Another health update

posted by Jeff | Sunday, July 12, 2020, 8:05 PM | comments: 0

In December, it felt like a good idea to write some things down about my doctor visit, to keep myself honest. Well, seven months passed, and... basically not much has changed.

But first, it's important to know that Orlando Health decided to let go of my trusted and amazing doctor, along with the other two doctors in the office. I found this out through a friend, and then weeks later they notified me by mail. There was no stated reason, and it's pretty weird to do that to what they advertised as the most highly rated doctors in the system. I'm sure they'll land somewhere locally eventually, but that's some bullshit to pull, especially in the middle of a pandemic.

I had what is my normal yearly check-up, and honestly there was little reason to go beyond getting a refill on the anxiety meds. I actually used them very infrequently, until about mid-March when life started to get extra weird, at which point I rationed it. I only had 15 doses, but there were some instances where I was feeling the physical manifestation of anxiety, crazy heart rate, short of breath, insomnia, and I decided to pass to save it for an instance of it being really bad. Lorazepam for me is like driving on the freeway, only the express lanes disappear and I'm insanely relaxed. Like anything that is prone to addiction, I'm hesitant to take it, but it works pretty well. I've been able to curb the anxiety though a number of activities, but sometimes stuff just adds up.

The other assignment I had was to lose weight, which would likely improve my slightly high cholesterol and blood pressure, but I knew that wasn't going to happen. I lost about 5 pounds, about a half-pound per week after my last visit, but when mid-March rolled around, I began eating my feelings and not moving around enough. The weight loss stopped. I did maintain, however, which I can attribute to a two things. I'm not going out to eat much (or get take-out, as it were), and I've transitioned mostly to drinking soda water instead of actual soda. I've easily cut 300 calories a day just with that choice.

The reality is that pandemic life isn't going to go away for at least another half-year. That means no theme parks, cruises, air travel, paries, etc., so I'm working on mentally preparing for what that's like. The world is settling into a rhythm for how to coexist with this disease, and it's not the worst thing in the world, but the number of people unwilling to play along is not helping us with that rhythm. Diana and Simon are high risk in terms of respiratory health, so we have to be a bit more careful than others, especially now that we're hitting almost daily infection records right here in our county (about 1.3% of the population has now had it).

So I've got the eating generally in a good place, but exercise is hard to commit to with the mental weight of parenting, work and the civil unrest that I feel obligated to help fix in whatever way that I can. I wish I would have figured out how to make fitness a part of my routine when I was a kid, because that's a hard habit to take on when you're an adult. It's not even an issue of how I look or feel, it's just the issue of getting the most out of the machine for another 40 to 50 years without it breaking down.

Hopefully I'll be able to see my favorite doctor in another six months.


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