Thursday, March 05, 2009

The two pills

*** Notice! Explicit Language Ahead! ***

I visited the doctor a few weeks ago. I wasn't feeling bad when I walked in his door. No sir. I was feeling like crap a week earlier but I was fine when they actually got around to seeing me. I explained how I somehow threw out my back doing NOTHING. The pain was so bad I took some pain killers my wife got for dental surgery. This deadened the pain but I suddenly developed a screaming headache and a dull but persistent testicular pain. That's right, it was like a little man had taken up residence in my underwear and decided that he needed to squeeze one of testicles constantly to punnish it for some perceived wrong it had commited.

It was a fun 7 days.

The doctor listened to my symptoms and then, I kid you not, said "Well, you're feeling better now aren't you? SO I guess it wasn't serious."

Really? I spent a week freaked out, sleepless and panicked about taking pain killers that caused a four day headache and wondering why the hell one of my fracking BALLS was turning EVIL. This is your wizened medical opinion? Awesome.

Since there was nothing for him to look at he decided to check my blood pressure and schedule a physical. I got my blood tested and a chest x-ray. Then I got poked and prodded, and yes, that included our favorite the D.R.E. (Moooooooooon Riveeeeeeerr....) Too obscure?

The doctor reviews the various numbers and tells me that many things are just fine. Great. I like things being fine. But one number isn't fine. My blood pressure. He's taken readings like 20 times and seems confident that it's "Slightly high". Hmmm. He goes on to explain that HBP is "The Silent Killer".

I thought that Ninja's were the silent killers. But tests have shown that HBP kills significantly more people than Ninja's (these days). Then he writes a prescription and hands it to me. That was a slap. I have rarely been prescribed anything. And now there are not one but two pills that I am supposed to take every morning. I guess 'Slightly High' was high enough to warrant drugs.

I hit wikipedia and the side effects scare me. Having a heart attack scares me more. I take the pills and really don't feel them doing anything even after 2 weeks. The doctor has said that I have to cut down on the sodium as well as the shitty foods. Get more exercise etc etc blahblahblah no more fun...

Then we go on the road to Florida. To work. To do what we do for a living. Let me tell you that the road is not kind to someone looking to "cut back". There is almost nothing available in a gas station or fast food restaurant that isn't packed to the gills with evil. Real evil. Do they really need to use babies slathered in lard to make a Wendy's double? It's bad food. I've always known this. I am not naive. But once you start reading those packages, desperate for something to eat, you cannot help but get discouraged. That's why I used to ignore those labels. So that I may live in blissful ignorance. I tried ordering off IHOP's 'Healthy Menu'. and even without bacon or sausage or anythin obviously bad it STILL had 1,100 mg of sodium. Just so you know, a low sodium diet should be under 2,000mg per DAY. In the end we found a grocery store and bought some tuna, bread and sugar free cookies. Can't use lunchmeat, too much frickin sodium.

That actually worked out pretty well. Convention food is brutally expensive as well as super evil. I'm happy to save some money, it's just hard to find time to make a sandwich. When we got back home we went shopping at WalMart. I found plain chicken breast was filled with more sodium than I could have imagined. I had to get the "Super Healthy Cuts" . These didn't have the extra crap and yet they cost more. That is a swell racket.

I know that making these changes will improve my health. I also know that I have very little willpower. Give up wings forever? Ha! But I suppose I can cut back. It's strange but I think I can actually taste the extra salt now in regular foods now when I eat them. Am I crazy?

And another thing? Rossana's blood pressure is actually too LOW. She needs more salt dammit! I'm thinking of getting her a salt lick.

I hope I can stick with this. Our work schedule and travel has meant that we've slipped in our eating habits. Rossana has always been good, but even she has slipped and it's my fault. I have stuck with one healthier choice so far. A couple months ago I cut way back on diet cola (caffine). I switched to water or diet 7 up and I'm actually less twitchy. Maybe if I stick with this I'll loose a few pounds and feel better as a result. We shall see...

10 comments:

Dee said...

Dude, I was diagnosed with dietbetes and high cholesterol. apparently it is in my genes since I'm not really overweight. I was told by my doctor to lose 10lbs if I want to get off my medication. I lost 4 through diet and exercise. I don't eat out much and I eat a lot of chicken and fish (we only buy meat from the West Side Market these days). Good luck and I'm sure you can do it... I managed to live with it.

Ed said...

I'll see your two pills and raise you four more. Between diabeties, high cholestrerol, high blood pressure, gout and just plain being fat I should take 6 pills a day.

Welcome to adult hood - line for the depends forms on the right.

Steve said...

Dee, High cholesterol? Really? And where does this doctor expect you to loose 10 pounds, you always struck me as being in good shape.


For the longest time I thought I was in better shape. Rossana's cooking and better eating habits kept me from gaining as much weight as a lot of my friends.

I guess it's a little depressing since I don't have any other habits to drop. I drink only diet soda, I don't smoke and drink very little.

So I'm at the point where I have to bite the bullet and get more exercise and eat better. I'm actually all for more exercise. I just drag my feet something fierce. Once I actually GO I feel better for the day. Food will be my big hurdle.

grim said...

I dropped all my vices to maintenance levels, I don't eat fat, and I have high cholesterol and blood pressure. Some day I'll need to do something about that...

Kelley Holiday said...

Scary stuff. I hear ya' on the food front. I can't even get Goodman to get a physical. Who knows how he's doing? Although he's been good and we have both lost about 25 pounds. I still have another 20 or so to go and am stuck at a plateau. But I do go to the doctor annually for the tests and so far my back and neck are the only major issues. [fingers crossed hoping for nothing worse]

Thinking of you, take care.

Steve said...

Grim, I know you eat less meat that I do, but I just checked a plain bean burrito from Taco bell (of which you are very fond) and it has 1200mg of sodium.(7gr of fat) On the up side, it's one of the healthier things there.

Anonymous said...

I was diagnosed with high Blood Pressure a few years ago and did the stop using so much sodium bit. It's actually easy once you start paying attention to the sodium levels. The problem is don't start overdoing the reduction. Sodium is vital to fluid regulation. More homecooked foods and start trying organic(Yes I know it's a rack but it can matter here.) versions of the same foods. They usually aren't pumped full of saline.

-Tim

grim said...

My local Taco Bell has inflated prices, poor quality food, and the worst service ever. I actually walked in once, waited, a manager noticed me, waited, and gave up and left. I eat there about once every month or two now.

It's the Chinese buffets that are really a problem. Fat and salt are the main ingredients there...

Dropping salt doesn't help all people. It may not make a difference. Exercise, especially cardio, seems to be the biggest factor.

I'm surprised your doctor didn't suggest asprin first, must have been dangerously high BP?

Steve said...

Ah, the Chinese BooFay... It's like my goddamn Kryptonite. Went to one after seeing Watchmen but made more of an effort to stay away from the worst of the offenders.

Sooooo tasty....

I see the Doc on Tuesday to find out if there;s been any change in by BP. Fingers crossed.

Cowboy said...

Was told that my Grandfather's diet was a lot of why he was seeing squirrels and chipmunks dodging under his refrigerator and my Aunt n' cousin sitting on the couch when they were really at home... - in Florida.
It was lard and salt in and on everything more than everything. I've sort of cut things out here and there and still stand in the aisles of the grocery and make loud comments to myself (grandpa?) about the items on some labels. Stuff like: Corn syrup in tinned tomatoes? M.S.G. in Ravioli? (that one got me - only one kind of C.B.Dee without it)
My pills are blood thinners for the blood clot I had had. But oatmeal every other day or so for brekkie really helps the cholesterol. No, I don't love it, but yes, I wanna outlive all the previous males in my family...
Stick with it dude!
Shalom...