The twelve-year battle is over.

A couple of days ago I went to the doctor to get my sinuses checked out. I had a runny nose last week, and my nose was leaking clear fluid all the time. It was ridiculous. I wouldn’t have tissues on me and I would be sniffing on the train because I had no control over my nose; the fluid would just literally drip out. I also generally have this problem in winter with nosebleeds. Sudden changes in weather — going from a moderately cold temperature inside, to a much colder temperature outside, and maybe walking onto a slightly warm bus — drives my nose crazy and sometimes I get nosebleeds.

It’s quite funny when I experience them. I will wipe my nose dry, or blow it a little, and then a few minutes later it will go runny again, but nope, it’s actually blood just dripping out. Once I was on my way to a job interview, and I was sitting in the car thinking about how cold it was, and suddenly I felt my nose run so I sniffed a bit, but my nose let loose and blood just poured out of my nose. 😆

A few days ago the area around my jaw started to ache, and I felt pain behind my nose. In turn it gave me a headache on the right side of my face, and the next day my whole head hurt and I got a few dizzy spells. It turns out my sinuses just need a bit of care, and painkillers should do the trick for a few days, so it is nothing serious.

Another reason I went to see the doctor was because of my high blood cholesterol. My last blood test was mainly a test to check that I didn’t have a stomach ulcer or something that was causing my digestive system to not digest food. Naturally, my cholesterol was also checked, as were my iron and sugar levels.

I generally don’t go to the same doctor all the time because my main doctor is now rarely available, and has a lot of patients. When I say a lot, I mean, every morning I have to wait three hours for her just to get through her patients who have appointments booked. Then I have to wait for the people who have come in without appointments. It’s just irritating. A lot of people who visit her are the elderly, and tend to take a while seeing her… I think I’ve just given up on her really, because it’s impossible to see her when everyone else in the town likes her and wants to see her. I saw another doctor, a male doctor, about this digestive issue, and while he is nice, I haven’t seen him often. He’s getting quite old and forgetful, so when he saw that my blood test results showed my cholesterol was still high, he told me straight away to take medication for it.

For those who don’t know, I was diagnosed with high cholesterol when I was ten years old. That was in 2001. Twelve years ago. My dad had been diagnosed, and his cholesterol levels were extremely high. From then on, my mother made every effort to pull all the junk food from our pantry: cookies, candy, chocolate, chips, biscuits. She made sure I ate fruit every day, and while every other kid ate pies and chips, I would have salad sandwiches and a banana. Maybe it was different and I felt it was unfair I didn’t get tasty food, but I love my mum for that. I love her for taking the necessary steps to make me a healthy kid. Granted, she did make sure I ate healthily way before I was ten years old, but she still put in that effort after the diagnosis. I put it down to the then-recent indulge in Mars bars, punishing myself with a simple “oops”. I didn’t know much about cholesterol at the time, but the level was at 8.5, or at least 8. The recommendation is 5.5 or lower.

I was a dancer, and I did ballet, tap and jazz dance throughout my childhood and high school years. I struggled with my body image, and was still so confused as to why I could be so unlucky to have high cholesterol. It gave me the impression that I was fat, and I refused to eat for some time, or skipped meals, or ate very tiny amounts, but I was really very light, and I was skinny. It didn’t make sense to me.

I saw other doctors once I got older, who said I needed to try harder to lower my cholesterol, and that being skinny didn’t mean I was healthy. Okay, so I was unhealthy, despite how well my mum fed me. I asked why this couldn’t be considered genetic, for my dad has it, and so did my grandparents — who also had heart disease/s, and every doctor I saw told me that it wasn’t. My dad’s cardiologist at the time said my genes could only contribute 10% to my high cholesterol. They still kept telling me what to eat and what not to eat, and told me it could be fixed myself with diet and exercise.

Once I was in my late teens I questioned it. I also started to avoid regular blood tests because I was scared they would keep threatening to put me on medication once they saw that I could not lower my cholesterol with diet. I was scared because they gave me the impression I had to take it forever, for the rest of my life, until I died. I was literally asking, what the fuck. Why am I eating vegetables all day and nothing is happening. Why am I dancing three times a week, walking to school, eating so much fruit, and nothing is happening, I just have fucked up fat in my arteries?

I ignored it for a while, because it made me depressed. A couple of years ago, I got very upset about it. I tried everything, went gluten-free, eradicated foods from my diet, and now I don’t eat land meat (though that was also a personal choice, not just to do with diet). I ran in the mornings, I ran half-marathons distances, walked to the train station, walked everywhere and ran when I could. So when the male doctor told me to take medication I burst into tears and I spoke to my mum. I was very upset. I told her I had given up and it was not fair. I told her I could not stand it, and the fact that people had bullied me for being skinny and made fun of me, and laughed when I told them I had high blood cholesterol really hurt me.

We decided to visit another doctor who we had seen occasionally and who would be able to give a proper solution. My original doctor was not going to be available any time soon. So this doctor, I hadn’t liked very much because she always seemed stern. I noticed this time, in her office, that there were pretty flower paintings on the wall that I immediately noticed were hers. My mum and I were waiting for the doctor to get my files and come in. I told my mum they must be painted by her because her name was signed in the corners.

My mum asked her when she walked in, and she said, “I’ll show you something.” She opened her desk drawer and pulled out two books. They were books she had published, with poems she had written, and filled with paintings that she had painted.

She told us the story of how she was young, her older sisters were very good at art, got noticed for their art, and that she didn’t have a talent that she enjoyed or that people noticed her for. She said that in grade five, she had made all her sisters do her art homework, and she would do their science homework in return. After all that, the teacher said her work was the best in the class, and one day invited the whole class outside to paint their work outside. and she said “oh I was in trouble” but then she realised she was lucky, because they were around nature, and she was good at painting nature.

She got into a competition where she had to sit out on the street and paint. She was on the beach, around where people were swimming, with tons of people, and she just couldn’t do it, and she couldn’t draw people.

She said from that day, she stopped painting. “No one ever told me that I had a talent for painting nature, that I could paint what I wanted, and ignore everything around me.”

Then five years ago, she wanted to do something, as a hobby, so she went back to it. All those years she didn’t paint and write poems, these ideas had accumulated hugely, and inspired her to do amazing things again.

“This isn’t just for me, it’s for everyone. You might think you can’t do something, or you are never going to be good at it, and you can never do it, but you should just try.”

It was a really touching story.

Anyway, with that aside, I told her that I just wanted to know what the hell to do. My mum asked how much my genes could possibly have contributed to my cholesterol.

“With you? One hundred percent.”

She could have said one hundred and one, I would have died.

“You’re young. You’re skinny — you’re like a model. When you were first diagnosed you were young, and you were healthy. Look at your blood tests now, you’re healthy. You have tried to diet, your good cholesterol levels are in the good range, you eat well. It’s nothing to do with what you eat. You eat fine. Your father and your grandparents had it, it is in your genes. And you can’t get rid of something that is already there. Your arteries can be blocked with fat, but you’ve dieted, exercised, eat well, it’s just ‘dirty’. That’s what it is.”

Looking at the medication I got but didn’t take, she said, yes, that it was a good idea we came back to get a proper solution, because she wouldn’t start someone on 10mg. She said she would start me on 5mg. She gave me 35 tablets that she had in the office, and I now take one a day.

“You don’t have to take it forever. It’s not a permanent problem. It can be fixed.”

The twelve-year battle is over.

I have disliked doctors for their huge egos and inability to solve my health issues. But, I wish someone could have told me this earlier. I could cry from happiness.

Leave a Comment

Comments on this post

Wow, that must be a huge relief for you! (I was going to say revelation, but I figured that sounded a little too extravagant 😅) Even though it’s hereditary, at least you now know it really isn’t permanent after all, and you now know how best to deal with it. You no longer have to burn yourself out by trying ways and means, repeatedly, only to be disappointed time and again because they just don’t seem to help at all.

It’s been a long and difficult fight, but you’ve pulled through, and that’s what really matters in the long run. Congratulations, Georgie. I’m so glad you’re on the road to getting better ♥️

I’m so glad that you’re not going to stress out about your cholesterol anymore! And it’s good to know that you’re not going to be on the medication forever! You’ve done so much, and I’ve come out of this post feeling great!

YAY YAY YAY

I hate how doctors’ first answer to everything is PILLS PILLS PILLS, but I like this doctor. Yeah. 👍 👍 😎

♥️ ♥️

Do you have heating in the places you spend a lot of time in? (My friend lives in NSW and she does not.) Maybe I am a sissy but I can’t live in indoor temperatures lower than 20 Celsius. If you have a space heater it might help just a little (I sometimes turn on mine because I think even 20 is too cold). Although, it makes it drier which is not helpful to your nosebleed. Then you could try a humidifier? In general winter is just terrible. =/

I finally got my cholesterol checked after what you said. My dad has high cholesterol but the tests say I’m alright.

When I first read you have high cholesterol my only thought was “oh it must be genetic”. I feel so terrible those doctors lied to you or were just plain stupid (likely the latter). What the hell, 10%? Yeah right. It sounds like they were careless or just did not care. I want to punch doctors for making you go through twelve years of this. I really think doctors are terrible people for the most part. But anyways, maybe you are unlucky to be stuck with this genetically, but you are so lucky to have finally found a doctor who told you to do the right thing. Good luck!

One of my friends recently told me she had high cholesterol in university because at that age we are likely to eat a lot of junk, but it went away after some healthy diet. It doesn’t sound like your cholesterol is anything like that. I hope you can have some pies and chips for lunch occasionally now.

Ahhhh! That should be “the right thing to do” not “do the right thing.” I can’t see what I’m writing.

My mum’s always nagging at me to carry tissues around with me but I never do. I think it’s just one of those things you get into by habit.

I always forget that your seasons are the other way round down under. Well, here it’s supposed to be summer, but it’s just rained all fucking day. 💣 Typical. I’m sorry to hear about your nosebleeds though! I’ve never had one before, but my brother gets them a lot.

Well at least you noticed your nosebleed before the job interview. 😶

The doctor’s story is lovely. There are two doctors at the surgery near me, one of whom is terrifying. You go in and she leans in and is like “what’s wrong with you then?” and you just freeze up in fear, ack. And her haircut is stupid.

I am so, so, so relieved that your high cholesterol will soon be gone. Or has gone. Or is going. Either way, that shit has been well and truly torsofucked. ✌️ I couldn’t be happier for you, Georgie! ♥️ And after all that hard work, too, you deserve it. Shame about your previous doctors being lying liars who lie, but, eh. Nowadays they’re either too wary to give you medication or drug you up to your eyeballs… 😐 I don’t know if you’ve heard in Aus, but over here the NHS has been in a load of shit with debt and poor care and… yeah.

Now that’s done, I popped by to let you know I’m finally blogging again. 😚

Take care! ♥️

I’m glad your sinus problem isn’t serious. I hope it gets better! I hate having a runny nose, which happens often for me since my city is apparently really bad for allergies.

Wow, 10 years old is young to be diagnosed with high cholesterol! I think it’s odd that the previous doctors told you it wasn’t genetic when your family has a history of it. It sounds like you were definitely healthy. I was told mine was genetic. Nothing I’ve tried has lowered it either, so I might have to go on medication later too =/

I’m glad you saw another doctor who sounds way more reasonable. I also liked her story and think it’s awesome that she also paints and writes 🙂 I hope the medication works out for you!

Hope your sinus problem improves. Sinus headaches are awful.

Glad to hear your doctor’s finally doing something right. Twelve years is a long time to wait for real information and help though. That’s ridiculous. My doctors usually just prescribe painkillers and antibiotics for anything. One time I went in pretty much knowing I had something and this male doctor told me I was fine. Then the problem didn’t improve so I saw a different doctor who diagnosed me with what I thought I had. It’s annoying that they get it wrong sometimes, but I suppose they are only human. But twelve years leaves them no excuse at all.

Hope you’re doing okay!

xx

*hugs you a lot!!* I had no idea having high cholesterol could account for so many things, but I’m very happy that you’ve found a way to solve it and it’s making you feel better. I don’t understand why your other doctors didn’t tell you – or know – that it was genes that caused it, because man, that would’ve saved you a lot of trouble.

I hope your sinuses get better, as well 🙂 ♥️

I had very similar symptoms to you, my nose was bleeding, runny and blocked. Symptoms got worse at night. Went to the doctors and turns out I have polyps. They never seem to go even with strong nasal sprays. Only something simple and not as bad as what you went threw.

My mum suffers with bad sinuses, till the point where she passes out it gets that bad. 😞 I had it the other month and my head was spinning and was going to throw up. It is horrible.

Hope things get better for you.

I honestly could’ve sworn that I have commented on this post! I guess I haven’t like I had thought due to not seeing the comment. Anyway, I’m so happy that things are looking up for you in your health wise!

Being a high blood pressure patient myself – I have learned that diet and exercise can improve everything. I was overweight, wearing glasses (I think far-sighted couldn’t see anything that was far away), poor diet (literally ate whatever I wanted), a once was type 2 diabetic, and high blood pressure patient. I turned my life over when I met my dad’s girlfriend and have her to thank for getting me where I’m at. If it wasn’t for her and getting me to eat smaller portions, I would have never lost the weight (even though I’m still technically considered overweight), lost my diabetes, and cleared up my vision. I know you’re healthy, I’m just stating what diet and exercise can do.

Now, my boyfriend keeps saying that mainstream medicine is all wrong and the wrong way to go about things in life. He doesn’t trust Medical Doctors only if the person such as him really needs something, then and only THEN he will get something. But he fights off colds, eats healthy, and stays away from allergens that can kill (slight exaggeration). I’m learning that I did all this to myself. Being overweight is not what I wanted, nor what I had dreamed of being. I’m still working at it though. But I am remaining diabetic free, and glasses free. But mainstream medicine doesn’t help you to fight off any colds or any of that. It literally weakens your immune system, to make you more gullible for the next cold and so on. I’ve learned to not take anything that I shouldn’t. My Psychiatrist placed me on mood swing pills (I don’t need them, so I’m not taking them). I’m stressed out as I genetically inherited it from my mom. But still – I was stressed and don’t need mood swing medication. When living on your own and trying to constantly struggle for ways to get food and what not – you will be stressed out. The doctors seem to know what they’re doing and all, but everything now a days is “take this medication.” I’ve noticed that. But I’m glad that you can erase yours by not taking that pill. I’m very happy to know that. You’ve been dieting great and I admire that. I’m still having trouble staying away from Soda or pop or cola however, people want to claim it to be. But I make it as a treat like they used to when it first came out (it was supposed to be a treat type thing). Anyway, sorry I rambled on about stuff.

Yo m8! ✌️

(What even was that introduction… 😅)

It’s wonderful to be back! I’m still surprised so many people remember who I am, haha.

I’m the same, I haven’t been around much. I don’t tweet much nowadays. I’m much more Tumblr orientated, and I write fanfiction and stuff, but I am keen to keep on with blogging. I don’t want to close my website down ever again; it’s so hard getting it back up, ugh.

Really? Wow, that was a long time ago. Green Day were here last year, I think? Maybe a few years before. I’ve never been a mega Green Day fan but I think they’re just one of those bands you have to see live. I know it’s going to be phenomenal. And my ticket for Reading arrived in the post today! 😄

No way! Anberlin just came here but I didn’t have the money to go, or anyone who would go with or take me. It was a bummer. 😞 I know you will, but take lots of photos when you see them. 🙂

I think you’d like Bring Me The Horizon. Their older stuff is pretty rubbish (their first album, Count Your Blessings, is frankly an absolute mess. The mixing is awful) but it gets better as it goes along. “There Is a Hell, Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There is a Heaven, Let’s Keep It a Secret” is fucking awesome, and “Sempeternal” (sp?) is very good too. Think… Bullet For My Valentine mixed with Atreyu. That’s what they sound like to me, but maybe I’m just making up shit, haha. 😋

Ahh! Have fun when you see Blur! How old are they now? They seem really old to me but I don’t know why, ha.

(I forgot how fun your smileys were… 😰 😔 )

Take care! 🌹

That sounds like such a huge relief to finally have the cause of your cholesterol confirmed, although it must have been infuriating that it took 12 years for a doctor to do so!
The story of her paintings was also really quite sweet, it’s lovely that she shared it with you.
It’s so strange stalking peoples blogs again but actually commenting for once, but it feels so great to be back in the blogging world ☺️
it’s scary how much has changed.

I hope your medication works and things get better for you soon ♥️

That’s a relief. If only your previous doctors would’ve actually looked more into your health issues, but at least you’ve found one who solved it. And the story of her painting was really nice.

I enjoyed it. 🙂

It’s really great to hear that you found a doctor that was sensible and able to help you. I know what it’s like to get no help from doctors when all you want to do is be healthy.

I also sympathise with you on the sinuses; I kept constantly getting sinus infections and eventually went to the hospital. I was tested for allergies but nothing came up on the test. A camera showed inflammation which means I was diagnosed with rhinitis which was what was causing the issues. Might be worth looking into if you’re constantly having a runny nose and sinus pain 🙂

It’s kinda weird that I’d been reading your blog for so long, and yet only now did I know you had a cholesterol problem – or maybe the times I read your blog you only said it in passing, and it didn’t really register in my head. Oh well.

I can’t believe all those other doctors kept diagnosing you wrong! I mean even if they diagnosed you wrong at first, I’m sure they should’ve noticed over that long a period of time that whatever they were making you do wasn’t exactly fixing the problem yet, and try to look at the situation at some other angle.

Anyway, at least you know that right now you’re probably heading in the right direction! I really hope the medication works, and that things will get better soon. 🙂

I’m so glad your cholesterol won’t be a reason for you stress anymore 🙂 I had the same problem with my high blood pressure. I just hate it that people who are doctors are supposed to care and look into all the possible reasons so they can give you the best answer, but some rarely do. I’m glad you found such a thoughtful and caring doctor that finally put in the effort to help you. It can only get better from here, right? 🙂 I do hope it continues this way!