Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Premature Aging

How old is she really?
According to our veterinary records (based on exams when she was first adopted in 2007), Elly's estimated date of birth is May 2006, which pegs her at six-and-a-half years old. Her body, however, seems to think it's much older than that. I offer as evidence:

  • gum disease and dental decay (feline stomatitis)
  • bone spurs (arthritic hips and spine)
  • kidney failure
Poor thing. 

I sympathize with her. 

A year ago, I remarked that I felt I was "time expired." That post was well before I realized my diabetes was out of control and that migraines would become a routine event. Before I turned 50.

Which brings us to last week: I went for CT scan to see if my frequent migraines were a harbinger of something more sinister, like strokes or a tumour [gasp!] pressing on the optic nerve. [What? Are you saying you wouldn't have googled it?]

Imagine my surprise when my doctor's office called me on Monday and said the doctor wanted to go over the results of said scan with me. 

Bad news. It is never, ever a good thing when the doctor wants to see you, rather than the other way around.

Short story: I'm old.

Long story: the CT scan showed "micro-vascular changes." The blood vessels in my brain are on a weight-loss diet, which would be great, except that it means they aren't able to carry so much oxygen to the brain. My doctor, who is in her early thirties, said, "We wouldn't expect to see this kind of thing until you're about 70."


She went on to say that this is likely because of my diabetes, which causes all sorts of systemic failure . . . in the heart, the kidneys, the nerves, the retinas. Especially if said diabetes is uncontrolled, as mine was for about a year. 

A year, folks, not a decade. And I've been quite conscientious about taking care of myself (as long as, you know, exercise isn't involved ).

The doctor says no follow-up is required, in the way of testing. But you know, and I know, that the only way to increase vascularization (blood flow) is exercise. It would appear that I have a 20-year deficit. Damn. I may have to start taking the bus to work. 

1 comment:

  1. Go girl. Start talking all pro-exercise and you body will follow along. I know it isn't easy!


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