Friday, February 19, 2010

18 Month Check-up

After staying up until 1:00 am printing out spreadsheets and lab results for my appointment this morning, I got up this morning and forgot to bring them!! Argh.

It was okay though. I called my daughter and she read me the important numbers. (Remember when cell phones didn't exist? what would we do without them now?)

Dr. Awesome wasn't upset that I was up a few pounds from our last appointment and said that, at this point, he considers my weight to be stable and going up or down a few pounds is nothing to stress over. We did talk about my lack of exercise due to the injury and how I did go up, but got control of myself and started eating less. He was happy I figured that out for myself. He was also happy to hear my "this is why I log my food" story. I told him to tell it to the next patient he has who is having trouble with a stall or weight gain. (Seriously. I want to tell EVERYONE.)
We talked about my protein levels and he said that, the important thing is my albumin. He said it's possible that I'm really low on protein and eating up my muscles, but that seems unlikely. (I agree. I have lots of muscles and I've recently gained muscle mass.)

So then it can be any number of things. Such as:
-maybe I'm just someone who registers low in protein (i.e., an anomaly)
-maybe my taking Prilosec is interfering with protein absorption (not enough stomach acid)
-maybe, um, something else I forgot

He suggested I try to get more protein from more easily absorbed sources such as skim or soy milk over, say, cheese. Ideally I should have an afternoon protein shake, but I don't really want to be bringing a blender to work and shakes without blended ice really don't cut it for me.

Speaking of Prilosec, I asked what are the downsides of taking it for the rest of my life. (I just feel better on it -- my stomach is less grumbly and I have less heartburn episodes.) He said pretty much nothing too horrible. I need to watch my calcium and protein and I might get gastric polyps (which are benign). He gave me some free samples too, which is good because I think I accidentally threw out a week's worth of the stuff the last time I did my weekly pills. He did suggest I might try something less potent. I think maybe I'll move to every other day as I've done that before and been fine. It's only when I try to go off that I get mild heartburn several days a week and feel hungrier.

He also said that my sodium being on the high side of normal and my CO2 being above the normal limit are both signs of mild dehydration. I have noticed that drinking "only" 64 oz. of fluid a day was not really enough and have been trying to do 80-100 oz. a day most days. All my systems seem to work better when I do. Plus aiming for 80 means I never go below 64 whereas aiming for 64 would find me only getting in 48 a few times a month.

He also said that you only really have to watch your sodium if you have impaired kidneys or high blood pressure. I've had high blood pressure in the past, so I think I'll keep watching my sodium, but I think I'll also try to be more relaxed about it. I really need to consume electrolytes when I do my long workouts and that's going to put me over my self-imposed 2000 mg a day limit.
Anyway, I'm going to try to eat less protein bars and more protein shakes and soy milk. (I can't drink skim -- it gives me stomach cramps.) And come back in the summer for my next appointment. That will get me to my close to my two year mark. Two years -- I can't believe it!
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