Friday, February 8, 2008

So, I think I've mentioned the cough I have...

I went to the doctor today. Had my blood taken yesterday (by a home visit tech!) and results were in today, saw the RMO (Regional Medical Doctor) who chastised me for not seeing a Dermatologist over the holiday then asked what my father's HDL cholesterol count was, before giving me a prescription for an inhaler.

It's Medical Clearance time for the whole family anyway, so doing the blood work now which the RMO requested back in November fit right into getting my clearance updated. Usually clearances are done at the end of every tour or typically every 2-3 years. Since we were in Togo for a year then came directly to India for 3 years, we get to do our clearances mid-cycle.
So the blood work came back, everything was pretty normal. I was especially curious about my thyroid since thyroid issues (both hypo- and hyper-) run in my family, but it too was normal. There were only a couple things exceding the norm. One was some test to check the inflammation risk of my arteries, somehow correlating to a higher risk of plaque deposits and future heart issues. The normal cut-off is less than or equal to 1.0. I "scored" a narrow 1.06, and the doc wasn't concerned about it. She's not concerned, I'm not concerned.
The only other thing high on my list was my cholesterol. It was 215 to be exact. I've had high cholesterol for years and years, this was no surprise. But get this, my HDL (the good stuff) was 80, where 60 and up is good. This is where she asked what my dad's HDL count was, because I already know my mom's got a hefty HDL count. Unfortunately my LDL was also high at something like 127, with medical preference being under 100. Her recommendation was 1000mg Omega-3 suppliments. That's easy enough to do.
So the RMO scanned my med clearance form and asked why I'd marked "chest pains/chest pressure." Well ok, the form asks for anything from the past 10 years. About 50 different things were listed. I got to mark off Tropical Disease for Jonathon (Dengue in 2006), a +TB skin test for Katherine (2004), intestinal/stomach disorders for all of us (noted Amoebiasis for Rebecca, also in 2004), eye trouble, ENT trouble (who doesn't sometime in 10 years??), etc etc etc. So yes, I checked chest pain because in the past 10 years there has been some. A couple times a year I pull a muscle somehow and feel like a rib is poking a lung. People look at me strange when I say that, and I realize that's not actually what it is, but that's how it feels. I don't have better words for it. But this time I added to my report this cough that took over on the flight from Chicago to Beijing and hasn't quit since. It's not a steady cough but one that builds up pressure and bursts into a coughing fit. When it gets really bad, it feels like someone is standing on my chest until the fit subsides. And it's not productive, just a dry hacking cough with no other symptoms. The doc listened and said there wasn't any wheezing but she was thinking an inflammation of some sort anyway. So, lucky me, I get to try an inhaler 2x a day for the next month.
So that's my update. How's your day?

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