Friday, August 3, 2012

I'm an unlikely candidate

Another curious road I am currently being shimmied down.

For the past couple years on my routine blood work there has been a test result causing concern. The test that determines my risk for cardiovascular disease has been, shall we say, through the roof. There are other factors that go into determining if there is reason for further testing. Activity level, age, how long I've been diabetic for, etc. Clearly I should fall into the "low risk" category. However, my cholesterol is also very high. I have statins, I just haven't started taking them yet. For a healthy, vegetarian, athletic young female you'd think it wouldn't be a problem. Again, I should have a much lower cholesterol given my factors.

Well guess what? I have high cholesterol and I'm at very high risk for heart disease.

How does this happen, I wonder. How long before it's time to investigate further? The time is now. And since everything else in my life seems to be going into the crapper (injured clavicle, sold house, financial hole, myriads of other personal problems) I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Earlier this week I went in for an Electrocardiogram, lung capacity test and an Echocardiogram (ultra sound of the heart). The next day I met with my cardiologist. Sitting in the waiting room and looking around me, I felt like I was in the wrong place. I thought, "What the hell am I doing here?". I'm a healthy active 32 year old woman in a cardiologists office having her heart examined. I'm a bit frustrated. Out of all the heart issue risk factors I have ONE.


Diabetes made me develop high cholesterol. The high cholesterol and the diabetes are risk factors for heart disease. Either way it all points back to the 'betes.

There is a risk of heart disease and heart attack in my genes but it is solely on the male side. But there is also nobody else in my family or even extended family as far back as we go that has had any type of diabetes either. In this life, I definitely got dealt the bad hand. I'm like an anomaly or something. You wouldn't guess to look at me and my body type while knowing my lifestyle and think, high cholesterol and heart disease.

Out of boredom I took a picture of myself thinking I may or may not put it in a blog post. I was thoroughly unimpressed, obviously.

My experience talking to the cardiologist was piss poor. First I waited in the office wearing a lovely front opening gown for something like 30 minutes. I struggled to stay awake. She walked in and right away gave me a cold shoulder. She didn't give me more than 3 minutes. I didn't get to ask ANY of my questions nor did I get results from my tests. She set me up for more tests instead. The only interesting thing she said was, "diabetics develop high cholesterol like crazy." Thanks, but I already knew that.

We were talking about something else when she said in passing, "diabetes have to exercise every day." special emphasis on "every day." And I said, "well not necessarily EVERY day." She then gave me one of those looks. You know, furrowed brow while looking down at me as if to say, "Uhm, YES you do because you have diabetes." I thought about retaliating for a minute before I realized it would get me no where. It didn't help that my cardiologist is a rather, how do we say nicely, rotund woman? Right, I HAVE to exercise every day but you, who is clearly overweight AND a cardiologist, don't necessarily have to. It made me feel very small and guilty for all of 30 seconds. I'm not sure whether you know or not, but I certainly don't take well to being told what to do.

She didn't let me talk or ask questions and before I knew it, she had zipped out faster than her little rotund body could take her. I'll give it to her, she sure leaves right quick. I swear there was a hidden moving floor or something. Thanks, for absolutely nothing.

What did I get from it? I really don't know. More tests later this month. (Then I have to wait 2 months for follow up). Thank goodness I have half a brain to continue on with life and not let this hold me back. If my heart suddenly explodes in the meantime, I'll deal with it.


  1. Ok first ((hugs)) and thinking of you. It's shitty. The whole diabetes risk factor thing, this is the crap I worry about for Justice,

    Second, I hate when the doctor needs the advice they are dishing out. Suck it lady,

  2. I'm not sure what mokeys are, but that's ridiculous.

    How frustrating! Obviously, she was one of those people that had the brains for medical school but not the bedside manner. Geesh.

  3. You know, in her book "exercise every day" means going for a walk after dinner...not racing a crit or running a half marathon or training to do those types of activities.

    You should ask for the results from your cholesterol test, though. What matters more than the numbers is the ratio of LDL and HDL, and the size of your cholesterol. The smaller the particles of LDL, the more easily they penetrate the arterial walls. If you have large particles, your risk of heart disease is a lot lower. Most people who eat well and exercise often have excess cholesterol produced by the body, and that's the big stuff, which is a lot less dangerous.

  4. UGH, that is sooooo frustrating! It is always more testing then follow up and another follow up and how about another test so we can follow up again with no answers or a little insight with the right direction to go. Thanks for the help Doc!! Maybe you can ask to see someone else?

  5. Lovely! Hate it when doctors act like their time is more important, they get to spew advice they don't have to take, look at the patient like they are to blame for their condition. Any chance there's another doc in the practice you can see next time?
    Wish I had some magical somethings to help...alas, I don't. ;)

  6. WHat a douche... She should be a greeter at Walmart, not a cardiologist...

  7. And this is the effing people we have running the system? Are you freaking kidding me? Again, left shaking my head in utter disgust! You deserve better!

  8. That really pisses me off when a doctor (of any kind) talks down at me, doesn't ask me if I have questions then runs out the door.

    The first Endo I unfortunately went to had decided by sight alone, I was Type 2 (I was a bit rotund myself). He quickly set me up with prescriptions and sent me out the door. When I returned, with a daily fasting bg of 300, I questioned him about whether I was Type 2 or Type 1.....he got very mad...pointed at his "Doctor of Endocrinology" certificate hanging on the wall and said "That's what makes me right!" I was so mad. btw....he was totally wrong!

    Just keep moving forward and don't let the douche get to you. You are a beast at exercising, she was just jealous!!! ;)

  9. oh scully =( this really sucks. and it's worse when the specialist is so high on herself that she really isn't giving the patient what they need. and not to be able to ask questions? that's absolutely ridiculous!! i would definately look into seeing another Cardiologist. don't let this bitch leave you hanging. get on it girl! you deserve the best!!

  10. Scully -
    First: HUGS!
    Second: That sucks
    Thirdly: Your Cardiologist is a totally bitch and she sucks, royally!
    Get your test results (paperwork) from her and find a new Cardiologist.
    You deserve to be treated with respect and obviously, that woman does not know the meaning of the word.
    A Dr. who doesn't allow their patient to talk, let alone ask questions doesn't deserve to have you as a patient!
    Kelly K

  11. Bummer about your doctor experience.

    I'll bring the defibrillator on our cycling trip next weekend.

  12. This whole "lowest common denominator" medical advice is driving me batshit crazy. I think this cardiologist went to the same med school as my "take less insulin to prevent lows" endocrinologist. They don't want to be bothered learning about the patient, they only want to dispense glib advice, collect money, and then go on to next one. You should have punched her in the throat when she gave you, of all people, instructions to exercise daily.

  13. That doctor obviously didn't take the time to know who she was talking to. What a biotch. Totally agree with what BeckyF said.


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