Thursday, January 15, 2015

Annual Check-up: I'm finally over the hill!

I had my annual physical yesterday and got all my lab work back. It's official: I'm in menopause!

Now don't hate me fellow older women who had horrible time in peri-menopause, but I barely noticed.

Part of that is that I have a Mirena IUD so no monthly events. But I do sometimes know I'm ovulating based on other symptoms and I had a sense up until this past year that I was ovulating at least a couple of times a year. Then this last year things got a bit weird and I had symptoms similar to that only whackier/more intense. And sometimes at night I'd wake up and feel hot or even a bit flushed and have to kick off my socks. I assume that was my version of hot flashes.

To give some context, I sleep under blankets and in flannel pjs even in the summer. So feeling hot and having kick of socks or unbutton a few buttons on my pjs is feeling majorly hot, for me.

Therefore, knowing my IUD was expiring this year, I figured I should get tested because no sense in replacing it if I am in menopause. And I am so it's getting taken out and that's one less thing to worry about. Yeah!

It also explains the small hair loss last year too. I was worried it was some sort of vitamin or mineral deficiencies, but the labs look good.

In fact my iron is a bit high again. My multi-vitamin doesn't have it but I take a separate iron supplement because I'd like my ferritin to get up in the triple digits. I could probably stop taking it but I like to give blood and my ferritin only goes up about 5-10 points a year, so I think I'll keep taking it for now. If my iron continues to shoot up, I can always stop then. My doctor isn't concerned so I won't be either.

My protein continues to be low. I guess this is my new normal because I've been in the 6.0 to 6.3 range for six years now and during that time I've eaten high protein and worked out intensely, eaten high protein and not worked out at all, eaten medium protein and not worked out at all, eaten medium protein and worked out moderately and everything in between. And no matter what I eat and how much I workout, the serum protein levels stay the same. But my albumin and pre-albumin levels (another way of measuring protein) are fine. And everything else that should be bad if my body was getting less protein than it needs are fine too.

So I guess I'm just a freak. Heh.

I haven't done measurements since the last time I had to order clothes online and I'm going to have to do that in the next month so I'll hold off. I'm still a size two for the most part. (I bought a bunch of new pants around Christmas time and they were all size two.) I am definitely at my "winter weight" right now though and probably the highest I've been not counting a few spikes due to post-concussion syndrome/medicine issues. This means DDD on top and a bit of a muffin top and jiggly things. But I also have killer calf muscles from working out and my collarbones are quite visible again and I can even feel my hip bones.

So in terms of the "volume I take up in space" it's about where I always am this time of year and I expect to slim down in my middle area as triathlon season kicks into high gear in the next few months, especially as I really dig into my Half Marathon training which starts up in two weeks.

The big area of improvement I can see is that I'm eating way too much sugar. It's not impacting my weight so much but I am having troubling blood sugar drops here and there and my A1c was higher than I'd have liked. I need to watch that. I know this and I've been saying this for months but not following through.

I just got into the habit of having a good bedtime routine -- brushing teeth, moisturizing, etc. -- so once that is really chiseled into stone, I'm going to work on the snacking on sugary stuff. The first step being to come up with some rules to follow. I am down to one ice cream treat a day from a high of 2-3 but that's still crazy. No one needs to eat a Hagen-daas bar every day. Not even Mr. Hagen and Mr. Daas. (Is there a Mr. Hagen or a Mr. Daas? If there is, I bet they don't eat their own product every day.)

So that's my six-years-out report. I've gotten off-cycle where my anniversary of my surgery is in September but my labs are in January dues to the vagaries of the insurance industry so that's why it's so much later than my "It's been six years!" post.
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