Other Habits to Change: Food and Drug Edition

TW: This is about medications and managing the types of food I eat.

The doctor I’d been going to since I moved to Texas retired recently (and somehow I missed being informed of that…guessing it went to some old email). She was a really nice, calm woman who never got excited about anything. She’d say we could try this, we could try that…what do you feel most comfortable with?

I’d been to other doctors in that practice, and all were fine, but since I have moved closer to another affiliated clinic, I decided to try one closer to home. Argh. Changing primary care physicians is NOT easy, since so few of them are taking new patients. I finally found a couple who didn’t have horrible reviews and chose the woman, just because, I guess.

My “Drug Habit”

I don’t like to take pills. Only if absolutely necessary. Photo credit @erimar via Twenty20

Yesterday at 7 am, minutes after I woke up, her office called to brightly ask what medications I need refilled and to inform me that “the doctor doesn’t do refills of alprazolam, just so you’ll know.” Well, huh. That drug is Xanax, which I’ve had as an “emergency backup” for decades. I generally take about 6 a year, maybe fewer, especially now that my panic attack issue is much better. So, I was interested in finding out more about that, perhaps when I was more awake. At least she didn’t say they were taking away my fluoxetine (Prozac), which makes me feel like a stereotype, but also makes me able to cope with stuff like a pro.

So, I showed up wondering if I would have to find another new doctor. The nurse was just great, and she said the amount of Xanax I take is not a problem, and it could probably be renewed (I actually have plenty). Then, the doctor came in only a minute later (WOW!) and she was really good. Spoke to me like an equal, looked me in the eye, and explained that she had been dealing with patients whose doctors had retired that had been taking multiple Xanax every day, which really is not what the drug is for. Oh yeah, like my mom, in a stupor all day every day.

I asked her if she had an alternative for panic attacks, and she recommended propranodol (Inderal), which is a beta blocker. Huh. She said many people feel better once their heart stops racing, which is what Inderal does. She also pointed out you can drive and use alcohol when using it. So, I said I’d try it. I don’t expect to NEED it any time soon, but I DO have a trip to New Orleans with a zillion former La Leche League Leaders this weekend…

What about FOOD?

Look at me. I just wrote an entire essay on my drug use. That’s because I was avoiding the food part of the visit. That evil work-based checkup group had SENT my results to her. That’s the results that showed I have higher than normal triglycerides. Dang. I was caught.

I’ve just been conditioned to eat a chocolate chip if it happens to be in my vicinity. Photo credit @Nodar77 via Twenty20

While I’ve been enjoying not stressing out about my usual pattern of going on diets and losing 30 pounds, then getting them back, I’ve been rather lax about limiting sweets and carbs. I don’t buy candy or pastries, but if I see one laying around, I’ll eat it. And cooking for Lee, combined with a personal devotion to pasta, has upped my carb consumption. I’ve even been eating more bread than usual.

I’m very lucky that I actually LOVE to eat vegetables, and as you already know, I love me some delicious fish. Photo credit @erimar via Twenty20

The doctor said I didn’t need to go on a “diet,” per se, but I just need to cut the sugars and carbs. The reason, she said, is the triglycerides are the only type of fat in the blood that diet and exercise can easily lower. She said she has seen dramatic numbers just by changing eating habits (I already exercise enough).

I made this for dinner. Whole wheat with beans, carrots, beats and spinach. It was delish.

I know full well I can do this. I just HATE thinking about every bite that goes into my mouth. So, I plan to be more easy on myself and just not eat sweets and pieces of bread that come with meals (which I used to always do), and eat a lot less of my carb buddies. I’m not a keto person, but I can moderate. I’ll not be leaping on scales and obsessing. I’ll just be doing normal, healthy eating, which I realize is what I should always be doing.

I’d love your support as I transition to a more healthy eating pattern. When I go back in for blood work in January, we’ll see how I do.

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

5 thoughts on “Other Habits to Change: Food and Drug Edition”

  1. I’ve read studies that are linking regular (multiple times, daily usage) of Xanax to Alzheimer’s disease. I know many performers that keep Propranalol on them for the anxiety of the performance. They all said what your Dr said, “As soon as my heart stops racing, I feel great and do fine.” Performing is the one thing I don’t have anxiety about which is really weird. I think with the frequency (or lack of) that you have to take a Xanax, you will do great with the new one! I’m glad that the awareness is spreading amongst the medical community. On your eating right part, I totally support eating for health! I don’t like people going on “diets” though. I have seen so many people (myself included) that get so upset and have such a negative view of themselves because they tried a diet that just didn’t work, for any number of reasons. It seems to be one more thing that comes and convinces us of failure. However, eating better to be healthy is something I totally support and think is wonderful! I’m very proud of you and your resolve to be the best Suna that you can be, but also giving yourself a break

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right. When I diet I am annoying and super focused on it. So I end up looking good but not having much fun. Just eating healthy food, though, doesn’t stress me out so much. The only thing I won’t like too much will be cutting down on alcohol, but that won’t kill me, either.


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