About a year ago I went to my doctor’s office to get a checkup. It wasn’t necessarily TIME for my checkup, but I needed a medical professional to tell me if a) I was going through perimenopause or b) I was going insane.
There were, of course, other options as well — both of those conditions could have been true at the same time … or I could have had a thyroid condition. Based on the conversation with the lady RN and a follow-up blood test, she narrowed it down to perimenopause. But she also recommended that I might want to see a therapist to help me deal with some “unresolved issues.” That would be because I started crying during our conversation.
In my defense, part of the reason I went in for the checkup was because I was crying ALL THE FRIGGING TIME. I mean, yes, I would cry over normal things like normal people but I would also cry over nothing. It was getting so bad that if my boyfriend came home from work and saw me sitting at my desk with tears streaming down my face he wouldn’t even ask me what was wrong anymore. Because it was happening that often. And ALSO in my defense, this particular lady RN has a very nurturing bedside manner. So when I would tell her about something that had been troubling me she would put her hand on my knee or my shoulder, look deeply into my eyes, and say, “Oh, you poor thing!” and in my delicate and fragile state that was more than enough to set me off.
So this year when I needed to go back for another checkup — mostly to get my Flonase prescription refilled and to get a referral for the eye doctor — I went to my primary care guy instead. Because now at least I KNOW what I’m experiencing, even though I’ve moved on from the “bursting into tears every five minutes” stage. And this guy has a very brusque but professional manner; he’s very informative, but has never EVER said, “Oh, you poor thing!” to me. Plus, we weren’t going to have the super-awkward, “So, how’s the therapy going?” conversation.
So I did get confirmation of the ONLY positive side effect of my body’s transformation of the last year — I’ve lost 20 pounds! Woo-Hoo!!!!!! But I also learned that I have borderline high blood pressure, which is less wonderful news. And when the doctor asked me about my salt intake, I got to thinking … well, let’s just say that I have a less-than healthy relationship with salt. And let’s just say that at certain times of the month I crave salty foods with an irrational level of desire.
Of course, the problem NOW is that the whole “certain times of the month” thing is out of whack. Because now I never know if my cravings that used to kick in on a 28-day cycle will be two months apart … or three months apart … or three WEEKS apart … And I’m starting to think that my salt cravings might be kicking into overdrive. And if I can’t get to a bag of Doritos in time?
Things can get very ugly, indeed.
So that was my doctor’s main concern. He said I should cut down on my salt intake and exercise more, which were two things I was NOT delighted to hear. After I left the doctor’s office I went to console myself with a slice of pizza … and then I took the long way home by walking 20 blocks to the subway station.
Well, this WILL motivate me to get my exercise videos out of storage and start using them again. Because now that we have a larger apartment I actually have floor space where I can exercise. AND, I told my boyfriend that we need to move “getting a new cat” further up on our triage list. Because having a cat to pet and snuggle could make both of us happier AND lower my blood pressure!