I last went to the doctor on the day I turned 30, so going on Monday was kind of a big deal. I'm 32 now, and probably should be going at least once a year, and definitely had some reasons for it this time: my heart feels like it's gone into hyperdrive this year, beating way fast than it seems like it should be, and I'm out of breath more easily than ever. I could certainly stand to lose some weight, but I exercise 5 or 6 times a week, so I'm not in horrible shape; ask me to go run three miles or spend 2 hours working hard at the gym right now, and I could do it. So it's been weird for me.
I've been playing around with my caffeine usage, to see if that might be it. I'm not someone who drinks coffee all day, but I drink a lot of it in the morning. And when I say a lot, I mean it - probably a whole pot, or at least 3-4 glasses - guzzled, over ice. I feel like it's my pick-me-up before hitting the gym at 6am, and I figure I pee most of it out. Still, I've tried to stop doing that, to see if that would help. Results have been inconclusive; I still notice my problem all the time.
The doctor, who I met for the first time at the appointment, was the first time I'd found a doctor that was under 60 years old. A friend of mine goes to him, and he didn't even recommend him or anything, just mentioned that he goes, so that was enough. The visit was pleasant enough, as pleasant as any doctor's visit can be when you get some unpleasant tests (no prostate exam, but I did have a testicular cancer check). I get blood results back on Monday, when I'll hear about cholesterol and stuff like that.
Anyhow, his diagnosis was a little suprising: I have Chronic Sleep Disorder, which causes all the symptoms I have (elevated heart rate, shortness of breath, stress). The way he led into it was a little weird ("Do you find yourself getting angrier at little things this year? Do you have road rage?") but eventually it was clear what he was getting at, and, as he said, as a guy who made it through med school with two small children, it can happen to the best of us. It really shouldn't be a surprise to me, because I have very poor sleep habits, something that probably culminating in me having to call in sick this year because I couldn't fall asleep the night before. I look at the causes, and I see plenty: it's been an anxiety-filled year, I drink too much caffeine, I'm simply staying up too late doing work. It was a good wake-me-up call, and I plan on doing better in that area.
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