For the last week and a half I have been out of commission trying to recover from missing some prescriptions and the resulting war inside my body deciding whether blood pressure should be stabilized or not. It’s been an incredibly difficult ten days or so, and the result has left me more than a little melancholy.
It all started the Thursday before last when I went to see my kidney doctor. He had good news and some bad news for me. My A1C (a measure of sugar in my blood, or a way to judge the diabetes) had gone down quite a bit to really good levels. My kidneys themselves had achieved a fifty-three percent functionality, a high score since I had gone in to the coma, also a score I had been told by several doctors I would not achieve ever again in my life. So I was pretty damn excited about that.
However, my blood pressure was 187/132, a score I am told is narrowly avoiding death, heart attack or stroke depending on who I have talked to. The doctor was more than little disturbed by this as he made sure the five new medications were in stock before I went to the pharmacy. He made no bones about reprimanding his nurse in front of me for allowing me to run out of these prescriptions. He’s a nice guy and doesn’t usually reprimand his nurses in front of patients, he’ll take them in to another room or some such. He also made no bones about letting me know that I was absolutely 100% going to get those pills on my way home and start taking them immediately. Also that I was going to be taking my blood pressure regularly and writing down and coming back in about a week to have it taken by another doctor. In any case, I took this to be a serious thing.
The problem with all this was that I needed to help my dad by going down to North Carolina and helping him move out of his condo and into his new home in Virginia. I’ve been trying to do right by my dad as I feel like I kind of abandoned him a bit this year to take care of my roommate, and I think we all know how that turned out. Having been told a firm no by my doctor, I turned to Dr. Mom for a consensus on how important this was. Mom said a “hell no” as well. I was grounded. I was a bit miffed by all this, I really wanted to go if for no other reason than just to go on a road trip. I have had enough of the scenery and was ready for some new sights and again, the guilt of not helping dad has been kind of brutal. But, having been through not having these pills before and trying to stabilize my blood pressure, I knew I couldn’t go.
There’s a few things I should clarify about my high blood pressure. First, as it is controlled by the kidneys, having everything go all wonky with me barely having the functionality of one full kidney is not a surprise. I have a family history of high blood pressure and a diet that probably isn’t helping things. I’ve never acheived blood pressure this high before and was having pretty severe headaches that felt like the inside of my brain was mushed and/or trying to get out. I thought it was just allergies. It was starting to feel like the sinus headaches I used to get, but much, much more painful. That is a truly bad sign according to what I have read. That’s coming past heart attack to aneurism worries, according to the Mayo website. Normally with high blood pressure there are no symptoms until it is too late. So you end up with a headache that kills you. Literally.
Secondly, it’s the stabilization that is the hard part on the patient. The medication dropped my blood pressure fairly quickly, but this left me exhausted. Every time I exerted myself, I felt like my heart was going to burst out of my chest. I live on the fourth floor with no elevator. My mom’s initial concern about this condo was that the stairs would kill me. Unfortunately they’ve just managed to ground me. Going up the stairs to get to my home feels like I am climbing a mountain. When I get home from carrying two light bags of groceries I have to sit and wait to catch my breath for a bit before I can put them away. I have felt like I was cold packed in my own skin for ten days now. Not painful, Just very, very uncomfortable.
All of this would be fine in my mind if it were a short term effect. Last time this happened, it took a weekend of extreme discomfort to level off. I’m going on ten days now. THAT takes a toll on your psyche. As someone one with chronic illnesses I am always wondering if this is going to be the new normal whenever something lasts for more than a day or two. I am always wondering what new way have I found to cripple myself. What new restriction have I created to my diet, my mobility or my existence?
Yesterday I hit ten days. I get just a tiny little bit better every day. But I am exhausted, bored, frustrated and running out of things to watch. I am afraid to play video games because the last time I tried I thought my heart was going to fly out of my chest. So it’s laying around the house, doing nothing but trying to relax. So, naturally, the depression kicked in. All I can think of is the many ways I have failed, will fail, and continue to fail. I don’t have enough followers on my social media, I don’t have enough content to follow, I’m not focusing enough on the speaking so the plan is failing. My body is failing, so naturally my mind must be as well.
But then I remember, this is all just temporary. It’ll pass eventually. It’s just another wave in the ocean of mental illness. I have survived so very much, I’m sure I will conquer this one eventually. That’s what I do. I conquer my problems.