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Thread: Medical Tests

  1. #1
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    Medical Tests

    Since this forum has a older crowd I am wondering if you take every routine test your doctor recommends or if you pick and choose. I read the book Being Mortal written by a doctor and it was excellent. My doctor wants me to take a bone density test but the last one showed osteopenia 13 years ago and I have no intention of ever taking a drug for it so I decided itís pointless to take the test. I have been doing mammograms every 18 months and may switch to 2 years. Canada doesnít do them after age 70. I am having my last colonoscopy in March. My siblings all much older still get them.

    My mom had breast cancer stage one at 78 but her doctor left her on hormones for 30 years and my doctor said thatís why she got cancer. Then she had stage one colon cancer at 84 and suffice it to say that she would have been better off if it wasnít found. I am getting blood work yearly because I think it can identify potential problems in advance. So what is everyone doing?

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    Senior Member Yppej's Avatar
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    I do minimal testing and after the pandemic I have developed a deep distrust of the American medical establishment so I will probably getting even fewer screenings. However, I am going to the dentist next month.

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    I had years where I didn't do anything. About two years ago, I finally got all the normal/regular checkups that are always suggested (mammogram, dexascan, colonoscopy, etc). I have been diagnosed with osteoporosis and do take the weekly medication. Working full-time at a fairly physical job, my thinking is to reduce as much risk to broken bones or the like as possible. I even got my first ever flu shot two years ago and also got one this year. Don't know how I'll proceed in the coming months/years. Time will tell.
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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    As all know I didn’t go to the doctor for 15+ years. Anyway, my now doctor approaches her testing requests gingerly with me because she said early on “I’ve dealt with people like you and I know that I can’t push too hard. “

    And I like that. So yeah she’s said I should take a bone density test. I mumbled something about why ? I’m not gonna take drugs for it she said well I’d like to know where we’re starting regardless. The docs practice evidence-based treatment and they like to know that stuff. So I —theoretically —think it’s OK to take these tests but the next step, treatment and drugs, are exactly that – a step you don’t have to take.

    all of that said – I still haven’t had the test. My mom side of family has severe osteoporosis. But my bones are heavier than hers and I am heavier, so I practice weight-bearing exercises every time I’m on my feet. Hah. My doctor agree that is kind of a plus.

    But yeah when I started going to her, I had the usual tests – mammogram, colonoscopy, and a kidney scan when I mentioned kidney disease in my family. I haven’t had any test in the past two years because of Covid, I get in there and get out quickly so that she continues to renew blood pressure medicine.

  5. #5
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
    Since this forum has a older crowd I am wondering if you take every routine test your doctor recommends or if you pick and choose. I read the book Being Mortal written by a doctor and it was excellent. My doctor wants me to take a bone density test but the last one showed osteopenia 13 years ago and I have no intention of ever taking a drug for it so I decided it’s pointless to take the test. I have been doing mammograms every 18 months and may switch to 2 years. Canada doesn’t do them after age 70. I am having my last colonoscopy in March. My siblings all much older still get them.

    My mom had breast cancer stage one at 78 but her doctor left her on hormones for 30 years and my doctor said that’s why she got cancer. Then she had stage one colon cancer at 84 and suffice it to say that she would have been better off if it wasn’t found. I am getting blood work yearly because I think it can identify potential problems in advance. So what is everyone doing?
    Bloodwork is fine I got no problem with that.


    My mother was on those stupid hormones, just an example of how the medical community pivots over a single generation. I remember her staring at me seriously and saying now promise me you will take hormones because blah blah blah, some reason I can’t remember. Yeah whatever mom. At that time of my life menopause was so far away from my mind that I just didn’t pay attention. Now isn’t it ironic that that is not generally prescribed? What a bunch of bullshit it all is. Now Jane can chime in about the prevelance of statin drugs.

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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by happystuff View Post
    I had years where I didn't do anything. About two years ago, I finally got all the normal/regular checkups that are always suggested (mammogram, dexascan, colonoscopy, etc). I have been diagnosed with osteoporosis and do take the weekly medication. Working full-time at a fairly physical job, my thinking is to reduce as much risk to broken bones or the like as possible. I even got my first ever flu shot two years ago and also got one this year. Don't know how I'll proceed in the coming months/years. Time will tell.
    do you have to lie down with that bone building drug? My mother took it 20 years ago, and it was one that you took it and then you lay down for what half an hour or an hour? Seems so odd.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    Your mom liked hormones because they keep your skin soft and young looking.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I'm like happystuff and iris lilies. I rarely go to the doctor. However, I did get a physical last year from our local physician's assistant. DH goes to the same PA.

    So, DH goes and comes back with sheafs of prescriptions for all kinds of referrals to all kinds of doctors. He wants a Completel Blood Count--he gets it. He wants a trip to the audiologist--he gets it. He wants a sleep study--he gets it.

    OTOH, the PA is very, very chintzy about giving me referrals for what I want. She did send me to an ophthalmologist to confirm my ocular migraines to make sure it wasn't burgeoning blood vessel. And she did send me to get a bone density test. I've had osteopenia for years, and osteoporosis in my lumbar spine. I held off on medications for a decade, but I'm thinking of going for it now. I have a family history of osteoporosis, and kyphosis is unattractive and painful, so I really don't want to find myself there. I've done years and years of market research on bisphosphonates, and while I'd rather not take them, I don't think they are harmful. Side effects are pretty rare.

    But my concern is my heart. I don't have a lot of knowledge about my heart, and my Smartwatch tells me I don't have AFib, but I would love to make sure there is nothing wrong there because my heart rate variability is very low. However, my PA won't refer me.

    Also, she doesn't give me routine blood tests. I'll press her again this year.

    But aside from those things, I certainly don't sign up for everything.
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    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    I have to see my doctor yearly so she will renew my prescriptions. Catherine, I think your doctor is doing you a disservice as blood work should be yearly at our age and the request in regards to your heart is reasonable. I don’t need a referral for anything.

  10. #10
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Yeah, I have friends who want to know stuff so they do lots of testing. I have one friend who took the DNA test for family health background and he’s not adopted. He knows his family. I’m not sure what that would reveal if you have a pretty good handle on your parents’ diseases and the diseases of their parents. What good is that?

    I had gout exactly one year ago. I’ve not had a problem since. My same friend takes medication for gout. Of course his is probably much more severe, but why would I take medication when this rears its head so seldom?

    I have hearing loss. My cousin asked me “have you been to an audiologist?” I told him no why should I. The audiologist will reveal I have hearing loss. Big surprise.

    I have no problem wearing a hearing aid if it’s necessary, I just haven’t determined that it is necessary yet because I’m not out there in the working world and I don’t really have to hear people. Of course now that everyone is wearing masks it makes it doubly hard for those of us with hearing loss. I hate masking for this reason.

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