Thursday, July 19, 2018

Health Update

Health Update - Self-Diagnosis
Self-Diagnosis Can Be Scary
I can't believe that it's been an entire month since I posted here! I have no excuses, just life. Still, for those of you who do follow along at home and for my own sanity, I wanted to post an update.

Last week, I went and had my yearly blood work done. Well, I went, they stabbed me and took 3 vials of blood and then I went and had my tattoo worked on while they worked on my blood.

Today, I saw that the lab results were up on my patient portal and being one who doesn't like to be surprised at the doctor's office, I took a look. Really, I'm not sure if this is a good habit or a bad habit. After all, with me, something is always wrong with the results. Usually, it's my cholesterol. It's something that I've had a problem with since I was in my 20s.

Today? There was a whole slew of things and, of course, I had to go look them up to see what they mean. Since I figure no one should ever freak out alone, I'm going to break them down for you and tell you the worst possible meaning...Ready?

CBC Test

Gran # - 9.4 (normal: 2.0-8.1)
Red Cell Distribution Width - 14.4 (normal:11.5-14)

White Blood Count - 13.9 (normal: 4.8-10.8)

  • Gran # stands for granulocytes. According to one website, "Granulocytosis occurs when there are too many granulocytes in the blood. It’s a condition that’s closely related to chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) and other bone marrow disorders.

Granulocytes are white blood cells that have small granules or particles. These granules contain numerous proteins that are responsible for helping the immune system fight off viruses and bacteria. Neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils are three types of granulocytes."

Leukemia and one marrow disorders, you say? Oh well now...that's nothing to panic over.

  • Red Cell Distribution Width ...I didn't even know that this was thing until today. Of course, research was needed and I found this gem:

"High RDW and normal MCV. This suggests a deficiency of iron, B-12, or folate. It may also indicate chronic liver disease."

Woot! Leukemia and chronic liver disease! I'm on a roll here!

  • Of course, we know that a high WBC means most likely there's an infection of some sort...I'd say that leukemia and chronic liver disease may fall under this....

In all seriousness, if I didn't know that it's most likely my Glucose levels being borderline diabetic causing not only these but my Albumin and Globulin levels to be off, I'd probably be completely panicking by now. Granted, the WBC does throw me a bit, but I suspect that it's nothing more serious than the ongoing allergy issues that I have every summer. 

So, odds are that I don't have a) liver failure b) leukemia or the popular WebMD conclusion c) cancer.

Instead, what I have is a body that is screaming out for healthier foods, more water and some exercise. On some levels, that's almost as scary to me because it seems like this huge thing...I mean, realistically, I need to lose around 150 pounds and I no desire or ability to go through surgery to do so. 

My insurance won't cover anything like a nutritionist or a gym membership. So, this is all me. I have to do this. If someone is going to save me, it has to be me. No pressure, right? Okay, only all the pressure. Yep...all the pressure and I'm feeling it tonight. 

So, what's a girl to do who is freaking out a tiny bit and working their way into a panic attack? She takes a few deep breathes and then together with all of you, she starts making a plan....

I'd already started making a few baby steps towards this.  I've stopped buying any chips or cookies. I haven't really bought any soda, either. There are all three in the house (well, maybe not on the cookies. I'm not actually sure) and I'm not just going to pitch them into the trash. I will be rationing them, however. I actually haven't had any soda in about a month. 

Does that mean I've switched to all water? No, I'm afraid that it doesn't. I've switched to pink lemonade and flavored bottled teas. Like I said, baby steps. From now on, I'm going to start filling my travel mug up with three mugs of water before I have anything else. I'm not cutting it out of my life, but I am cutting back on it. 

My kitchen is an utter tip so I need to work on getting that back into a functioning space. I've already started slowly emptying the fridge of anything that nobody is ever going to eat. This should make room for healthier choices and things that I actually want to eat. 

Meal planning is going to be a big one. I recently added a meal playing layout to my bullet journal so that will help, I think. If I can plan ahead, it will mean less frozen dinners tossed into the microwave. I really need to get away from the processed foods that have been my life since my last major bout of depression.

Bullet Journal Meal Plan Layout - Katrina Roets
My Weekly Meal Plan Layout

I think one last thing to kick this off. I already have a habit tracker in my bullet journal for each month, but I think I'm going to create a second one. It's going to be completely dedicated towards getting physically healthier. I'll move my water, no soda and no candy ones to it and also add things like : ate three meals today, tracked my calories today, etc. to it. It will make my other one smaller but that's okay. I need to have a place where this is all right in front of me.

Let's summarize my current 4 step plan towards baby stepping to being healthier:
  1. More water, less sugared drinks.
  2. Sorting out the kitchen.
  3. Meal planning.
  4. Healthy Habits tracker for my bullet journal.
That really doesn't seem like much but I also know that I can't overwhelm myself or none of those numbers above will get any better. 

Now, if you've read this far, you're a total superhero. Please feel free to reach out to me with your stories or your encouragement. I'm so thankful for every single person that takes the time to read here. 



I would add one more item. Use some sort of activity tracker. I use Google Fit. If you can keep your phone on your person nearly all the time then you will get recognized for all your work you are doing just by going about your day. And that can be very encouraging and self motivating.



That's a great idea! I actually have a fit bit that I try to wear. It's actually on my habit tracker. I've had some problems with sweat getting trapped under the band and it messing with my skin so I've had it off for a few days. I'm going to be cleaning the straps to see if that helps. It's only really a problem in the summer. I'll add that to my to do list for sure.

Richard H. Black

I would like to say that this blog really convinced me to do it! Thanks, very good post. phenq review

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