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25 June 2014 @ 04:10 pm
Health Update  
Short version: I had a pretty serious blood pressure scare recently. I've always had borderline hypertension. It runs in my Dad's side of the family. But my BP has gotten to crazy scary levels, so life changes are happening. One, I'm now on medication. Two, I'm seeing a naturopath. Three, I am changing my diet and exercising every day. Every. Single Day. Cardio, that is. Strength training only three or so times a week. It is hard, but life threatening illness is a lot more motivating for me than losing a few pounds, so...we'll see where it goes.

Just some numbers: when I took myself to urgent care because I was having dizzy spells and vertigo out of nowhere, my BP was 210/140.
I've been tracking it regularly since, and it ranges right now between 126/91 - 180/115. The lower number usually is in the morning right after I get up, and it ranges in the middle for much of the day. My doctor/naturopath is on it, I am on it, but I would not be adverse to advice from those who have actual experience dealing with high blood pressure. Strokes are very high on my Mom's side of the family, so I would really prefer to avoid that if at all possible. Not kidding when I say "life threatening".

I'm also trying to reduce stress in my life. For the foreseeable future, the only jewelry I will be making will be whatever whimsy takes me, and custom orders from people I know. I will be (regrettably) removing the Etsy store soon-ish). Maybe someday it will come back, but not while I am working full time. I have found that producing jewelry on demand stresses me out. I love making jewelry. I don't want to give it up. But it needs to take a different place in my life right now.

Thank goodness I am done with school. I am sure my graduate program was not helping my stress levels.

I suspect my job is a source of stress. When I began it, I went from having one migraine a month or so, so having 1-3 per week. I haven't had a single one since I started the high blood pressure medication. That's...15 days, zero migraines. That did not used to be a record in my life, but it is now. My naturopath thinks my migraines may be linked to my high BP, linked to blood vessel size/flow. I think she is probably right. I will probably be looking for a different job. I have my degree, so three tests away from getting my teaching license and being able to teach online. Which comes with built in time off, you know. I suspect that might be important.

What with no school and jewelry making being cut back, I am going to focus on writing again. I am making a lot of changes right now, and damn it, writing is going to be one of them. Writing was, I believe, the opposite of stressful for me. I can't think of a single time that thinking about writing or something I had written caused me stress, in the same way that making jewelry has, at times.

So. That's what's going on with me.
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Queen of the Skiesqueenoftheskies on June 25th, 2014 11:14 pm (UTC)
Do you mind if I ask what med they put you on? Did they check for any other possible conditions?

Stress will do it. That happened to me. But, also another condition which triggered it.

Mine has been under control for some time now, but I still take meds. I'll always have to take those.

::HUGS:: If you ever need to vent about it--or anything else--I'm here.
rhienellethrhienelleth on June 25th, 2014 11:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks. It's been pretty scary at times.

I don't remember off the top of my head, but I can look at the bottle tonight when I get home. A quick google search makes me about 85% sure it is lisinopril-hydrochlorothiazide.

They (urgent care) did a blood and urine test, which resulted in everything normal" except my kidneys, which were not processing protein as well as they should. So they ordered a kidney ultrasound. Which revealed that my kidneys have atrophied somewhat and are smaller than they should be (likely due to the high blood pressure). My naturopath is looking at other things and requesting a copy of the tests from urgent care so she can look at everything and get an overall picture.
Queen of the Skiesqueenoftheskies on June 26th, 2014 04:37 pm (UTC)
I take lisinopril. It worked for me.
"Connoisseurs of Difficulty": Girl Talkkistha on June 25th, 2014 11:32 pm (UTC)
Let's hear it for writing and less stress. Time to hit the tests my pet.

I have great faith in you.
KayJayUUkayjayuu on June 26th, 2014 05:47 am (UTC)
I was on Lysinopril and HCT for a few years. High of 160/100. It did the trick, but.

I lost 40 lbs and kept it off (another 40 to go, I think), I've changed my diet completely (close to Paleo/Primal), and incorporated meditation and mindfulness into my daily life.

I've been off my meds for several months now. Average 125/80, which is good enough for my doc.

You got this.
Steph: Spooksstephdub on June 27th, 2014 11:55 pm (UTC)
I've never had problems with my blood pressure, but I'd recommend meditation as well. I've found it's made me more patient, calm and less anxious. I'm sure it would help with your stress.

I took a course designed for people who have suffered from depression, and these are the audio files that went along with the program. They aren't really depression based, so maybe they can help if you need somewhere to get started.

http://www.guilford.com/guided-meditation-practices-MBCTD
L.A.frenchroast on June 26th, 2014 01:48 pm (UTC)
Speaking from experience, it is amazing what a change in jobs can do for your stress levels/blood pressure. I work with some SERIOUSLY crazy, incompetent people, and it's still miles and miles better/less stressful than teaching in a classroom was for me. My blood pressure was high every time I went to the doctor while I was teaching, but it's only been high once or twice since I quit teaching(and I'm actually not sick all the time!).

And major kudos for doing what you need to take care of yourself, because it's not easy, and not everyone does it, even after a scare.