Monday, November 5, 2007

Choking on the silver lining

So, I debated blogging about this at all, and it is part of what kept me from blogging all weekend. On Thursday I went to the Dr. so she could take a look at my shins. I've suffered with shin splints pretty much constantly since about halfway through September. In the NOVA Marathon Challenge two of the runners had shin splints. They both got checked out. One runner was cleared to train with some modifications and the other runner had stress fractures and had to stop. It wasn't at all clear to me how their symptoms were different so it made me a little worried that I wasn't attending to my own pain as well as I should.

Turns out she doesn't think I have stress fractures. I need to ice more consistently, take anti inflammatories more consistently, do some special stretches and give myself breaks periodically. Up until that point it was a fun appointment. I was last there in August with lower back pain because my back was too weak to carry my freakishly proportioned torso. She prescribed physical therapy. I really had a hard time accepting that, at the age of 34, I needed to see a physical therapist for something that was not so much injury related as it was sitting on my ass for decades related. Shortly thereafter the bootcamp opportunity came up and I jumped on it. My Dr. was so excited that I had taken her advice several steps further. She was so complementary and seemed so genuinely happy for me. I almost got out scott free. And then, she glanced at my chart and remembered something else about my August appointment. My blood pressure had been high. Which is wierd because I have a family history of low blood pressure.

She checked it again and her face grew grave and concerned. Then she checked it again. Then she tried the other arm. Then she shook her head and looked worried. Then she sat down and apologized for having to tell me that, after almost 2 months of high intensity exercise and eating right my blood pressure was HIGHER than it was in August. She couldn't understand it. She stressed again that I was doing everything right and she wants me to continue. BUT, because I AM exercising regularly she couldn't let me leave without officially diagnosing me with hypertension and prescribing medication. So far I'm only on a diuretic. They did some bloodwork and I'll go back soon for additional testing.

I was really crushed by the diagnosis. And I know that there are MANY worse things I could have discovered at my Dr.'s office. And I know that MANY people successfully manage hypertension and live full lives and do great. But I also thought that I had gotten away with it. That I had been self-indulgent for all those years and escaped relatively unscathed. I had started turning things around just in time. Except I didn't. It caught up to me. I didn't start running soon enough.

The label on my medical records feels heavy. I'm dreading checking that box the next time I fill out a form that asks about health history. I'm scared of what else they may discover with the lab work.

If you have been watching my stats you'll see that I've lost a bit more weight. Most of it since Thursday when I started taking the diuretic. My body is shedding all of its excess water and I'm apparently getting lighter by the minute. So, I'll take that silver lining, it just doesn't taste as sweet as I thought it might.

1 comment:

j said...

I'm sorry Shannon, that sounds really frustrating. Hearing you're doing everything right but it's not doing what you need it to! Geez.