Who knew?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

In fairness to those who suffered through some pretty emotionally charged rants/complaints/bitching from me about my health and my frustration with the entire medical/pharmaceutical mega-conglomerate-corporate evil empire... here's some news. I'm much much, much improved and thank you so much for sympathizing. :)

I'm taking less than half the blood pressure medicine I took previously and almost certainly will continue to decrease that amount. My blood pressure is fabulous! I stopped taking a diabetic medication that was bad for my kidney disease, and have adjusted the dosage of two other diabetic prescriptions. My blood sugars have settled into a range that is better than it was before I discontinued that medication, primarily because I have really paid attention to my carbohydrate intake. It remains to be seen what will happen to my cholesterol and triglyceride levels. But, at least I no longer need a wheelchair to shop at Wal-Mart. My muscle fatigue/weakness which had turned me into a semi-invalid is completely gone since I stopped taking the cholesterol medications and the side effects which were causing it. I am vigilant about cholesterol and "bad" fats, so, hopefully I can control that as well. I can take niacin if I'm not successful, but I'll never, ever take a cholesterol or triglyceride lowering prescription drug again... ever!!!

I got better for two .. maybe 3 reasons.

1. Rage.
2. Education.
3. Restructured nutrition.

1. I got very, very angry because I felt I had been sucked onto a scattershot, lazy, inattentive medical conveyor belt that is operated and dominated by the corporate greed of pharmaceutical and insurance companies. And, far from being healed or helped, I had been spit out with complications that were entirely avoidable if anyone had paid even the barest attention. Yes, I know I sound like a raving lunatic. So be it. I'm not a newbie to the medical community. I've done my homework. I stand by my statement.

2. Thank all the Gods for the world wide web. Once I got a diagnosis of chronic kidney disease, I launched myself on a self-education regime that bordered on the fanatical. Given my energy level at the time (very close to zero), it definitely was fanaticism (and fear) that kept me going.

3. I was already on a diet. I was already patting myself on the back for counting calories and embarking on an exercise regimen. I had already lost almost 20 pounds since joining Spark People in January, this year. However, the diet for CKD demanded some moderately radical (to me) changes. Now, I don't have end stage renal disease and I'm not on dialysis. The diet requirements for that are even more stringent. But, I did have to limit protein and drastically lower my sodium intake. Both of those restrictions are a little tricky, but I venture to say I probably eat a tastier, higher quality, enjoyable diet on a daily basis than I ever did before I embarked on this journey. Check my food log!

Here's the sermon part. If you have high blood pressure, PLEASE lower your salt intake. I first started taking anti-hypertensives 36 years ago!!!! When this current health problem started, I was on 4 HIGH dosage prescriptions for blood pressure. I had one very serious episode of hypertensive crisis about 4 years ago. I've had renal arteriograms and doppler ultrsounds of my kidneys trying to find the reasons for my sometimes uncontrollable hypertension. What I'm trying to say is, I had SERIOUS hypertension issues!! The one thing I NEVER did, and this is entirely my fault, i.e., not the mega-conglomerate-corporate evil empire, is limit my sodium intake. Because I had to, I have experienced an incredible and completely unexpected benefit. My blood pressure is like.. normal? One of the reasons I had to lower the dosages of my meds is because I was having dizzy spells from low blood pressure. I haven't had a blood pressure above 120/70 in over a month, and usually they're more like 100/60. I think it's possible I don't even need those medications.

I woke up this morning and felt like a 30 year old.. I'm not kidding!! My blood sugar was 88. My blood pressure was 106/56. As I write this, I have 12 home-made, low sodium bagels rising in my kitchen ready to plunk into a water bath, dunked into toasted sesame seeds and then baked into golden, mouth-watering perfection. My herb garden is shaking off morning dew on a sun-dappled deck in my backyard and I'll soon be harvesting basil for lots of pesto recipes this summer. My bum knee is improving; my treadmill is waiting patiently. Thanks to my family, to my bestest Louisiana team, and to Spark People for providing such a terrific atmosphere for all these good things to happen.

Ain't life grand?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • APRILMAY1956
    Fantastic news about your blood pressure. Which cholesterol lowering medicine did you stop? Which blood pressure medicine are you on now, or have you stopped all blood pressure medicines? Even with a kidney transplant, my GFR is 47, I asked about it after reading your blog. So I'm at Stage 3 as well. I joined your Lost group and my favorites are Sawyer, Syed and Locke. Your friend - AprilMay1956

    3941 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/6/2008 1:32:41 AM
    Good news, mom :) I'm so proud of you... you are inspiring and you deserve an emoticon or two!



    3950 days ago
    I am so glad to hear you are feeling so much better! You took charge of your health and that is something to be proud of!
    3953 days ago
    So Wonderful to hear things are looking up for you. About Time Isn't it Girlfriend. Keep up the great job and have a wonderful day!! Big Hug. Pat
    3953 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.