I saw my primary care doctor recently for an infection I had. I have a tendency to get this type of infection. She looked at my lab work and we talked for a bit. I've previously been anemic (usually during a pregnancy), I've had thinning hair since my last baby was born, an my cheeks are redder than usual (I had an aesthetician tell me she thought it looked like early rosacea, though it admittedly looks a bit butterfly shaped). There are 11 diagnosis criteria for Lupus, and you must have four of them to be considered as having Lupus. These things plus my reoccurring infections and family history, she decided to check my ANA levels.
This week I got a phone message asking me to call back at my earliest convenience and the hours they are in the office. This had me worried. I've given them permission to leave messages on my home phone. Usually when my blood work turns out okay, I get a message to that effect. I got the message after the office had closed, so I had several hours to ponder the "call us back at your earliest convenience."
The tone of the nurses voice, and the request to call back instead of leaving a "everything is fine" message had my husband and I checking out the Internet for things I might do with my diet and activities to support a healthy lifestyle with Lupus.
It turns out my tests were in the normal range.
I'm immensely relieved at this point. My family history is not the greatest, and I realize that even without a diagnosis, I need to take better care of myself, so I can take care of my family. I'm glad my doctor is thorough and careful and wants to make sure she knows exactly how my health is.
So today I will encourage all who come across this blog to take a look at your own health. Do you have baseline levels for cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure? If you are a woman do you do your breast self-exam each month? Do you get your yearly mammogram? Are you getting regular exercise? (I've recently let my exercise regimen slip and I'm feeling it). Do you eat healthy (and preferably non-starchy) vegetables? Do you get adequate sleep?
I admittedly fall short in some of these areas, but I do already have my mammogram scheduled in the coming months. Let's start our New Year's Resolution now and try and be a bit healthier through the holidays.