Interesting find, and medical update

While doing my rounds yesterday evening, checking the eastern fence line in the spruce grove, something bright and red caught my eye.

There are quite a few bright red rose hips in the area, but these were completely different.

I tried to use the Lens app on my phone to identify them, but we get no signal – data or wifi – out there, so I wasn’t able to get a search result until I was by the house.

Apparently, we have American Cranberry growing among our spruces!

Which, apparently, are not true cranberries at all!

I went back this morning to get a better look, and take some photos.

What you see in the foreground is all the berries there are, but it seems there are actually 3 bushes. To the left of the photo is the one that is the biggest and strongest, but it has no berries on it. There is another that is either next to a dead one, or had some dead branches on it, but the berries seem to be coming from a single scraggly branch of a barely-there, scraggly bush!

When I finally get to clearing around that area again, I now know that these are something I want to keep! From what I’m reading, they can grow to be quite huge. They may be worth transplanting at some point, but at the very least, I hope that cleaning and clearing around them will give them more light and space to flourish.

That was a neat little surprise.

On a less pleasant note, I had my doctor’s appointment today. It was supposed to be myself and my husband, one after the other, but my husband had to cancel due to pain.

One of my daughters came along for moral support.

Now, the main reason I went to see the doctor in the first place was due to a series of physical ailments.

My chest X-rays came back clear (those were a first step regarding my chronic cough, which I just realized we never talked about directly). My left hip joint is clear, with minor signs of osteoarthritis (which I already knew about) but bone spurs have started to form.

So that explains the pain there.

My right shoulder joint is clear. Given that my concern was that I’d injured my rotator cuff, the recommendation is to try physiotherapy first and, if that doesn’t help, go for an MRI.

My EKG was came back completely normal. Even the arrhythmia that has shown up in the past wasn’t there.

He then brought up the stress test to look into the low stamina/shortness of breath while doing yard work that I wanted to get looked into. By pure chance, I got a call from the hospital the test will be done at, this morning. The specialist only comes in from the big city once a week, and they had a cancellation. Could I come in for the 11th?

Yes, I can!

The doctor was happy to hear that. He also asked very specifically if I felt I could do the stress test, which will involve doing a brisk walk “uphill” on a treadmill. I told him the main issues I would have are pain (hip, knees, feet, joints that like to dislocate…), but for straight-up walking, I should be fine. Still, it was stressed that if I felt I had too much pain, to let them know and another method would be used.

I’m starting to think that my concerns over my “low” stamina and “shortness” of breath is very relative. It may be another one of those things were, it’s less than normal for me, but not at all unusual when compared to the average.

Oh, and he was concerned my blood pressure was a bit high. That was my own fault, I explained. While the nurse was taking it, instead of just sitting quietly, we started talking and I ended up telling her about my husband walking out of the cardiac clinic without getting the angiogram done, due to pain levels after waiting for 2 hours. Which, I explained to him, was also why my husband had to cancel today’s appointment. The doctor understood, but he wants me to check my BP daily for the next while, just in case.

Then we went over my blood work.

This was the part that I was dreading.

I was written up for a large number of things to check, so there was a lot to go over.

Thyroid? Fine.
B12? Fine.
Anemia? None.
Bunch of other things? Fine.
There were signs of inflammation, but that could be related to the arthritis. Not a problem.
Liver? Very slightly elevated readings from last time, though still within normal levels. This is one of the things that irritate me. Some 15 years ago, I was put on a short term prescription that had a potential side effect of liver damage, so I was sent for a blood test to find out what “normal” was for me. Nothing unusual was found, but years later, I had an MRI done for something else, and as a side note, it was mentioned that I have a slightly larger then average liver. Nothing else. Jump forward several more years, and a doctor or two later, and as soon as they saw this on my file, it got immediately translated as “fatty liver disease,” despite a completely lack of any symptoms, causes or even changes in my liver. But I’m now fatter than I was before, so that must by why, right? Even though I gained weight after I was found to have a slightly larger liver?
Then there was my cholesterol.
Which was within normal ranges, but my “bad” cholesterol was slightly higher. Not actually high. Just… higher. Meanwhile, my “good” cholesterol was a bit low. Still within normal, but this is something they will want to medicate. ???

Finally, there was my A1C. He left that for last, because it was the only thing on there that was a “bad” result in my blood work. It was “really high”, he said. Like, “really really high.”

Then he told me what it was.

Oh, was I ever biting my tongue. I didn’t say anything, but I was thinking, high? Really? Have you even LOOKED at my file beyond the last time I had tested for it?

The thing is, with various other factors related to the pain I’ve been having, the reduced stamina, and my inability to maintain my usual level of physical activity, the results of my blood work were exactly what I would have expected, including the higher A1C .

So we talked about that for a bit, in that he asked me what I was taking for it (nothing; my numbers were fine until the past few months), then wanting to put my on metformin, then some new drug instead of insulin injections. Apparently, it should help me lose weight, too – something he mentioned in passing. *sigh*

There were so many things that never got talked about.

Then there was the other thing I was dreading. Because I am a woman of a certain age, he wants me on statins. I’ve said no, every time. He wanted to know why. I told him I did a lot of research on it and started to give him a list, including the fact that they are known to cause diabetes. His response? I don’t know where you’re getting this misinformation from … I told him John Hopkins was one of them… but the Canadian Diabetes Association says, all diabetics should be on statins, because of the super duper really high risk of heart disease. Like my husband now has.

Oh, was I ever biting my tongue then, too. There are SO many contributing factors involved with my husband, to even make that assumption is flagrantly bad logic.

I told him, no statins.

I also had to tell him – again – no pap test (I am well outside the demographic that needs one). He then brought up mammograms, stool tests and… something else I can’t remember right now, and did I recognize that by not getting these tests, I was in danger of getting super nasty really scary types of cancer (yes, I’m paraphrasing). I told him yes, I understood that. In my head I’m going, yes, I am scientifically literate and do understand risk factors and what they actually mean, and am not about to fall for scare tactics.

The sad thing is, the doctor is actually really, really nice. I do like him. Which makes it so much harder to handle than if he were being a jerk about it. He’s just doing what he’s been taught he should be doing. His heart is clearly in the right place, even if he doesn’t realize how condescending/dismissive he is being in his responses to my objections. There is no actual conversation happening, here – and really, he doesn’t have the time for it.

After all that, I did get the rest of my physical, and got a tetanus shot. I was overdue for that one, and with the work I’m doing, it’s needed.

He was able to give me a month’s worth of samples of the new drug he wants me to start up in a week. He already sent the necessary information off to our insurance company, so by the time the samples are done and I need to fill the prescription he sent to the pharmacy already, it should be covered by our insurance without any hitches or hiccups.


I have a follow up appointment in 2 weeks. In that time, I am to log my blood sugars and blood pressure readings to show him. By that time, I should be on the new medication for 1 week, metformin for 2 weeks.

Interestingly, if I really did have liver problems, I should not be taking metformin. In fact, my husband shouldn’t be taking it, either, with his heart condition.


Well, now that that’s over with, I’d really like to get outside and see what I can get done while it’s still light out, and the temperatures are nice! 🙂

The Re-Farmer

One thought on “Interesting find, and medical update

  1. Pingback: Clean up: broken tire planter – getting started | The Re-Farmer

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