Follow-up with rheumatologist

Every couple of years, I go to see a rheumatologist, which is a doctor who basically specializes in bones. I don’t recall the exact circumstances about why I first went to see him, but I believe my family doctor referred me to him because the steroids I was taking to deal with my Crohn’s when I was first diagnosed have negative effects on your bones.

On my appointment card, it reminds me to book a bone density test two months prior to my appointment. My family doctor had already phoned me earlier this year and asked me to do a bone density test since I hadn’t had one in a while, so I had already done a test back in April. At the time, I knew I had an appointment coming up in September, so I asked the woman who administered the test if I needed to get another one before my appointment. She said OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) only covers bone density tests once a year, so I couldn’t have another test. I phoned the rheumatologist’s office to confirm that they received the results of the bone density test, and they said it wasn’t a problem I had done the test earlier than they had requested.

My appointment was very similar to the last two times I had been. I filled out a simple questionnaire about any health issues I was experiencing, medication I was taking, how much milk/cheese/ice cream/yogurt/etc I eat per week, how much I exercise, my family history, and things like that. I had my blood pressure taken, and it was 98 over 67, and the person who took my blood pressure didn’t say anything about it, whether it was good or bad. I looked it up on Google, and apparently it’s within the normal range, but on the low side of the normal range. It says professional athletes and very fit people often have low blood pressure; well, I’m a computer programmer, and I sit in front of the computer all day and night, so I’m not the most fit person in the world. I guess my blood pressure is just naturally low.

The doctor came in, asked if I was having any issues. I was not. He looked at the results of my bone density test, and I believe he commented that I was gaining bone mass back, but very slowly. He told me to keep taking 2,000 IU of vitamin D every day, because he thinks that has been helping. He doesn’t see any sense in putting me on any medication, because medication can have side effects, and I’ve been doing fine. I booked another appointment for a year and a half from now, and that was that. Nice and easy.