A friend asked me last night at Bunco how my blood pressure is.  It always makes me laugh (and cringe a little) when I am confronted with the fact that people know things about me solely through my blog.  Blogging, it’s a funny thing . . .

Anyhoo, so here’s the skinny –

(If you’re new here, which you’re probably not – you almost certainly followed me over here from over there – but if you are, just a quick recap: I was informed a couple months ago during a routine lady’s checkup (to put it delicately, heheh) that my blood pressure was through the proverbial roof.  I was ordered to follow up with my regular doc ASAP, and by way of doing that, it became clear that it wasn’t just a fluke, I actually have . . . duhn duhn DUHN . . . chronic hypertension.  Blah.  My doctor wrote me a prescription, and upon researching it I found it to be incompatible with breastfeeding, so I requested a different, breastfeeding-friendly medication.  And that’s where we left off.)

That new medication sat in my bathroom cabinet for awhile.  I couldn’t bring myself to jump off that bridge and commit myself to surrendering to being dependent on prescription medication for the rest of my life – despite my vow to “put on my big girl panties” and get over it already.  Would some minor lifestyle tweaks make a difference?  What about supplements?

So I began walking regularly.  And not just strolling, but putting on my athletic sneakers and “power walking,” working up a sweat and getting the ol’ heartrate up.  I committed to eating healthier.  I combed the aisles at my local whole foods store looking for anything that proclaimed itself to be beneficial to blood pressure and/or cardiovascular health.  I even began eating celery – a lot of it – every day because someone sent me this article.

This became my daily regimen for a couple of weeks.

Sadly, it made no difference.  I continued to monitor my blood pressure every day, and it was always high – usually frighteningly high.  And in the end, I realized this wasn’t looking good, so I caved and started taking the prescription medication with a heavy heart, so to speak.  And that first day, my blood pressure went from 155/95 to 137/74.  The proof is in the pudding, my friends.

It’s a little embarrassing to look at that picture and see the desperation in it.  And it’s ironic, too, that I was so resistant to being dependent on a prescription medication but for some odd reason, it seemed perfectly okay to be dependent on . . .  other stuff.  And the other stuff wasn’t cheap!  The prescription costs me ten bucks a month.  And no side effects!  I feel perfectly fine.  I guess it was just an exercise I had to undertake to prove to myself that there was no other way.

I’ve continued with the walking – at least four or five mornings a week, and it does me a world of good.  It gets the endorphins pumping, and it feels good just to be out and about in the fresh air, alone with my thoughts.  And I’ve lost seven pounds!!  That is a definite bonus, and one I wasn’t even aiming for.  I wasn’t overweight, but I was at the heaviest non-pregnant weight I’ve ever been, and I’ve been stuck there since Finn was born, so I have just been trying for the longest time to accept and make peace with it, and having a bitch of a time.  And now suddenly I’m where I was before I got pregnant with the twins seven years ago!  My fantasies of a tummy tuck are dissolving as I shrink inside my clothes.  And for the first time in a looooooong time, I am not feeling this desperate need to hide in baggy shirts.  It feels good.

I had a follow-up appointment with my doctor this morning.  My bp was 134/76.  He said he’d see me in six months.  It’s a deal.



4 Comments on “BP”

  1. Jennifer Varanini Sanchez
    January 20, 2011 at 10:35 pm #

    Love it! Sometimes modern medicine really does have a place in our lives 🙂 So happy to hear the good news! And the 7 pounds?!?! I’m JEALOUS! 🙂

  2. Stephanie
    January 20, 2011 at 11:37 pm #

    It is weird when people address things you write on your blog. I mean we’re putting it out there and all, but it still feels like an intrusion of some sort. That’s one of the reasons why I moved my blog bc i wanted something more anonymous. Several months back a complete stranger from my religious community came up and asked me if i was Muslim Mama. Well, that did freak me out and I immediately felt a sense of self-censorship regarding what I put out there for people to read. For obvious reasons, I don’t want the fallout that could possibly occur if certain members of my community were to read my current heretical thoughts! 🙂

    Anyhoo, glad to see your BP is under control. I’m not much of a fan of homeopathic treatments myself. i dunno. Western medicine isn’t perfect, but we do have good solid evidence if a med does or doesn’t work and the potential side effects. Certainly in your case, the benefits definitely outweigh the risks.

  3. Mumofone
    January 21, 2011 at 1:18 am #

    Good on you for trying other alternatives to drugs – particularly the ones about exercising and losing weight. So wish I could be as disciplined (yep – its easy to give advice about what is the right thing to do and hard to follow it yourself!). Even though it didn’t ultimately make that much difference to your BP, the exercise and lost weight will absolutely provide you with health benefits that will last for decades 🙂

  4. esther
    January 21, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

    oh wow, lisa, this is amazing. good job!!!! i miss being outside-but living in the chicagoland area does not help in the winter time! and what would i do with my 28-months old twinkies? just too cold to be out and walking…but come spring time- oh yes!!!

    your bp was great- especially since it was at your doctor’s and well, i do believe that “white coat hypertension” does exist….so…WELL DONE!!!!

    ps: is michael ready for you in your tiny new bikinis this summer then????

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