28 April 2005

The Annual Visit to the Doctor

So once a year I go to my Doctor for a physical, because she won't renew my Triphasil prescription if I don't. Actually, I had a bunch of other things to ask her, and Mum made me make a list so I wouldn't forget anything important.

Item 1: Repetetive stress injury. I told her about my wrist/hand getting sore when I write a lot, which I've always figured was tendonitis. I showed her the lumpy bit on my right wrist and she said "Oh, you've got a ganglion." It's something that can be treated if I want, or not, since it doesn't bother me except when the tendonitis (which is, indeed, what I have) flares up. Otherwise, she said I must be as ergonomic as possible, and switch to keyboarding instead of handwriting as much as possible, since it doesn't bother be nearly as much. So my writing notebook must now be only for notes, and all my stories must be composed on the word processor. I've never noticed much difference between the things I write on the computer and the things I write longhand (except longhand gets edited as I type it onto the computer). It's annoying, but not a big deal.

Item 2: Excessive daytime sleepiness. Yes, that's a medical term--EDS for short. I've got it bigtime, and it's starting to affect my ability to get things done. I had assorted bloodtests done last year, which came back normal. This time, I suggested a sleep disorder. My doctor didn't think it very likely; it's usually obese people who snore who get sleeping disorders, she said. I have read quite a bit about sleep and the lack thereof, since I've been sleepy for a long time (though it's only been this bad for a few months--gradually getting worse since I last saw my doctor), and there certainly are sleep disorders that are usually only found in obese snorers, but there are others that have nothing to do with breathing. Like narcolepsy. Anyway, more blood was drawn for more tests, and my doctor said to avoid caffeine after noon (I'd been avoiding it after 8pm, and since I turn out the lights at midnight, I thought that was a pretty good margin). Also, she prescribed a minimum of an hour of exercise 3 or 4 times a week. I'm too sedentary. I knew I needed to exercise more, but I didn't think it would help the sleepiness much (and you try exercising when you feel like you're going to fall asleep standing up). Anyway, I shall be a good girl and do as she says and see if it helps. If I don't notice a difference in a month or two, I'm go to go against character and make another doctor's appointment, and ask her if maybe she could send me to the sleep laboratory at the Jubilee Hospital. If nothing else, it would rule out sleeping disorders.

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