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?

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

    1. I know that I am surrounded by love and great karma from far and wide and believe me, just knowing that helps! Feeling better and it is a process–one friend widowed five years ago tells me that the 2nd six months are even harder than the first (tomorrow will be 4 months). Why? Because in the first months you are first in a kind of limboland and shock, then you realize you have to address all of those tasks that he took care of (and learn the ropes) plus figure out mundane things like eating for one, settling into a new reality with your social network, etc. That’s apparently pretty much in hand by the time you hit part 2 of the infamous first year so in the 2nd six months you start to face the really bigger questions: who am I and more to the point who am I now that half of me is gone? The good news is that my therapist (and friend) tells me I have “all the tools” to get through this—from his mouth to the Great Spirit’s ears!! Take care.

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