When the Doctor Says Sit Down…

one mom's mandated medical leave was for the bestBecause of my previous thyroid issues, every 6-8 weeks I have to do routine blood work. I’m used to both ends of the spectrum. Sometimes my doctor will send me a quick email that says, “The numbers look great, see you in three months!” (In the two years since my thyroidectomy, i’ve only had that happen once. Most of the time, the email reads, “Your numbers were a little low (or high) so we’ve changed your prescription.”

About three weeks ago, I needed to get a refill but the doctor recommended that I come in for an appointment first. This past spring, I had a super crazy sinus infection that somehow affected my eyesight for about a week. I was seeing double, y’all.So he wanted to follow up with me on my sinus issues and talk about my low vitamin d levels, which have been a problem for the past 6 months or so also.

So in a very happy-go-lucky routine trip to the doctor,  I was ready to skip away with my new prescription, a discussion about sinus infections and seasonal allergies, and a quick update on the kids and how they’ve grown. He’s our family doctor, and has been so for 10 years, so a question about the kids is normal.

But that’s not quite how it went.

When the nurse took my blood pressure, she said, “Hmmm….I think I need to take it again.” I took a deep breath but was still not too concerned. I always tend to be on the upper limit of the normal range.

She took it again and said, “Hmmm….a little bit better. Let’s see what he says.”

Uh oh. This didn’t sound good. Especially since her next sentence was, “Oh, he’s got a lot to talk to you about.”

“A lot? How are my thyroid levels?” After all, that was the main reason I was there.

“He’s probably going to change your medicine, but your blood tests show you have some other things going on too.”

“Other things?”

“Yes, many other things,”

And from there, my happy little appointment with my family doctor who I love went downhill.

So, without me turning this into a crazy medical post about all the things wrong with my body, I’ll share the highlights of that visit.

I left with seven new prescriptions, a strict vitamin regimen, and very clear instructions regarding my eating habits. I am also taking some time of work indefinitely and no longer drinking caffeine.

Dumbfounded did not even begin to explain how I felt. Especially since the last two things he said to me as the appointment ended were, “You’ve got to eliminate some stress from your life and you’ve got to do it now.”

“Ummm, hello family doctor who I used to love so much…I am a divorced mom of three. How am I supposed to eliminate stress?”

“Well lovely patient who I still love so much…you can’t eliminate the kids, but you can eliminate some other things. And maybe this time off work will help you figure out what needs to go and what needs to stay. And by the way, you’ve been a mom for 14 years and divorced for 7 years, your numbers have not been like this before.”

So, like any good (and scared) patient would do, I got the prescriptions filled and start googling blood levels and medicines and interactions. Y’all, I discovered something.

Some of this is a result of my thyroid disease. But the dreadful truth is that most of this could have been prevented. The stress plays a part, nutrition plays a part, sunlight plays a part. And the fact that it all snuck up on me in two months is even scarier.

And I’m now doing what I should have been doing all along — sitting down — at the house. For those of you who know me well or if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that August is probably one of the busiest months of the year at my full-time job. And I feel bad, because I have co-workers who I love and miss.

But the reality is, my body needed this. I’m also taking this time to rest (the meds make me sleepy), create fun end-of-summer memories with my kids, catching up with old friends over more than text messages, and reading. Which I’ve found in the past three weeks, is what really matters when it’s all said and done.

Thank you family doctor who I still love so much. You helped me see what really matters. Even if it is disguised in a low-carb lifestyle with no caffeine.

Has the doctor ever told you to sit down? Did you?

10 thoughts on “When the Doctor Says Sit Down…

  1. In 2013 I had to take 3 months off work for pretty much the same reason – stress. The doctor didn’t make the decision, I did. I got up one morning and called my therpist to keep from pulling my hair out. Stress shows up differently. For me, I didn’t sleep for a month, my heart was causing problems and I had to have a procedure on Christmas Eve. It took two months before I felt like I had caught up on my sleep. So, enjoy your time off and never forget about self-care. – LaLo

  2. Thanks LaLo! I think I slept non-stop for the first week, and the second week naps were still a regular part of my day. I still feel like I am trying to catch up on rest…the I’m not fighting it and I am resting. Thank you for sharing your story….it is very encouraging!

  3. My dear Toni. You keep on getting that Dr. ordered rest, the work world will still be here when you get back. I’ve been doing a “clean eating” diet off and on since the beginning of summer, and I’m amazed how good I feel when I stick to it. Check out J.J. Virgin’s “The Virgin Diet” or Haylie Pomroy’s “Fast Metabolism Diet” – I hate to say “diet” because it’s not really about weight loss, just going for getting the most nutrients you can squeeze out of your food. Both pretty much keep you away from dairy, eggs, soy, corn, wheat, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and peanuts. I Love me some almond milk now and brown rice pasta. Hang in there friend, and get well.

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