I saw this one coming a couple of years ago but remained in denial about the whole thing. Convinced that my superior body, determination to exercise and control my diet would overcome any and all attackers. Duh.
While out visiting garage sales last weekend we found a cool one at a newly opened church near home. Since we'd been wanting to check it out anyway this seemed the perfect opportunity. It's St. Basil the Great Antiochian Orthodox Church. A nice young man escorted me around the grounds and into the public portion of the church where he tried valiantly to answer my questions and palm me off on the church secretary who was giving the official tour. It didn't work, I liked getting his youthful interpretation of the church. He showed me to a table where they were doing free blood pressure and blood sugar checks.
Now I've known for years that I have high blood pressure. Anger really does corelate to BP and I was sure mad the first time I got it checked out. This particular test put me well into the safe range, almost a little too low actually. The finger poke gave a reading of 167 I think. I wasn't alarmed as I'd just come from a harvest festival where I'd eaten BBQ ribs, potato chips and diet coke. I figured it was in response to that.
Alice sat down and told me it had been almost 2 hours since we had eaten and she wanted her numbers too. Her BP was high although for her it was lower than it's been in a while. I don't remember those numbers cause the next ones shocked me. Her blood sugar was 255 which alarmed everyone. They gave us both FREE blood meter test things and told us to call our doctors. I needed to get my annual check up so called right away. Alice waited a few days thinking her's was a fluke too. Ultimately we both went to the lab and had the usual blood work up.
I learned how to do the test and Alice let's me poke her finger occasionally. We time it between meals and hers has remained over 200, even when she has slept all night with nothing to eat or drink. Mine returned to a safe 105.
Now here comes the freaky part. Today I get one of those automated phone calls from my insurance provider. Thinking it is a reminder I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow. I listen to the voice instructing me to answer a few questions. It quickly became obvious this was not the usual reminder. All of the questions were about diabetes and when had I last had a dilated eye exam, and a note about the dawn phenonomen. Doesn't take a genius to figure this one out. The results of my blood work are in. Bummer.
A bit later the phone rings when I can't answer it. There is a frantic sounding message from Alice's doctors office to call them immediately. Not a reminder about her appointment tomorrow, just a call us as soon as possible type thing. Bummer.
I hate to be a pessimist but this isn't looking good for either of us. At least she didn't get notified by an automated voice lecture. I will go in tomorrow and hear the news I already know is coming. So will she, unless she gets home from those blasted river boats in time to call.
I am hugely grateful to the Family Practice and Associates that offered the free test and the free meters and supplies. Despite this being remarkedly bad news it could have been a lot worse had they not made it available to us. How do you write a thank you note to someone who just slam dunked your life? One last time. Bummer.