Tag Archives: medical stuff

More Potassium Stuff

End of July I had blood work done and it turned out I had high potassium. I was told to stop drinking my protein shake (I occasionally drink a Premier Protein, chocolate flavour) and the thought was it was probably high in potassium and may be the culprit. I doubted this as I rarely drink them, but nobody seemed to listen to me when I tried explaining how infrequently I drink them so I ended up nodding and agreeing to quitting the protein drink.

Last week I had another appointment for blood work – this was to see if the potassium level had gone down after being off the protein drink for a week.

The follow-up for this set of blood work was with my GP, not anybody from the eating disorder program. I don’t go see her often, I don’t get sick often, and I don’t care for doctors so I tend to avoid her. I have to tell her every time I see her that I am in the ED recovery program even though I’m sure it must be in the file she is reading because she skims, doesn’t read stuff, and has no idea what is going on with me.

Fine, whatever, I can deal with that.

Well today she takes a look at the most recent blood work report and says “your potassium is high”

I say “yeah I know, this is the follow-up to the first test that showed it is high”

Then she gets her panties in a twist because some other doctor is involved with sending me for blood work *rolls eyes*

She then decides that my potassium must be high because of something I am eating. If it was high because of other problems my other test results would be abnormal and they are all showing as fine.

Side note: the fact that all my other test results show things within my body are fine make me wonder if I don’t need treatment, since obviously I haven’t done damage to my body so I can’t be doing anything all that bad…right?

Anyways!

She then goes on to say I have to stop eating bananas, asparagus, and orange juice.

I told her I don’t eat, or drink, any of those things.

The convo went a bit like this..

Doc: “What do you mean you don’t drink orange juice?”

Me: “I don’t drink orange juice”, shrug, “I don’t drink any juice, too much sugar, it’s unhealthy.”

Doc: obviously not believing me “Everyone drinks juice. You don’t drink any juice?” looking at me like I’m going to change my story…

Me: “Nope, I don’t drink juice.”

Doc: “Well, hmm…you also need to stop eating bananas. And asparagus.”

Me: “I only eat asparagus once a month at most, and only in small amounts, but ok, I’ll stop. I don’t eat bananas, I stopped eating those months ago.”

Doc: “You don’t eat bananas?” gives me disbelieving look

Me: “Nope, haven’t eaten one in months.” (then I lied and said…) “It’s summer, I stopped eating bananas because I’m eating all the summer fruit.” I wave my hand around vaguely as if to indicate towards all the copious amounts of summer fruits around. When in reality I am not eating any of those either…too much sugar…

Doc: “hmm…” seems to possibly believe I might not be eating bananas because I am eating other fruits.

Doc: “Still! Your high potassium levels must be because of something you are ingesting, check everything you eat, read all nutritional labels, see how much potassium is in everything before you eat it. Don’t eat any processed foods, they are all high in potassium, and cut back on how much salt you use when cooking.”

Me: “I don’t use salt when cooking.”

Doc: “You don’t use salt, when cooking? Of course you do. There are two types on the store shelves, make sure to choose (insert specific type of sale here) instead of the other, this type is better for you. But still, don’t use too much of it, cut back, you’re using too much.”

Me: “I can’t cut back, I don’t use it. I don’t cook with it, I don’t season with it. I haven’t bough salt in years.”

Doc: looks at me like I am a lunatic

Me: “So how much potassium should I be getting in a day?”

Doc: “Not as much as other people because we need to bring your levels down and you’re eating too much of it.”

Me: “Yeah, I get that, but I don’t know how much I should be aiming for…and what is considered too high for a serving? If a serving of something has say, 50mg of potassium, should I consider that too high and not eat it, or is it only too high if it is over 100mg per serving?”

Doc: didn’t answer any of those questions, went back to talking about how I must be ingesting too much potassium and then said “google a list of foods high in potassium and don’t eat any of them”

So…she didn’t tell me how much potassium I should be trying to get in a day, and she told someone who restricts their food intake to restrict it even more…wtf.

I didn’t even know what to say, so I said nothing and left…left with a form to get more blood work done in 3 weeks so she can see if the potassium levels have gone down. Oh, and the warning that if I experience chest palpitations or chest pain to go to the ER asap because high potassium could kill me.

Greeeeeeat.

I haven’t decided if I will google the list of high potassium foods or not. I know I should, so that I know what to stay away from, but I don’t know that I should be increasing my list of unsafe foods. Even if the list contains mostly things I already don’t eat, if I think I have a medically sound reason to not eat them how will I ever manage to increase my list of safe foods? Today I’ve been checking nutritional labels for potassium and found that not all labels show potassium. I’m not sure if that means the food has so little of it they don’t put it on, or if it is because it is not required to put potassium on a nutrition label.

I have a meeting with my nutrition person from my recovery program next week so I guess I’ll just ask her all the questions and see if she knows the answers.

Doctors. *shake my head* next to useless, sigh.

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Blood ‘n Stuff

To get in to my recovery program you have to be referred by a doctor. I wasn’t comfy going to my actual doctor so I went to a walk-in clinic, with the referral form, and told them I was there to get a referral. Part of being referred involved tests. Lots and lots of medical tests. Ugh.

I hate going to doctors, I hate medical tests, I hate being poked and prodded and looked at so closely, I especially hate needles, I just hate it all.

I am that person who, when legitimately sick or injured still doesn’t go to the doctor because “I have an immune system, I’ll be fine” and “letting my body heal itself will make me stronger” and other such beliefs.

So, having to go to a doctor to get referred was a hurdle that took over a year to accomplish. Funnily enough, I could always find something else to do that was more important than going to the doctor. *rolls eyes*

To be compliant in my program I have to get my blood work retested whenever my doctor says. My medical doctor that is. Ya know, the one I didn’t go to for the referral. Sure she gets a copy of all visits I have to a walk-in but she has a crappy receptionist who never passes things along so any updates or results that come in from the walk-in clinic get filed with my doctor without ever being looked at by a medical professional.

Nice little loophole I found there don’t ya think? 😉

Well…my case worker told me I have to go get my blood work retested. She convinced me to set up an appointment with a shrink, the type that can prescribe meds, and apparently he would send me for blood work anyways so I might as well get it done prior to my appointment with him. She also pointed out that to stay in the program I am supposed to be getting the blood work done anyways. Busted!

I put it off as long as I could, and was actually figuring on going today after work but I ended up with some time to kill last Friday, or maybe it was Thursday…one of those days and I figured just go get it over with. This time it was just blood work, felt like they filled a zillion tubes with my blood, but at least they weren’t doing that thing where I had to strip from the waist up and some nurse puts sensors all over me and they check my heart. That was so embarrassing.

I fully expected to not hear anything about the blood work results. I told them they had to send the results to the other doc (the shrink who can prescribe meds) since he was the one who actually wanted the report, and thought if I ever heard anything about the results it would be at the appointment with him.

Well go figure, looks like the doctor at the walk-in actually took a look at the results and I got a phone call today from the walk-in clinic saying the doctor was asking me to come in in regards to my blood work results.

Since they follow the rule “no news is good news” I can say with a fair amount of confidence that whatever I am being asked to go hear about my results won’t be awesome.

It is probably something stupid like low iron, big deal *rolls eyes*. But there is that little seed of worry in my gut that it might be something worse. I’ve been having some physical symptoms I guess you’d call them, just some physical stuff, that has been happening, that I don’t think is necessarily normal, and might be related to all the restricting I’ve been doing.

They might not be though! There’s no proof that any of the stuff I’m feeling or experiencing is caused by my restricting…technically…

So now I have to decide if I am going to find the time to go to the walk-in clinic tomorrow and find out the results or wait and see if the other doc mentions the results when I go to that appointment on Wednesday.

Part of me thinks I might as well just wait. He is the one who wanted the testing done, if there is something significant in the results he’ll tell me, so it is a waste of time to go back to the walk-in clinic.

Part of me thinks maybe I should go and hear what the results are so I can research them and not be caught off guard at the shrink’s appointment, since I am already feeling super nervous, and guarded, about that appointment, maybe I’ll feel better knowing what the results already say.

In the end, the decision to go or not go will most likely be made based on what time I wake up tomorrow lol It is my day to sleep in, I have an evening commitment but the only thing I am worried about for daytime is getting laundry done, and other stuff around the apartment. If I am up early enough to get the apartment stuff done and have time before my evening commitment I might decide I should just go and get it over with. But if I sleep in, or just don’t time my day well and start to run out of time, well, I have more important things to do than drive back to the walk-in clinic for some stupid test results.

I mean c’mon, its just going to be low iron, or something else equally inconsequential, its stupid I have to go in for that anyways.

hard work