A New Perspective

This post may seem a little off my normal theme but there is a family childcare connection.  First though, a little history:

I went to a family physician regularly for 15 years.  He saw me through several of my pregnancies and delivered two of my children.  His office was nearby and even after I opened my family childcare home I could make late day appointments that didn’t require me to close the daycare or hire a substitute.  It was perfect – until suddenly he closed his practice.

I felt somewhat abandoned.  Apparently there had been a notice in the classified section of the newspaper but I hadn’t seen it.  I didn’t find out until I called to make an appointment and got the automated message.  I was supposed to schedule a follow-up appointment to get test results and instead I was left scrambling to find a new doctor and discovered that few were accepting new patients.

When I did finally find a new physician there were issues with both his office location and his hours.  His last appointment of the day was 4pm which would mean I would have to leave before 3:30 – earlier than any of my potential subs could arrive.  His ‘early’ appointments were 10am and the one time I tried this he ran late and I had to leave before I got to see him – my sub could not stay any longer.

So, for the last seven years I have only seen my physician for annual checkups in July during my vacation.  Every year he reports that I am his favourite type of patient – healthy.  Still, although I was not actively looking, I did often think that it would be nice to have a physician that I could visit more than once a year – just in case…

Recently I heard of a clinic that had extended hours and they were accepting new patients.  Their location was convenient too so I booked an appointment – on a Saturday!  I went for my first visit and was very impressed. Then they called me back for a ‘follow up’.  Hmmm, that’s different.  I went back and sat in the doctor’s office as he matter-of-factly stated “Your cholesterol level is too high.  You need to improve your diet, exercise, lose weight and we’ll check your levels again in a few months.”

What?!?  I left the office feeling somewhat stunned.  I’m all about healthy foods and an active lifestyle.  I read the nutrition information for everything I buy. This doesn’t make sense.  Maybe there was something I was missing?

I went home and did some research.  I read lists of the ‘best foods to lower cholesterol’ – many of my favorite foods were there.  Our entire menu revolves around whole grains, fruits and veggies.  Nuts, they are not allowed on the childcare menu but I eat them.  Fish – OK, this one is a bit of a problem for me.  I manage to choke down fish occasionally but I find it difficult so I take an Omega 3 supplement daily.

I changed my search to look for the ‘worst’ foods.  There were a few of my favourite ‘treats’ there –  things like french fries and cheese. Yes, I love them but I also limit them.  I don’t like red meat.  There was nothing on the bad lists that I eat regularly.

Then I thought…does the season make a difference?  Turns out that season can have an impact on cholesterol levels.  I normally have my blood tests done in the summer when we spend all our time outdoors.  We are indoors more in the winter – this year’s extreme weather has made it even harder to get outside to play.  I’ve done a lot more snow shoveling this winter but it is still far less physical activity than what I normally get in the summer.

Maybe my cholesterol levels have been higher in the winter before and I just didn’t know.  A visit to the doctor in the winter has given me a new perspective.  Seems I’m going to have to make some adjustments.

What do you think?

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