Thursday, October 15, 2009

One Year Check-up

I had mine with Dr. Awesome today. It's actually been almost 13 months, but close enough.

We mostly went over my labs as I really didn't have any questions or concerns for a change. Short report: My labs are mostly good except for my protein levels. We talked a LOT about that.

But first, the details:

-Platelets and blood counts are good.

-Potassium, which has been low in the past, is trending up

-Glucose is trending down. This is good.

-My lipid panel is excellent. Overall cholesterol is up a bit, but:
--Triglycerides cut in half
--Good cholesterol is up and now in the healthy range after being too low pre-op
--Bad cholesterol is down. It was good before, but now it's even better

-PTH, Vitamin D and Calcium are all good. Serum calcium has been low in the past but now it's right in the middle of the range. PTH is at the low end, trending slightly down. Vitamin D is at the upper end, but not so high that there is no room for improvement. Now that winter is here, I'm going to start taking my 50,000 IUs every week instead of every other week

-B12 is trending up

-B6 is high, but that's okay

-Iron is trending up (it's three times higher than in December)

-Ferritin is okay

-Thyroid and liver functions are good too

I was kind of hoping that most of my values would be on the high end so that I could stop taking so many vitamins, but that is not to be. The labs show that what I am taking is working, but don't show that I'm taking too much of anything.

Now, for the protein... it's been low since I gave blood back in 2008 at seven weeks out. My albumin is within normal range, but is also on the low side. Therefore, I need to work on this.

I pointed out that I average 125-135 g of protein a day. Dr. Awesome countered that I also exercise like a fiend and that, while this is a lot for some people, my labs show it's not enough for me.

So we talked about how to get more in. He suggested another protein shake. He's also unhappy that I'm eating so many protein bars. Actually, I'm not happy about it either. They are easy, but they give me gas and they aren't necessarily made from high quality ingredients. Plus, they are boring to be eating 2-3x a day.

This led Dr. Awesome to speculate that maybe it's not the quantity of protein that's a problem, but the quality. Yes, the bars are made from whey (mostly), but they are processed out the ying-yang and that processing could be breaking down the protein, making it less useable.

So he wants me to:

-spread my protein out more throughout the day

-use shakes and natural foods as my primary sources of protein

-possibly have a second lunch in the afternoon rather than a light snack or a protein bar as I had been doing (actually, that one was my idea, but he liked it)

I do get most of my protein in my breakfast shake (when I have one and don't grab a bar on the way out the door) and in the evening. So spreading it out should probably help. I've actually been trying to do that forever. I guess I'll have to stop trying and start doing. (To quote Yoda.)

I also tend to go for a light snack in the afternoon and it rarely holds me. So then I'm raiding my supply closet for something to supplement and it's usually a bar. When I get home, dinner is often over and it's often something like pizza. So I grab a bar instead. That means most days I'm having 2-3 bars a day.

That's just way too many bars. They should be an occasional thing, not an every day thing and definitely not a several times a day thing.

So I need to work on this. I also need to go back to finding a way to make my own bars so I can control the ingredients. I had tried that for a while, then given up. Time to get back on the baking horse, I'm thinking.

Other than the protein issue, I'm good to go. I'm to go back in February, which is four months from now.

Oh and our NUT is talking about doing triathlons! She did a marathon (impressive) and now she says she's hooked and wants to add biking and running. I'm going to send her some links to get started. I have a passion for recruiting women into the sport of triathlon so you can imagine how excited I am right now.
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