in Checking In, Geezer, Parks and Rec

Highlights of 2015: investments in health

Waiting to get my septoplasty

Waiting to get my septoplasty

After returning from Jamaica in August 2014 with muscle twitches that wouldn’t seem to stop I decided it was time to take my health more seriously than I had been, so last year I decided to invest more in my health. I began daily walks at lunchtime at work, doing a circuit around N.C. State’s Centennial Campus for about 20 minutes a day. I installed a fitness tracking app from Google called Google Fit to help me keep pace. My goal was an hour of activity per day and I’m proud to say that I regularly exceeded this. Not only that, but I continue to exercise daily. My current job puts my office a little over a mile away, so I frequently walk or bike to work. I love doing this!

2015 was also the year I took advantage of my health care coverage from the Veteran’s Administration. I had several tests done to determine the cause of the twitching (so far nothing definitive, though several baddies have been ruled out). I have to say I’m impressed with the VA. It gets knocked quite a bit but the people are courteous, I’m always whisked back to see the doctor during my appointments, and the quality of care is good or excellent. The only real concern I have is that the majority of useful appointments must take place at the Durham VA hospital. Raleigh has a VA medical clinic but cannot perform most of the most useful tests or procedures.

Driving to Durham for VA appointments is not convenient for me. I can only imagine what veterans with fewer resources have to put up with.

Outside of the VA, I’ve had a few procedures done. Before Thanksgiving, I went in for a colonoscopy. It was easier than I expected! The most unpleasant part was the prep I had to do the day before – lots of bathroom time and fasting. It was worth the effort, though, as some precancerous growths were discovered and removed. I go back again at the end of this year.

I also took advantage of my employer’s healthcare plan which ended at the end of the year and I got a septoplasty to fix the deviated septum in my sinuses. This is something I first considered in 2007 but put off. It’s been three weeks now since the procedure and I can easily breathe through my nose. I can smell things I didn’t smell before. I also do not snore at night like I used to. This is all amazingly good stuff. The only drawback I’m dealing with at the moment is my still-healing nose stings with the bitter cold air we’ve had lately. I am sure this pain will go away once the nose fully heals, though, and then I am excited to start exercising in earnest again. I’ve never had a working nose that would keep me from mouth breathing during exercise, until now!

I haven’t done one of my fun “Ride Around Raleigh” bike tours of our city’s greenways for over a year but I expect that to change this spring. The family got lots of bike stuff for Christmas and we intend to use them. This could be the best year yet for my fitness and exercise. Can’t wait!

(Just so you know, the twitching has mostly stopped, too.)