Blood Pressure

I knew my blood pressure was probably pretty high, what with the stress of the last few weeks. I finally had it tested and it was *gasp!* 167/109 and 105 bpm. A few minutes later, it had gone down to 153/104 and 96 bpm. I haven’t tested it in a while because I can’t find the blood pressure monitor. Until the whole thing with the problem with the Board of Directors is over and done with, even though I quit the Board (it hasn’t been accepted, yet, but I have no duties so I won’t stress out). Even so, because the General Meeting is still ore than a week away, I am still fretting over the possible outcomes of that. I can’t sleep at night but then am so tired by morning that I inevitably fall asleep and wake up far too late in the day…. Vicious cycle.

That Dreadful Insomnia by Sheeyo

I have tried taking sleeping pills… The first night I fell asleep fairly soon and woke up 3 hours later and wasn’t able to get to sleep, again. Every other night I have taken it and simply lain awake all night. Last night I dozed of fairly quickly and woke up an hour later, wide awake and couldn’t get back to sleep.

I have tried my anti-anxiety meds. I have tried the anti-anxiety meds AND the sleeping pill.

I have tried Melatonin. While that worked like a charm the first time I tried it two years ago, it has never worked since.

I tried Chamomile tea… Nothing.

I have tried eating a little something.

I have tried eating nothing after 7pm.

I went without coffee or tea for most of last week.

Now, of course, I could lie in bed and sleep all day. I just CANNOT get to sleep at night, or if I can GET to sleep, I don’t stay asleep.

Tonight I am trying Calcium and Magnesium. That also worked once but not after that. And it isn’t as though I am anticipating not getting to sleep. I get myself in the mood, curl up, try and put myself on a beach or in a field of grass — or, my usual fall-back, my “house” relaxation technique. [I imagine a place… street, road, path… city street… and imagine myself approaching the house. I imagine what the street looks like, that the surroundings are like, how I am getting there (car, carriage, walking). Then I imagine walking up the steps or path to the door, opening the door or knocking to be let in… whatever suits the house. I imagine the entryway, the hall, the walls, and where my room would be… Sometimes I imagine the whole house. Sometimes it takes me a while to get to sleep but usually I get to sleep within 15 minutes, sometimes I don’t even remember where I was before I dropped off.] Problem is that it hasn’t worked recently. Thoughts keep intruding and I simply cannot concentrate and end up fretting AGAIN about “What if…”.

It is stupid, I know. And I know that whatever happens, things will eventually calm down but until then, it is all I can think about.

And right now my eyes are shutting and it is only 5:30.

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YAY!

Today, we went to the clinic to have my Mom’s leg looked at (infection is less and the doctor said it is looking good!). She had fallen when getting down from a chair that she had climbed on to close the curtains and scraped the front of her leg so badly I had to take her to the hospital…

While AT the clinic, we were on our way out when she said that she was “feeling a bit dizzy”. She was very pale, so I sat her down and went back into the office and alerted Dr. J and nurse/receptionist. We whisked her back into the examining room and got her lying down and Dr. J (who I DO like this doctor!) was able to test her BP, blood sugar, and listen to her heart WHILE she was actually having one of her turns. This is the first time in 4 years (at least) of these events that a medical professional has been able to see exactly what is happening AT the time she is having one of her “turns”.

Her blood pressure was 84/45 (up very minimally from 80/45 on Wednesday) just before her “turn” and up a few points again, after.

His opinion is what I have felt for a long time, that it is her blood pressure being way too low. Earlier in the week, her family doctor and the cardiologist removed 2 of 4 blood pressure medications. This doctor has told her to stop ALL her bp meds for the next few days.

She sees Dr. S tomorrow for her flu shot, so we may have a bit if a chat about this, at the same time.

Hopefully, THIS will give us a better idea about what is going on.

On another note, a friend informed me this evening my cousin in Iowa has a recurrence of his Protstate cancer and that it has spread to the bone in his leg (I didn’t know he had had a first bout of it). He was on the way to the clinic for a treatment when his leg simply “broke”. He now has pins in it and is walking with a cane.

However, I am thinking of my neighbour who died a few weeks ago. She had bone cancer and she fell and broke her leg, and cancer cells were released into her body.

My cousin is a lovely person and one of the few cousins of his generation left.  My cousin, Ina and her brother, Allen, died a year apart from each other, both suddenly. She died of a congenital heart defect that runs in our family and he died of complications from diabetes.

This cousin has been so wonderful about sharing our family history with me. He is handsome (I call him a “gentleman cowboy”, of sorts). He’s handsome and charming and one of the nicest people I know. He is also yet another person with cancer that I know and/or is related to me.

He and I have been emailing back and forth recently about some family history and he said nothing.

Gahhhhhh….

L_BoSo_TM2430_ABPM

I took Mom down to The Heart Institute and got her fitted with the  ambulatory blood pressure monitor this afternoon about 2:30. We went from there to the chiropractor’s and then I drove her home. I went out to Sears and bought 2 pairs of shoes for myself and then got some shopping done. I arrived home, just before 6, and went to put the groceries away and Mom started complaining about the blood pressure monitor as soon as I got in the door. “We need to take this back.”

I asked if it was uncomfortable or something and then walked into the living room to find that she had taken it off. I asked why she’d taken it off. “Because I’m done with it!”

“We have to take it back.”

I said “You aren’t supposed to take it off. It’s supposed to be left on!” We paid $100 for this test that isn’t covered by OHIP and I’m worried that we’ll have to pay another $100 to have it put on again. I am still trying to understand why she took it off. And then she says “Aren’t we supposed to take it back, today?”

I said that we are supposed to take it back Thursday that she’s supposed to wear it for two days!

“But I’ve been WEARING it for two days!”

I kept trying to tell her that she’s had it on for less than 4 hours, at this point. She’s looking at me like I’m crazy…

I told her what we did today and she’s convinced that that was 2 days ago…

I managed to get the thing put back on properly, though. Hopefully, it will STAY on for the next two days.

And every time the thing beeps before the cuff inflates, she’s asking “Is this going to go on all night?”. I explain that it only beeps for the first few hours and then before bedtime, it stops beeping and won’t beep at all before we take it off. It will take her blood pressure every half hour but it won’t beep…. It beeps again and she gets irritated and asks if it is going to go off all night long, again.

“It seems to be beeping every 2 minutes!”. It is 1/2 an hour by my count…..

Jesus and all the Saints preserve me….

BP and a brisk walk

Today… or rather… yesterday, I went for a walk. With the sidewalks being sort of “iffy” — wet and sometimes slippy, still, or almost non-existent in the suburb where I live, and the trails being still well covered with snow, I decided to do go somewhere indoors where I could walk fast and not worry about having to stop for traffic or climb a snowbank if the need arose.

I went to Bayshore Shopping Centre. I haven’t actually been there in a few years. I can’t even recall the last time I was there. It is, however, one of the few malls where the plan is basically oval and there are several floors all with more or less the same floor plan… and there aren’t huge crowds of people on a weekday.

I parked on the top level beside a door which I discovered led right to the food court. It was also in the centre of the mall. Next time, I will park next to The Bay doors which are on the end.

I walked one and a half times around the top level and went down the stairs to the second level and did a complete lap of it. Then I took the stairs to the lower level and did a complete lap of it before sitting for a minute to catch my breath and rest my back. Then I went up the stairs to the second level and did a lap of it, walked up to the top level, again and did a lap and a half of it. Six laps doesn’t seem like a lot, perhaps but I kept at a brisk pace and took the stairs both ways. I was also wearing my jacket. I worked up quite a sweat and by the time I was done, my heart was pounding. Next time, I am going to leave my jacket in the car, I think.

Each trip up the stairs winded me a bit but I didn’t stop and I found that I was able to continue quite well and shake that off.

I stopped to buy a bottle of water before I left and had to drive home with the window open in order to cool down.

My face was pretty red but for some reason that is something that has always happened, even when I was very fit and cycled across town to work, before I had my accident. People were always concerned that I was overexerted but, in fact, that just seems to be how my body reacts to exercise. My face would be nearly purple but my breathing and heart rate was always completely normal. I think it is just how my body regulates temperature.

There is a “walking club” at the mall which meets between 7 and 9 am daily. I’m not sure if I am up to doing my walking that early in the day but it might be worth looking in to. Someone I know is a member of a walking club at a mall. I’ll have to find out which one…. and avoid it like the plague. The club lists their benefits on the mall website. I like the last one… just in case someone croaks while walking, I guess.

  • Safe and friendly environmentally-controlled atmosphere
  • Meet great people and make new friends
  • Walk early in the morning to avoid the crowds
  • Free coat check at Guest Services
  • Free quarterly breakfast
  • Special guest speakers
  • Track your kilometres at Guest Services
  • Medically trained security officer on site

The GOOD news is that my blood pressure was quite a bit better when I took it in the morning. 148/100 with a heart rate of 57. That is a LOT better than 190/114. Hopefully, it will continue to drop.

I see the doctor on Thursday, so, hopefully, the test results will be back before that.

I am ALSO hoping that the package with my new wheel bearing for my car, plus the copy of Adobe Premiere that my nephew has sent me finally arrives. He sent it via Canada Post last week…. regular mail… I MIGHT get it sometime next century.

On another note, I finished a scarf I was knitting this evening and started one for my Mom. It may seem just a bit pointless knitting scarves in March when Spring is almost here, but it has been keeping me busy and I find knitting very relaxing. Hopefully, we can find them come next winter…

I will try and get a photo of the new scarf tomorrow. Maybe it will actually be cold enough to wear it.

Went for a walk.

I have to start getting more exercise to lower my blood pressure. So, today, I decided to go for a walk on one of the many, many trails, nearby. I decided on the Pinhey Forest Trail (the one off Slack Road), here in Nepean, which is fairly close to home. I was hoping to see some Chickadees so brought along some seed.

I brought Mom along because she is going stir-crazy, now that she has had her license suspended.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t much in the way of wildlife out and about. We saw a squirrel and a fair number of squirrel tracks. What we DID see was what you see in the photo below. Probably the work of a a Pileated Woodpecker.

Woodpecked tree, Pinhey Forest Trail

Woodpecked tree, Pinhey Forest Trail

Unfortunately, as well, Mom’s hip began to hurt towards the end of our walk. It was just too long for her and she had to rest a number of times, including sitting in the snow in the middle of the trail. She enjoyed it but it was just too long for her. It is so sad for her because not too many years ago, she used to cross country ski along the same trails.

My friend Krys suggested the trails behind the Nepean Sportsplex. They are part of the same trails but north-west of the Slack Road trails. There are lots of Chickadees there, she says.

More about the Pinhey Forest: This forest is named after Mr. Pinhey, who donated the land in 1948 so that it could be used to demonstrate conservation practices.

Pinhey Trails

Pinhey Trails

In regards my blood pressure. I went and had my tests done today.

One thing I have noticed is that I am having hot flashes almost constantly. I can feel the blood rushing up from my chest and to my face and I get a panicked feeling… sort of the kind when you would get when you realize you did something really awful and are going to be in real trouble…. Think of sending a really important document off and realizing that you sent the wrong draft with all the wrong information on it… Multiply that by 3 or 4 hundred times a day. And then I start to sweat.

Wake-up Call

hypertension

For quite some time know, I have been aware that my blood pressure has been significantly higher than it should be.

This morning at 3 am, I woke up sweating and agitated. My heart was racing a mile-a-minute. Having been under a bit of stress at work (a more and more frequent occurrence with cut-backs and the public scrutiny of the Public Service, especially where the use of contractors — like me — is concerned). I pulled out the blood pressure monitor and took my BP — an activity, itself, guaranteed to raise my pressure — and was horrified to see that it was 190/114 with a heart rate of 91.

I went in first thing to the clinic to see my doctor (Dr. Mullan) who pronounced my blood pressure “dangerously high” and gave me an anti-hypertensive called Micardis until the results of the tests he has also ordered are in. He has also given me a week off work.

For someone who is overweight and leads a fairly sedentary lifestyle and with a history of hypertension and/or heart disease on both sides of the family (my birth-father’s entire family suffered from one sort or another and most died at an early age; and my mother’s father died at age 53 from a coronary thrombosis — barely a year older than me…) you would think I would have been more and not LESS conscientious about taking care of this before.

A case of “if I ignore it, it won’t happen”….

I am going to have to make some changes…

Hypertension and panic attacks… This is an interesting article on the association between hypertension and panic attacks. To my mind it is a valid theory and sort of self-perpetuating. Those with hypertension tend to have a heightened response to the stimuli involved in panic attacks. A panic attack raises your blood pressure and feeds the panic. I find myself unable to stop spiraling into panic-mode when my BP is up.

BP

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