Saturday, February 20, 2010

An Apple a Day...

Well, we didn't end up going to the doctor on Friday night to follow up from Thursday's visit. I got ready to go, had a quick apple, brushed my teeth, got all dressed up (e.g. jeans, polo shirt, socks and Birkenstocks instead of sweat pants, polo shirt and flip flops), but then Leena called to confirm and the doctor said he was involved in something urgent and would not be free for his regular office hours. We fixed up for 12:30pm this afternoon.

This morning I got up, but the power went out between greeting Leena "good morning" and going to get my breakfast coconut out of the fridge. I was afraid we'd end up being late because the power was out so long I didn't know if I'd get a shower or not.

In any case, I skipped the apple, and we got ready to go and Leena called the doctor who said "come on over" and we did.

There you have it, an apple a day keeps the doctor away!

Anyway, he checked my blood pressure and pronounced it "normal". He checked it four times and said it was normal every time, just a day and a half after it was so high he was concerned. We discussed my previous experience with American doctors always making sure my sleeves are rolled up compared with Indian doctors always measuring blood pressure over the top of my sleeves. He said it shouldn't make any difference at all in the readings.

Based on my blood pressure being normal today, when my headache was barely there, nowhere near as bad as it was on Thursday, just hardly noticeable, that my headaches probably aren't caused by high blood pressure, though they make my blood pressure go up, as evidenced. He mentioned "cluster headaches" but now that I'm looking at the Wikipedia article, that doesn't fit at all. He also mentioned migraines, which I've had for years, and what I've had the last three weeks are very, very different (and as I found out on Wednesday, not mutually exclusive, either, but I could tell the difference in the two simultaneous headaches).

He also noticed my squinting. I've done that since I was a little kid, with my father the first to notice it years ago. That's the lazy eye thing and I squint in my left eye to avoid seeing doubles. I told the doctor that and how I used to do exercises then wore glasses for a year in high school, at which time my frequent migraines started. But it must've been worse than normal if he noticed it today but never noticed it before.

He recommended that we go see a well-known neurophsyiologist (or neurophysician or whatever the proper title was) who has more of a specialty in headaches and nervous system issues. He said that while Leena's family has been pushing us to go right away, no delays, we should take time, prepare a history of my health so we go with all the facts that'll help him diagnose the problem better, not just show up with try to remember all the issues off hand and out of order.

Leena's family may not agree with that, "see him today" but it doesn't matter, that doctor is out of town for the weekend anyway.

As we were saying our good byes to the doctor the alert from his building's elevator made its high pitched screeching, that even through two closed doors made me cringe in pain, and he noticed that and said "if the noise does that, you must see the neurophysician".

So, we'll go later in the week.

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