Yesterday morning 107/72… go figure.
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My primary care person suggested twice a day, my cardiologist said twice a week. I'm working very hard with increasing my aerobic exercise (I've been exercising 4-5 times a week for years) and I've been taking supplements to increase my nitric oxide. So, I'm going to take it once a week so that I can (1) allow time for my efforts to start improving things (assuming they will) and (2) allow time for to hopefully get my head on straight about the situation and lower anxiety. I believe that anxiety is the main thing that drives numbers higher.
This actually started many years ago but I compartmentalized it until this past summer. I passed out at a sub shop counter in June and the employees called EMS while I was out. I knew they were concerned about liability so I stuck around but didn't allow them to take me to ER, drove myself home. Nevertheless, I went to a cardiologist. He ran all kind of tests and the calcium score was very high but the heart cath was pretty good. The anxiety of all of that caused my blood pressure (BP) to be very high (160/100 +/-). I was told to monitor it twice a week but I couldn't get good readings due to anxiety of anticipated high number so I didn't take any for months. I finally convinced myself to do it and I got a high reading last night but got a close to normal this morning. Now I'm freaking out because Dr. Google says that those high/low readings are a sign of other problems. I talked to my primary care about my anxiety with BP readings and, in the end, she just suggested that I keep taking readings. This sounds overly dramatic but I'm not scared of dying, I'm just freaked out about BP readings! Sounds like I need a shrink! 🙂
Sat, Sep 21 7:03pm · Caregiving Frustrations: When the stuff hits the fan! in Caregivers
Update! I'm no longer working on my dive instructor certification. When the transfusions started, I waited to see if they were going to be routine and, after the last third one in six weeks, I decided I needed to focus on other things.
Fri, Sep 20 6:42pm · Caregiving Frustrations: When the stuff hits the fan! in Caregivers
Ginger, sometimes I wonder if I'm just in denial… ? On the other hand, we both try hard to not focus on what MIGHT happen tomorrow. We try to stay in the moment and make the most of it.
Thu, Sep 19 5:11pm · Caregiving Frustrations: When the stuff hits the fan! in Caregivers
Very kind of you, Becky! I had to look back through this thread to see what all I have shared in the past. For some reason, I didn't see anything about my wife's transfusions which began in late June. Maybe I missed it. Her weekly injections to keep her blood counts up apparently have not been enough so the next step is transfusions. After the first one, we realized it was not that big of a deal in terms of having it done. It is a big deal, however, for her prognosis. The only other treatment is bone marrow transplant but that's very risky and is only offered, to my knowledge, to younger, healthier people. Maybe if it was that last resort… I guess it's just a matter of risk assessment. The injections used to be every three weeks. Now they're every week. The transfusions are about every two weeks but they may get more frequent as her body is less and less able to produce healthy blood cells. At some point, that will no longer work….
I hope she NEVER DISCOVERS THAT I'M WRITING THIS… I'll be in big trouble. 🙂 She's very private and hardly anybody knows about her disease except me and our kids. I've told my three remaining family members but she doesn't share it with her friends. Makes me feel disloyal but I need someone to talk to. She has me to vent to and I am always playing the cheerleader role to help keep her from getting depressed about all this. Most of the time, we lead a normal life except for the doctor visits (our new normal). She has amazed everyone at the oncologist office because she still goes to her work out class and has recently increased it to four times a week. I always tell her that the most either of us can do is to try to stay as healthy as we can! That's all we can control, the rest is out of our control. I think by me staying positive all the time it really helps her and we are constantly holding hands and being affectionate. I tell her I love her frequently and she expresses her appreciation of having me there to support her. I think it's about as good as it can be considering the reality of the situation.
As for me, I had heart catheterization and, going in with such a high calcium score, I was scared. I got what I considered great news… most of my arteries were only 25% blocked except for my LAD which had a "small part" (not sure what he meant) that was 40%. They don't do stents until you get to 70% or above so I didn't get any. Now, I'm also working out with my wife (not in her class, I do other stuff) and eating as healthy as I can. My cardiologist doesn't want to see me for six months and I'll get my cholesterol numbers again. My weight is as low as it's been in 20 years and I'd like to lose just a bit more. I'm still very anxious about the whole thing because I used to think I was perfectly healthy… but I know it was a good thing to find out when I did so that I can now work harder to be as healthy as I can. Like I said, we now share this goal for different reasons but that's our focus and it provides a positive attitude for us both to know we're at least trying to hold it all together.
May have said this before but my purpose in life is to give her the best life I can so we're going to Greece and Santorini in October. Don't know how much longer we'll be able to travel so gotta do as much as we can, while we can!