This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Fit as a Fiddle


Today I went to my primary care doctor. I've seen him for several months now, but he's new. After the mysterious illness last year -- then the car accident this year and having no real idea what my deal is with regard to the neck issues, mysterious illness, whiplash, and having different diagnosis from the wide variety of specialists I had seen...I decided it was time to find only ONE.

So far so good. I like this guy. He spent a lot of time listening to me go through my chronology of events from last year up to now. He has run so many tests on me that I know what I don't have and what I may have had in the, not any STDs...thankyouverymuch.

But he listens...his nurse listens...and he grins (but not laughs) at my jokes. I think he laughs more at _me_ and my animated nature and somewhat, dinginess, of explaining my medical anomalies.

So today was supposed to be a follow-up from my last appointment in August. Just some blood work to verify some numbers, especially the cholesterol number, which was a bit high.

My cholesterol number has ALWAYS read high except once in my life. I border 200, give or take a few points. I'm used to this and I get the same spiel: cut out fats, eat more veggies, exercise.

I do, do this.

But whatever. I'm like the doctor -- I want to see it go down too.

So wasn't it a bit of a surprise when the nurse had to check my blood pressure FIVE times. The first time, she didn't even tell me the number...only that it was high and she was going to do it again.

The second time, it went down, but only a little bit. The third through fifth time was around the same number, which was still high. She asked if I had a family history of high blood pressure, to which I responded with "I'm not sure". To which she responded "What do you mean, 'you're not sure?'" Like, how the hell do you not know this info????

Then she asked if I had been dizzy lately and I first said no, but then my brain came back to normal and I changed my answer. Yes, I have been dizzy for awhile. Brain shocks, I call them. But they are dizzy spells that "shake my brain". This, I thought, was a side effect of some other prescriptions I had been taking.

When I saw the doctor, we reviewed the past few months. I then explained what the nurse mentioned. I also included the fact that my running has been a chore. I start well and then, BOOM! My legs feels like they've run 20 miles and have no strength to continue. It's been a constant complaint for several months.

He checked my blood pressure. It was high. 160/110. He checked the other side. It was high. 160/104.

Wow. I knew this number sounded high. I usually have numbers in the 120 range.

So, I've been prescribed a low dosage of blood pressure medicine. Great. I plead with him if this is absolutely necessary. Yes, it is.

I say...."I can still run, right?" And he's like "no, you need to break from that for awhile." Awhile? That's too long. So I tell him, um, I have a race in three which he excitedly replies "Oh, the city of oaks marathon!!" and I correct him and tell him I'm only doing the half. And that was the end of that conversation...

So I say, "I *guess* I can take a break for running....for...a...week....?" And he doesn't reply, so that will be my plan...;-)

But, he states, this could explain why you are tired and why you are dizzy. Big symptoms of hypertension.

But he, as the nurse, and now me, were dumbfounded. I am, by the other numbers, 'fit as a fiddle'. I eat right. I count my calories. I have implemented new food management to include more fruit and portion out my other stuff. I cut out the fatty stuff, except for a celebration. I EXERCISE EVERY GD-DAY, for god's sake! WTF?

He states is probably hereditary, or stress-related. He asks if I'm stressed. Um, YEAH. That's what my life is...STRESS. But I'm not having a nervous breakdown...and well, I can handle it (apparently not).

He asks what new stresses entered my life recently. I respond with "school started".

So I go back again, in two weeks, to find out how the medicine worked. I also have to do more blood work -- check my iron, cholesterol, all that other stuff. We'll see.

I call my dad afterwards and ask if he has high blood pressure. He did, he states, but not anymore. But he still takes high blood pressure medicine. Ah. I tell him my story and he starts explaining how my lifestyle has been conducive to stress and that's probably what has happened. How do I fix that??? Take a pill everyday???

Yes, I am very stressed. It's my life and it's really no different than anyone else who works, volunteers, and does other things outside of work. Why has it hit me with the hypertensive stick?

We'll see. But I feel somewhat comforted, but not assured, that this may have been the cause of my crappy running experiences for the past few months. My blood pressure reading has been high in other offices but the technicians simply blow it off as a mucked up reading, because 'on paper', I don't fit the hypertension stereotype.

I will be checking my blood pressure more often. In fact, I did it right after my doc appointment. Seriously, I doubted their blood pressure taking techniques. I felt they may have exaggerated it...missed a sound somewhere and falsely checked my blood pressure seven times. At Eckerd's, I sat at the free blood pressure machine, just to see where it was at. When it finished, it read 158/104. Great.

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