died in their 40s? Do the problems go away because their bodies miraculously heal themselves or because they're dead?"

Don't get me started. See, there's no cancer in my family, no heart attacks or heart disease, no multiple sclerosis, no debilitating arthritis, nothing but Mom's shingles, and strokes in the 90's. A young nephew has asthma.

All of my immediate family is still alive and well, except for the grandparents who died very late in life. (My grandfather lived to 102.) My parent's siblings' spouses have all died (60's and 70's). My parent's siblings are alive and very healthy (now 70's and 80's).

Everybody I'm related to dies later in life, healthy for nearly the whole way.

I understand exceptions, and I could very well be an exception. But I always figured it would be another car accident.

I'm a little curious now, which is a good thing!!

kate
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:12 PM   #15
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Kat,

If you can't stand being fussed over, find a doc who doesn't do that. I've got one who gives it to me straight, doesn't patronize me, and respects my choices about my body. We're a team.

I suspect that part of why our partnership works so well is that she trusts me to bring things that don't seem right to her attention, and I trust her to give me sound, practical medically-based advice. I also like who she is as a person; that helps.

So, spend some time looking around for a doc who will meet your needs, both emotional and physical. It'll be worth it in your extended life span!
I appreciate you sharing this. It helps me grasp it better. Thanks.

And thanks everyone else, for the perspectives you offered. Definitely "white coat syndrome", but also simply lack of useful experience.

Kate
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:50 PM   #16
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What Nords and others have said, only I'm not going to be as nice. 46 or 48 was the last time I felt young and invincible. Frankly, if you are not seeing an OB-GYN regularly, you may be a menace to potential or current lovers. You present sleeping well as a positive sign--let me remind you that fatigue is sometimes the only symptom a women gets of an impending heart attack. I can tell you from personal experience that I slept extremely well with a 90% blockage to the LAD artery. I bring this up because I recently lost a 52-year-old female cousin to a heart attack.

I don't expect an MD to treat me well emotionally, I ought to get that somewhere else, I want the medical profession to do for me what it did yesterday (yes, yesterday). A doc at the urgent care clinic told me, no, I didn't pull a muscle, I have arthritis of the pelvic bone. My life is different than it was, say, Friday afternoon, but I'm dealing with it at the earliest possible time.

So if you must be unconscious to go see a doc., knock yourself out!
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Old 07-14-2008, 04:20 PM   #17
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If you can't stand being fussed over, find a doc who doesn't do that. I've got one who gives it to me straight, doesn't patronize me, and respects my choices about my body. We're a team.

I suspect that part of why our partnership works so well is that she trusts me to bring things that don't seem right to her attention, and I trust her to give me sound, practical medically-based advice. I also like who she is as a person; that helps.

So, spend some time looking around for a doc who will meet your needs, both emotional and physical. It'll be worth it in your extended life span!
That describes my situation to a "T". My family doctor while I was growing up was an obnoxious drunken sot who was suffering from hangovers every time I had to go see him. So at the point that it became 'my' decision, and not my parent's decision, what doctor to see, I found one that is very congenial and friendly, and yet very frank and to the point. I very literally trust him with my life. I haven't really gone to him as much as I should have over the years, but have been very fortunate lucky to be as healthy (or as alive) as I am.

I went to an oral surgeon earlier this year, and he told me to go see my doctor because my blood pressure was much to high (178/94).... I told him it was probably just 'white-coat syndrome'....he disagreed. A week later (on a Friday) when I went back to the OS for follow up on the tooth removed, he checked BP again and it was higher (184/114). I went to my doctor the following Monday morning......BP 179/96. He gave me a script for pills....one each evening before bedtime. One week later my BP was 123/68.....a week after that 124/70. I've been back regularly since then, and BP is holding steady where it should be.

I've only had 1 relative suffer a heart attack, and only 1 other suffer a stroke, both of which were fatal. So "those things don't run in my family"......sounds good, but doesn't really mean sh*t much. I was a heart attack waiting to happen, but never even knew it, because I felt fine. Big frigging deal!

The only down-side of me seeing my Doc, is that he also did blood work on me. Everything came back super! Well, except fats.......they came back slightly high, but not a lot. So he has convinced me to cut back on (not cut out) fried food, cheese, and greasy & fatty stuff.....and that sort of thing. I don't like it, but I do it 'cause I feel like trying to live a few more years. I don't want them to write on my tombstone "He Felt Fine.....Then He Died"

I didn't know that I had high blood pressure, because I didn't feel like it. Now my BP is normal, but I can't tell it because I don't feel any different than before. But the proof is in the pudding numbers....they don't lie! Went from 184/114, to ~124/70 in short order with just 1 pill per day. I went in this morning and it was still normal. I go back in 4 weeks...WE (me & Doc) are keeping our eyes on it for a while to make sure everything stays normal. After that it'll probably be every 4-6 months. I still don't have a great 'liking' for doctors (no offense Rich), but this guy is pretty darn OK in my book! BTW, I told him this morning that we were planning on going out for fried chicken this Wednesday night, and he said that would be OK.

Bottom-line: Go see a doctor.....'cause what ya don't see, feel, or know about can still kill ya......and dying ain't no way to live your life!
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Old 07-14-2008, 04:52 PM   #18
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"Bottom-line: Go see a doctor.....'cause what ya don't see, feel, or know about can still kill ya......and dying ain't no way to live your life! " __________________

I heard the message loud and clear today. (Wasn't going to hear it from my family!)

By the way, I have low blood pressure; seems to run in my people. Last two times I got fats, triglycerides, etc tested I was low normal (without trying). Inherited it. But to be honest, most of us have bad teeth. (I was 9 years old when my dentist said "I have bad news for you and I have bad news for you. Which do you want first? .... You have your mother's teeth and your father's gums.")

I'm glad I got curious. I'd just like to know what's happening.
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Old 07-14-2008, 05:13 PM   #19
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I'm a recovering hypochondriac, meaning I used to go to the doctor for every little twinge, so now I try to err towards the other side.

My doctor gives me his full attention. He seems generally interested, and never makes me feel that he is rushed. However, I just have the feeling that he's not very good. I have 4-5 instances in which he was wrong about something.

For example, he thought my surfer's ear was some kind of a tumor. Then, years later, doing a routine exam he checked the ear but didn't notice it.

I don't have confidence in him, but don't want to go through the process of switching to a new doc.
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Old 07-14-2008, 05:38 PM   #20
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My husband had incredible longevity in his family . His Dad died at 96 with a 69 year old girlfriend . All his relatives were well over eighty . So imagine the surprize when he died at 60 . Longevity is not a promise !
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