Complications and COPD

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Within the current USA-based medical environment, one either picks a group practice to handle all their needs under one roof, or they pick from a variety of independent options in an effort to try and find the best blend of services that meets their needs.

Medical care priority choices can be different for everyone, so my choices have always been a “mix and match” variety based on what I needed.

Respiratory or Pulmonologist?  Priority #1 due to my crappy lungs.  Find the best and stick with him or her.

GYN care (because there was never going to be an OB requirement of care) = Planned Parenthood.  Dealt with when necessary, and otherwise ignored.  Mostly putting my poitical beliefs in charge of how / where / when my money was spent or donated on a yearly basis, whether or not I needed an actual appointment for care.

General Doctor?  Avoided like the plague.  See Pulmonologist, as that was the best choice for me.

Endocrinologist to deal with exhaustion issues?  Picked due to ease of getting tests done on the weekend, and the location ease for getting in and out of the parking lot location for particular appointments.  Can’t say I care for my endo, but she served as a means to an end to confirm all my blood, vitamin and other vital substances like cholesterol were at a happy level.  However, her focus on blood sugar / diabetes has been an uphill battle.

So, here’s where the “Complications” topic takes flight for today.

I contend, as someone going through peri-menopause (soon to be full menopause as my year between courses will have passed), that hormone fluctuations are impacting my blood sugar numbers.  Since the Doc didn’t put me on meds but simply said diet and exercise were enough to handle my risk, I contend that I am right in my belief that my risk is caused by temporary or outside factors and not by something I’m doing particularly badly.

Into this situation, we add my studies on understanding COPD and my underlying breathing challenges, and the fact that the medicines I take to aid one part of my health cause problems in other areas, and you have a highly fixated patient, intent on learning everything she can about her body and its reality to avoid complicating one situation by adding in others through the medications provided.

*** Now, I’m not a doctor, and this isn’t medical advice. ***

That being said, however, I have read many studies which suggest that the very medicines we may take to survive are adding health complications in other areas.

Knowing that fact doesn’t mean you should throw away your medicine along with your Doctor’s advice… Rather, it means that you should do your best to inform yourself of the risks versus rewards so that complications are better understood and you’re not making yourself crazy, worrying over worsening health when that’s not what’s actually happening.

As outlined in this healthgrades report, many of the medicines I take for my asthma / COPD cause blood sugar issues.  I know it, and have checked in with my pulmonologist to see if he agrees or disagrees with this belief.  So far, the Doc agrees that the medicines I take to breathe (steroids, and high blood pressure medicine, as steroids cause a rise in high blood pressure) may be the cause of some of my complications as my COPD is worsening.

If you are facing similar complications, I recommend you do your own research and talk with your doctor about the risks vs. rewards, as well as what your other doctors may say is going on in your body.

Unless you are an active communicator about where and when you’re getting your overall medical care, and share test results across the board, you’re not helping your doctor treat you to the best of his or her ability.  He or she may be working in the dark, with only partial information.

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