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Medical meanderings

April 19th, 2018 at 05:02 pm

I got through the MRI. Not my favorite thing to do: it's so noisy and I had to lay perfectly still for over an hour. I think I was stressed, actually, and his injection was very painful.

On the up side, he asked me what kind of music I wanted to hear, something I don't think they did when I had my last MRI in 2005. Belatedly, I saw a sign on my way out that they also do aromatherapy, which would have been fun, but perhaps there was a charge for that.

Very glad I got this done for $75 with this particular plan I have. Hopefully I won't have to repeat it any time soon. I left with a CD in hand that I can bring when I return to the doctor's in June.

I also saw my PCP about the tick bite. My plan was to get a written prescription which I would fill and begin only if I get symptoms. I haven't yet. Maybe I'll get lucky and learn next week from the Health Dept. that the tick tested negative.

She said my blood pressure was great: 120/60.

My PCP said that after the one beautiful weather day we had last Saturday, there was a big uptick (no pun intended) of people coming in with tick bites. So I wasn't the first.

I noticed that in one of the two garage light fixtures my electrician installed recently, that one of them has collected a fair amount of rain water in the bottom. If it builds up, I imagine it could short out. The other fixture is bone dry. I called my electrician, but then worried he might charge me for coming over, so after talking to my dad, I decided to tell the electrician not to come because I feel I've been spending the big bucks left and right lately. I might try drilling a small hole in the bottom (plastic) to let the water drain out.

Electrician wrote back saying he wouldn't charge me and could be here over the weekend. (Relief) He's a good guy; I had a feeling he might say that, but I didn't want to count on it. Yay for me.

The cable company came by and removed an old cable wire that was hanging too low; I wanted it done before the mason arrives with some kind of heavy equipment that would get snagged under it. I haven't had cable in at least a decade and I don't know why when they came to disconnect it years ago that they didn't remove the wire then, but they didn't.

After the MRI, I really feel like doing something to baby myself, and I will, tomorrow, when I enjoy a free lunch and stops at Whole Foods (to use a $25 gift card earned from credit card rewards), Walmart (for pots) and maybe Aldi's for a few sale items (cantaloupes and mangoes).

I also want to pick up a glass vase at $1 store so I can bring in a bouquet of my own homegrown daffodils for my employer Tuesday. I have hundreds in bloom or near bloom and they are so cheerful to look at. She lost her mother this week and I can relate to everything she's been through.

The week after next I have a dentist appointment.

I've been thinking about what to do vis a vis a colonoscopy. I had one before and she removed 2 very small polyps. Now I'm due for another one but I've been reading and thinking a lot about how Americans are so over-treated with a lot of unnecessary tests and procedures. There's a lot in the press about how Americans pay more for healthcare, but actually don't have better health as a result. In Europe, colonoscopies are not so commonly done and their rate of colon cancer is no higher. I did the Colonguard fecal test last year and that certainly was easier. Plus I've gone vegan since that first colonoscopy and I do believe that makes me less likely to develop colon cancer.

I must say I have similar feelings about annual mammograms and annual dental x-rays. I've often caved into pressure from doctors to do those annual mammograms but again, there's a lot of debate about whether they really improve the odds of finding breast cancer. The dental x-rays are definitely not needed if you have an otherwise health dental picture and yet i always feel like i have to fight my dentist about this when I see him. I think they just want a return on their investment in a very expensive x-ray machine, to be honest.
At some point this year, I'd like to get a physical (solely for the bloodwork, which is always so interesting and informative to me) and a Shringix vaccine at Walgreens.

15 Responses to “Medical meanderings”

  1. Jenn Says:

    Wow - you and I have the same opinions on routine medical services. It seems ironic that we use radiation to screen for cancer. I was called back for a repeat mammo last time on the 3D machine at the local hospital. I've decided not to have mammograms any more. I'm going to try thermography this year and I'm curious to see my doctor's reaction.

    I'm considering backing off on dental x-rays too. Colonoscopies are just once a decade so I'm less concerned. But I have a while to think about it since my last one wasn't long ago.

    So nice of you to take flowers in to work!

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    You might want to research that Shingles vaccine. It's been known to cause eye problems and can even give you chickenpox or shingles. Here's article. Here is the vaccine [ulr=https://www.fda.gov/downl... Shingles is on the rise, primarily due to giving children the chicken pox vaccine. In the past, when those who had chicken pox, but they were exposed again naturally would get a boost naturally to their immune system. Natural immunity is far superior to any vaccine.

    I don't get mammograms due to radiation either. And my grandmother had breast cancer. Cancer is very likely due to nutritional deficiencies than hereditary, obviously there are some. People have reversed/healed their cancer with nutrition and alternative options. Traditional doctor's can only cut, burn, or add toxic chemicals to your body to treat. These are not for me.

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    You might want to research that Shingles vaccine. It's been known to cause eye problems and can even give you chickenpox or shingles. Here's article. Here is the vaccine insert. Shingles is on the rise, primarily due to giving children the chicken pox vaccine. In the past, when those who had chicken pox, but they were exposed again naturally would get a boost naturally to their immune system. Natural immunity is far superior to any vaccine.

    Reposted to edit links.

  4. PatientSaver Says:

    Jenn, if you lookup American Dental Assoc recommendations, they do say that otherwise healthy patients should not get "routine" annual x-rays, so I find that to be a pretty strong statement; when I mentioned that to my dentist when they were pushing me to get x-rays, i was met with momentary total silence.

  5. PatientSaver Says:

    Crediticardfree, that's for the older vaccine which was not nearly as effectiivve as Shingrix.

  6. PatientSaver Says:

    Here's one interesting article on the dental x-rays with a link to the ADA recommendation.
    https://nutritionfacts.org/2014/02/18/are-dental-x-rays-safe/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=are-dental-x-rays-safe&utm_source=NutritionFacts.org&utm_campaign=63eaeab74b-RSS_BLOG_DAILY&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_40f9e497d1-63eaeab74b-23353105

  7. creditcardfree Says:

    PS, what did Merck do to make the new one more effective and without eye side effects? As someone with an autoimmune disease it seems contraindicated to vaccinate. I've been researching and reading about vaccines for several years. The ingredients alone give me pause. No MRC-5 for me on moral grounds.. Ingredient list. It's your choice obviously, I only commented to bring a little awareness to some risks.

    Thanks for the article on dental x-rays. I let them do these last time, but I'm thinking what is the point unless I'm having a problem? I think because insurance will pay once a year, they figure might as well give once a year. I think I will stop unless I have issues that need a deeper look. Dentists and doctors are not used to the patients standing up for their care, thus they don't know what to say when we greet them with information and knowledge.

  8. PatientSaver Says:

    Creditcardfree, the new, superior vaccine is made by GlaxoSmmithKline, a totally different company...NOT Merck. Comparing apples to oranges. There is no evidence that Shingrix causes eye problems like Zostavax does.

  9. PatientSaver Says:

    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/cancer-spending-higher-in-u-s-than-in-europe-and-so-is-cancer-mortality/

    Why Americans spend more and die more from lung cancer

  10. PatientSaver Says:

    Headlines found after a brief search:

    Consumers Must Stop Insisting on Mammograms and Other Ineffective Cancer Tests, Scientific America, 2014

    H. Gilbert Welch, a professor of medicine at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and author of Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health (Beacon Press, 2011)

    Cancer Establishment Admits We’re Getting Overtested and Overtreated, Scientific American, 2013

    How Much Are We Over-Diagnosing Cancer?, Forbes, 2015

    The Global Problem With Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment, Time Mag, 2014

    Bottom line, we all need to be our own health advocates, listening to what our doc tells us but also doing our own due diligence, research and talking to our own families to determine the best approach. More and more I have a healthy dose of caution when dealing with the medical establishment.

  11. LuckyRobin Says:

    My dentist does x-rays every two years if we don't have signs of dental decay and/or cavities. I went for a mammogram at 40 and 45. My mother had breast cancer so they wanted me to start earlier than 50, but I just can't see getting one every year. Especially since most lumps are still found through good old fashioned manual exams that you give yourself every month.

  12. FrugalTexan75 Says:


    I get a lot of cavities, so I get the x rays each year.

  13. PatientSaver Says:

    LR, I also started mammograms at age 40; maybe that's one reason why I'm more reluctant to continue them.

    Actually, I've heard that by the time you find a lump thru a manual exam yourself, it's already much further advanced, stage-wise, than if you'd found it via mammo.

  14. rob62521 Says:

    You have accomplished a lot.

    DH wants to get that newer Shingles vaccine. I don't think Medicare covers it. Not sure if any health insurance covers it either. You might shop around at different pharmacies though. I just got the older Shingles vaccine and there was a few dollars difference at different pharmacies.

  15. PatientSaver Says:

    Rob, the shingles vaccine is considered preventive so insurance companies must cover it. I doublechecked with mine and it's covered.

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