Thinking About Additional Health Concerns

On Monday of this week, I had an annual check-up with a physician’s assistant. She was extremely thorough, as well as very pleasant, throughout our nearly two-hour visit.

We discussed multiple concerns during our time together. I mentioned my long-term history of depression, as well as my suspicions about my current antidepressant no longer being as effective as it originally was. Consequently, she decided to increase my current dosage of Wellbutrin. She kept my current dosage of Prozac the same, however.

I told the physician’s assistant that I’ve been emotionally eating, since this has been an especially stressful and difficult year for me. Of course, there’s been the pervasive influence of COVID-19. On top that, my mother passed away, my daughter got divorced, I added a new clinical position, and I had a total hysterectomy.

I told this provider that I know that I need to lose a substantial amount of weight, for multiple reasons. Primarily, to avoid the development of additional health problems. After all, I’m already managing four chronic conditions. Having gained weight has also had a very detrimental impact on my self-esteem.

My work as a clinical psychologist has been much more stressful this year, given that clients are exhibiting increased severity of anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. I think that I’ve used food to reward myself for all of my additional hardworking, as well as to self-medicate feelings of anxiety and depression.

I asked this physician’s assistant if she thought that starting Contrave might jump-start my weight loss efforts. Contrave is a combination of Wellbutrin and Naloxone. She agreed to increase my current Wellbutrin dosage, as well as add Naltrexone to my current medication list. (Contrave is comprised of both Wellbutrin and Naltrexone). I’m really looking forward to how Contrave can better help me to avoid overeating, by suppressing my food cravings.

I realize that long-term weight loss requires ongoing behavior modification, as opposed to simply obtaining a new prescription medication. At this point, however, I’m so discouraged by the sheer amount of weight that I need to lose. I take multiple prescriptions that list weight gain as a side effect, too.

This physician’s assistant also asked if I had recently received a lipid profile panel, and a hemoglobin A1c. I told her that quite some time has elapsed since I’ve completed these very important tests, perhaps due to focusing on the effective management of my multiple chronic conditions. Consequently, she ordered both of these blood tests.

It turns out that my overall cholesterol level is mildly elevated; thankfully, it doesn’t require yet another prescription for me to take each day. I need to focus on making much healthier dietary choices in order to lower my cholesterol level.

My hemoglobin A1c results were in the high normal range. I really want to avoid the development of diabetes, for so very many reasons. This provides very strong additional motivation to lose a significant amount of weight.

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