Me and the Doctor

November 16, 2012

Day 15 of the Movember Moustache:


I imagine a visit with a new doctor is a lot like being a woman on a blind date. You make sure you take a shower and brush your teeth before going out. You’re a little nervous, not knowing what to expect. You wonder what he’s going to think of your body. Will he be critical of what you eat? Are you telling him too much or not enough? Where is he touching you and why?

Today I got through these first date jitters with Dr. Nickolas Lin, who is now my official physician. Save for a broken wrist, I haven’t seen a doctor for about fifteen years. I really haven’t felt the need to as I’ve been in pretty good health. Over the years, one or two things will come up that I need to get checked, but don’t because those things have been minor and aren’t worth the time and money to look into. Suddenly I’m 37 and those one or two things have added up to a list that should no longer be ignored.

We talked about three things more than anything else: my cholesterol, my psoriasis, and concerns over an aortic aneurism.

Cholesterol: I’ve written about this in a previous post. He wasn’t as concerned as I was. A total cholesterol of 204 is still considered on the border and we don’t do anything for borderlines. The LDL of 147 was far enough away from the border to be concerned about, but not far enough away to start medicating. That won’t be an option till it’s over 160. Dr. Lin thought I could continue to work on resolving the cholesterol issues through diet before going into pharmaceuticals. That’s what I like to hear, a doctor who’s not too quick to write out a scrip.

Psoriasis: I, too, suffer the scourge of psoriasis. I get a little on my face, around my nose, eyebrows and hairline, small patches on my elbows and knees, and a big ugly patch on my right shin about the size of two hands. The patch on my leg has steadily gotten larger while the other areas have either remained the same or gone away (thank goodness). We talked about my aversion to drugs and the steroids contained in psoriasis medications and he prescribed a low dose topical cream that I’ll use to reign in my plaques and then only use as needed after that. No long term steroids and it was much cheaper than other meds I had tried before. That’s good news as well.

Aortic Aneurism: My dad was diagnosed with one of these about five years ago. He’s doing well with it and it’s not large enough to have surgery to correct it. He was told it could be hereditary and that his children, of which I am one, need to be checked as well. Dr. Lin heard me out and reassured me that of all the risk factors associated with an A.A, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heredity, I fell into a low risk category. These things take time to develop and, after listening to my heart, felt we wouldn’t worry about it till I was older. Then we’d get an ultrasound done. No unnecessary testing. Good news, three times in a row.

With that and a few other niceties, my blind date was over. All my worries and those of my family being allayed, he walked me to the door and we said goodbye with a (manly) handshake. We’ll do this again. I made a date… err… appointment to see him again next year.

My Movember Mospace