Monthly Archives: September 2012

9/26: Visit from a friend

One of L’s closest friends came for a visit over the weekend. We were pretty much on the go and/or surrounded with others who wanted to see him and catch up from his arrival last Friday until he left yesterday morning. We spent a wonderful day in Madison although it was really cold for September (and he’s from Florida). We went with another couple and visited the farmer’s market, some campus hangouts from their days at UW and the place where last summer I left some of L’s ashes along the lake path.  It was a good day. We pretty much ate our way through Sunday–a wonderful brunch with friends and then supper with other friends–but the stories, memories and laughter were the richest part of the diet. It’s so incredible (and comforting for me) that when friends speak of L it’s always with such joy at having known this incredible man. Oh, they miss him as I do–his male friends especially miss the opportunity to rehash a football game with him or dissect the latest political or business fiasco. But their memories (as mine do) bring only smiles and a kind of peace. On Monday I cooked for the football party we were hosting that night while our friend tackled some outside painting that L had asked him to do whenever he got here for a visit. Then he helped me set everything up and it was so nice having another person here to bounce things off–would it be best to set the food here or there? Would there be enough food? All the stuff I would have fretted over with L.  The game (Packers vs Seahawks) will go down in sports history (look it up) but the evening was wonderful in spite of it–a house filled with friends and laughter and moans and groans and good food as it always was when L was here…and somehow I know that he was!

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9/2/12: I thought I was doing pretty okay until…

This week I went in to see my doctor because of an unusual (and never before experienced) shot of pain I felt in my leg and a broken blood vessel in my eye. As usual the nurse took my BP upon arrival (right after weighing me and before I had a chance for the doc to ease my concerns about other matters). Not exactly rocket science for explaining that it was high. But then when I got home (after doc had eased my concerns and ordered a consult with another doctor just to be sure things were okay) I had a voicemail from my doctor saying she had tried to catch me before I left because reviewing my BP she would have liked to have taken it again. Long story short: I went to a walk-in clinic and had it repeated (still high) and then dragged out the home BP cuff to check it myself over the holiday weekend (numbers inconsistent so obviously the home cuff is not accurate). Unfortunately the walk-in place is closed until Tuesday. (I am looking for an alternative.)

My medical community has an online communications system where I can see test results, contact my doctor, take online evaluations, and get prevention info. So I took what they called a stress measurement–this is not the physical measure where you walk on a treadmill but rather a checklist where you mark the things going on in your life that could cause stress.

I was off the charts.

And that surprised me because I thought that I was doing okay for what I was going through and the fact that it hasn’t been that long. Of course that set me up for even more stress as I obsessed about a possible heart attack and being alone and not being able to get help in time and…and…and…  Woke at 5:30 with something akin to a panic attack (not the real thing which I’ve had before); got up and took my BP med and aspirin; tried to sit quietly and meditate; finally faced it the way I have faced pretty much everything scary in my life–I took action.

I went to a local care clinic and had them do a reading–higher than ever. Came home and called doctor but of course, it’s a holiday so talked instead to nurse on call. She had me do a reading with my cuff–much better. WHAT IS GOING ON HERE!!!!! Rx was to calm down, relax, take a walk or go be with friends, maybe see a movie check BP at home every 3-4 hrs., watch for symptoms (headache, dizziness, weakness on one side, etc.) and call doctor on Tuesday. After that talked to a friend who is a pharmacist who told me the med I’ve been on forever is really the mildest form of treatment so presumably doc will add to it or order something different. In the meantime, he assured me that I am not likely to stroke out or die (the former being the more dreaded in my book).

Gee, now that I’ve completely brought down this beautiful day, how are things going for you?