David and I came home exhausted after spending most of the day with our primary care physician/Internist, Dr. Lessin. One of the top 100 doctors in Virgina, Doctor Lessin has been our go-to guy for over thirty years.
We are among his oldest patients, having been with him since he set up his practice after graduating from Harvard. David says he told him, “We’ve grown old together.” I told David, Bruce likes me better, because he spent 1.5 hours with me and only one with you.
David’s sugar levels were closer to normal this visit. He told Bruce “Dianne does a good job of making sure I eat right.” Bruce prescribed a new heart medicine for David and told him he needed to ride his exercise bike for ten minutes every day because he’s losing mass in his calf muscles as well as bone density. (He spends too much time sleeping in his easy chair or taking a nap on his bed.)
My numbers are mostly perfect again this year, eating bananas raised my potassium level, but my salt and iron levels are down a bit..as usual.
Bruce and I discussed my family history of longevity, the “Cancer” series on PBS, and Atul Gwande’s Being Mortal (I suggested he read it). He confirmed my father’s family’s longevity (all in their nineties when they died except Dad, the smoker, who died at age 78.)
We talked about working on family trees, and how most early Americans were transported here from prisons, land clearances in England, Scotland and Ireland, and attempts to rid European cities of their underclass population….unwanted, undesirables, the refuse of teeming shores. And that’s to say nothing of the slave trade or transportation of people from Asia. The British carried people from India all over the globe.
Dr Lessin told me I have 121% of the bone mass of a 25-year old (no osteoporosis here). I told Dr. Lessin I want to stop taking Atorvastatin. He says he doesn’t want me to stop because I had the stroke (11 years ago), so we compromised and I am to take the lowest dosage (10 mm) for a month, then have another blood test.
My breathing has improved since last year and my heart is running like a well-oiled clock. As I mentioned, my numbers are very nearly perfect. That didn’t stop Dr. Lessin from suggesting I lose another 10-20 pounds, and handing me a recipe for a fish (cod) and vegetable soup. I told him don’t eat cod. Cod are overfished and endangered.
He then told me about the Blue Heron that has been eating the fish in his backyard pond. Dr. Lessin is crazy about fish. He had a tank of them in his waiting room…now whittled down to three very fat cichlids, as well as “fishy” art every where..offices, examining rooms, hallways and waiting room.
Photo I took of my cat and fish in 1955.
I suggested that the photo in his office of the cat eyeing the goldfish in a bowl should be a Heron eyeing a fish. Herons are vicious, he said with irritation in his voice. They have to eat too, I told him. We have a Red-Tailed Hawk who come looking for breakfast at our feeders. I see him when I’m sitting at the kitchen table. They’re beautiful he says.
After I told him Dr. Wallia said to ask him what the sore on my toe might be, he said that’s a basal cell carcinoma. So, I made another appointment with Dr. Wallia (my Dermatologist) and will see her at the end of the month for yet another biopsy.