Work is my daily obsession. And not any particular aspect of it. Just all of it. From typing out invoices on the laptop and exporting them as PDFs in Adobe InDesign to figuring out how I’m going to courier a physical copy to a client who is still living in the last century asking for paper copies. From emailing my Credit Card and Bank statements to my chartered accountant to figuring out what to say to a prospective client with a budget that’s 1/100th my asking price. From writing blog posts to figuring out how I’m going to promote them across various social media channels so that I don’t have to spend money on advertising on Google AdWords or Facebook. From gnashing my teeth over who the latest Instagram star is to figuring out if there’s anything non-creepy I can do with my Instagram account to grow my following so that prospective clients can stop whining about how my 12 years in the industry don’t really add up to much when it comes to “numbers”.
I do everything.
There’s little, if any, time left for taking care of my physical self. My body is neglected. I know it. I feel guilty about it. I do nothing about it. Because there is no time. And intention isn’t nearly enough.
I don’t even spend enough time or money on getting yearly “check-ups”. I’ve never had a pap-smear done – I don’t even know what it is. I’m 36 years old and I have begun to feel the age in my bones.
Not being obese isn’t a good-enough excuse anymore. I see my parents and they complain about how they didn’t take care of themselves when they were younger and they are suffering now because of that callousness. Youth had made them believe that they were indestructible. If they knew that they were indeed destructible, they had had no time or resources to do anything about it.
In deciding to do something about it, I’ve started taking regular supplements. Yes. I have never had a supplement routine so far. Now I do. I can’t even create a habit to pop pills! Now, I take two capsules of multi-vitamins ( with iron ) each night, along with fish oil supplements ( to help with general inflammation in the body and to lubricate my joints ). I also pop two tablets of calcium + magnesium + zinc, after breakfast, alongwith one capsule of Natural Desiccated Thyroid ( bovine source ), which doesn’t seem to do anything but now that I purchased that bottle of 60 pills for more than rupees two thousand, I have to, at the very least finish that goddamn thing.
I’ve always had “issues” with my thyroid. Hypothyroidism. Someone even suggested it might be Hashimoto’s. I have no idea about the technicalities except that every doctor I’ve met ( maybe two in total ) has suggested synthetic thyroid and while I’ve never been on synthetic thyroid medication, I seem to be opposed to it. I have tried homeopathic thyroid medication and I don’t think it did anything. ( Yes, I indulge in Homeopathy – you’re allowed to judge – I’m allowed to eat whatever I want thank you very much. )
Because of the Hypothyroidism, my LDL cholesterol also always seems to be on the higher side. Having never tracked it diligently, I don’t know how much the values have varied over the years. Same of tracking levels of my T3, T4 and TSH. My levels of Vitamin D and B-12 were great, as was my hemoglobin. Fewer things to worry about.
Till my twenties, I used to be deficient in iron too, with a dangerously low hemoglobin count. And I had juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, which was discovered in my late teens and I was medicated with steroids for almost 8 years and am rid of it. The family side of thing sis fairly simple – a bit of high blood pressure here and there and not much else.
The biggest factor that helped me get in sync with my body has been living with B for the last 7-8 years. He is so in sync with his that I started noticing mine. It’s no small feat to be able to notice what your body is telling you. It takes practice and I finally know when to expect PMS and my period and when to expect it to end and when I am gassy and when I am sluggish and the possible causes, etc. For all my life previously, I had no clue. I did not observe and I did not even have the inclination to do so.
Gynecologists are the bane of my existence. They are judging why I choose to have a tattoo but no children. Even after seven years of marriage. “Do you have trouble conceiving?” “Do you have any sex life?” So much so that because of this line of questioning, I haven’t seen a gynecologist in over 7 years. Some of the amazing people on Twitter had created this crowd-sourced list of gynecologists who are “cool” and don’t judge. This list has been around for YEARS. Every six months or so, I tell myself that I am going to look up the recommendations in my city and go to them. And then I don’t.
The last time I even had my blood-work done was in 2014. A long list of values from two vials of blood. I’d booked it through this service called Thyrocare. They come to your residence, collect blood, get the tests done and send you the results via a printed hard copy and also retain results on their website and send you an email with a PDF. It is cheaper than going to a hospital for sure but you don’t have the doctor consultation. A doctor can look at the values and diagnose you. Without the doctors, you can look at the values yourself and know whether your values are within the “normal” range or not. That’s it. Even that would be a nice-to-know at least once every six months. But I haven’t gotten around to doing those.
Considering that I have been taking my vitamins and fish oil regularly for almost a month now, I’m thinking I’m ready for some more discipline in my life. So, now, I’m planning to get my Thyroid tested every three months. I’m planning to get the full battery of tests done once every year. Thyrocare, now, also include about 8 physical tests, for which you have to visit their nearest local support clinic. A bunch of doctors see you ( including a gynecologist if you’re female – don’t go for a pap smear if you’re on your period ). I also had my first ever Treadmill Stress Test! It was intense. I didn’t have to run though. The air-conditioner was on full blast though and the room reeked of sweat.
The ultrasound on my pelvic area told the doctor that I don’t drink enough water. “After looking at your kidneys, you should be drinking about 5 liters every day other wise you WILL get stones.” Yikes. I barely get in about 1.5 liters each day – and that’s on a GOOD day.
The weighing scale at Express Clinic here in Sector 56 in Gurgaon showed me 3 kilograms heavier than my actual. ( You’re supposed to weigh yourself about once very 15 days on the same weighing scale, at about the same time of day, assuming you’re well-hydrated. )
I’m going to be seeing an endocrinologist. I would’ve loved to get some Armour Thyroid from the USA to figure out if it works for me, but that seems like it’s never going to happen because I’m told I will need an American doctor’s prescription and well…
After I have this gynecologists report, I’m going to be seeing one of the five recommended gynecologists in Gurgaon and will setup a relationship – see them once every 3-6 months and schedule a mammogram and other such scary things.
Thyrocare is quite convenient. I got 87 markers from the blood tests and 8 physical examinations. For the price of INR 7,000 only. And the blood was collected at my residence. The chap was an hour late and he reeked of sweat but he used hand sanitizer and was very polite. At the clinic for the physical exam, I had been told that I would need to take out two hours from my day, to which I had retorted with, “So, you mean four hours?”, to which they had responded with a, “Uh. Heh. Ok maybe 3 hours.” It took 3 hours and that too only after I constantly checked with the reception desk to give me a “slot”. Any slot. As long as I wasn’t sitting idle. A couple of doctors were late.
( If and when you register with Thyrocare, be prepared for an onslaught of spam SMSes and calls. Within 15 minutes of my having paid for the Thyrocare services online, I got a call from another similar service. Someone inside Thyrocare is selling the database and I don’t think Thryocare is even aware of this. )
I am also planning to start walking again – once this terribly hot summer is at an end. Although I’m pretty sure my brain will find an excuse to not go walking because “Hello! Monsoons! You’ll get wet and then what if you fall sick?!” But I have walked in the rain earlier and maybe this time, with little regard to the cartilage at my knee joint, I might actually start to run a bit too. I really need to. I know that if I don’t do it now, I WILL never do it going forward.
TSH 5.8 needs to dig in to a little more of the attention otherwise reserved for Work.
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