Posted 13 July 2012 - 02:10 PM
I can't say I've made any *major* lifestyle changes yet, but after recent events, I'm beginning to chip away at a few things.
Last week (i.e. the week beginning Sunday July 1), I woke up twice (on Tuesday and Thursday) at 4 in the morning with a splitting headache, and I couldn't get back to sleep at all. On Tuesday, in particular, the headache stayed with me all day, and it was so debilitating I actually called my mother to ask if she could take over looking after the kids that evening (alas, she couldn't). Wednesday, apparently, wasn't so bad, but when the second wake-up call (so to speak) happened on Thursday morning, I realized I had to see a doctor.
So I went to the local walk-in clinic and was informed that I have hypertension (a.k.a. high blood pressure). There's an upper number and a lower number, and I keep forgetting what the lower numbers are, but as far as the upper numbers go? The doctor there said normal blood pressure is around 120, give or take, and they normally recommend treatment if it reaches 140 -- and I was at 174.
I went back on Friday and I was still at 170. So he gave me some pills and told me to get some tests. And then, on Tuesday of *this* week, he called me in and told me that the results of my ECG were consistent with those of someone who has had a mild heart attack -- so have I ever had one? Uh, no, I have no recollection of ever having one (though I have since been told that it's *possible* to have them in your sleep...). But apparently that's the shape I'm in, so... (Oh, and when he measured my blood pressure on Tuesday, it was down to 160.)
I'm happy to say that yesterday (i.e. Thursday) was the first day in maybe a week that I managed to get through without taking any headache medicine. And I'm happy to say that I left home last night and the night before to spend time with old friends of mine -- one of whom has apparently been taking meds for his own hypertension since he was 19, and I had somehow never picked up on this fact even though I've *known* him since we were both 19.
In any case, being able to leave home and go back to a normal-ish life was kind of important to me this week, and maybe in the next day or two I'll even darken the door of a movie theatre again... but oh, I'm going to have to avoid the snack bar -- like, really really avoid it -- aren't I?
I will say I did have my last drink of Coke eight nights ago, between my initial visits to the walk-in clinic. It was sort of a "farewell". And while that might not sound like a terribly big lifestyle change, it's kind of a biggie for me. I have never smoked and I have never developed a taste for coffee or alcohol, but I always used to joke that cola was my one "vice". Well, maybe not any more...
In the meantime, I'm waiting to get an appointment-making phone call from the cardiologist, and I have been told I shouldn't start any exercise until *that* guy has taken a look at me and had his say...
Oh, and those of you who follow me on Facebook will have heard about this bit already, but for what it's worth: Two or three days ago, as I was mulling over the lifestyle and diet changes I may have to make, and as I was mulling over the fact that I kind of hate being in my 40s now, I saw a headline about a local celebrity chef who just died, of an undiagnosed medical condition, at the age of 29. So, I'm trying to keep things in perspective.