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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

"Finally- no depressing news stories!"

... though the first part of this could qualify as a serious note.  As I may have intimated here and there, a "minor health problem" popped up last week.  Wednesday last, I decided to visit our twice-weekly nurse at work to ask after a somewhat stiff back,  Well, this nurse has a thing about blood pressure.  As in, "You need to watch yours or you'll be on medicine."  Now, last time they took mine I was 150/100, enough to get yet another scolding, back in late May.  Wednesday, I "blew" a 172/108.

How does it go up so far so fast?  I've no idea for sure.  Granted, in the interim, I was laid off 2 weeks and have been on short hours since.  Which means, besides the lowering of constant activity, my lunches went from the work usual of two cold frosted blueberry Pop-Tarts to actual meals.  And, my three-week episode with the little kidney stone that couldn't was also in this frame.  But these are all conditions I've dealt with similarly with no problems in the past.

So Monday came with the Dr's appointment and I was a bit stressed.  In addition to spending a weekend "feeling" like my BP was high, I was a bit nervous to see Dr Wuest again.  "Diet, blah blah... sugar, blah blah...weight, blah blah blah."  I had the words he told me last time ringing in my ears- "You need to lose 10 pounds by the next time I see you", which had a good deal to do with the fact that I hadn't seen him in 4 1/2 years.  But I thought I had gotten my stress down to manageable by the time the nurse took my BP at the office.

Guess again.  188/112.  WTF?

The actual time with the Doc was not near so bad as I made it out.  "Hmmm, 194, you've gained 7 pounds since last time."  The end.  For now... because he scheduled me to return next month, and to have a slew of blood work done the week before.  Oh and put me on Benicar, a name I never remember so I call it Booferal.

So we went to Walgreens to procure the Booferal.  "That will be $189."
"You don't want my insurance card?"
"We ran it through your insurance.  It saved you $38.  Unless that's old insurance."
Lord, I hope so. "Here, try this."
"Oh, that's much better.  $34.95."
But this stuff is supposed to LOWER your BP.

So I had Laurie run me over to Wal-Mart to check my pressure on their gizmo.  166/105.  Not great, but better.   The next two days I "blew" 158/100's, so it's starting to work.  And a good thing too.  I went through the store today looking at sodium levels in foods.  Moments later, I caught up with Laurie and sat down on the verge of tears.  "I am NOT (expletive deleted) living like that."  But I am going to make a decent effort to do SOMETHING.

The nurse at work basically told me to eliminate 95% of my diet.  "Microwave dinners are full of sodium."  Boy, are they.  She recommended me Cavender's salt-free Greek seasoning to use in place of salt.  Which I am using, but I don't use the salt shaker a lot in the first place.  I have four main demons that need shrunk.

#1 is potato chips.  I have them with every meal, on every sandwich (yes, on, not with).  I have cut myself to one small handful per meal, and have purchased some low-salt chips as well.  (of course at the new rate, it will take me about two months to polish off the bag and a half of regulars I have to work my way through first.

#2 is reading.  Yes, reading- I almost have to have something to read when I eat.  And it boils down to "I eat till I'm done reading" instead of "I read till I'm done eating."  That will be the easiest of the ledges to climb down off of.

#3 is eating after 7 PM.   GRRRRRR.

#4 is Pepsi-Cola.  Cutting sugar/caffeine has to start here, but I don't do diet and caffeine free Pepsi is like decaf coffee- a placebo, nothing more.  I have plenty of room to cut down, but this will be the big will power challenge.  Especially when I know SO many women whose Mountain Dew intake exceeds my own (including a co-worker that confessed to me that she was basically consuming my lifetime consumption of Mountain Dew every week and a half or so) and it PISSES me off that they can drink so much of something with MORE caffeine and sugar and be fine and I have to give up the pop or two a day habit of mine.  GRRRR again.

Laurie noted this afternoon, "It surprises me with all the joking you do about 'working on your coronary' that this even upsets you."  Exactly what I told my boss- "Here I've been working on my coronary for years, and now I gotta take medicine to PREVENT it!"  Well, I still have my "tumor" to rely on.

At least until I get that chest x-ray next month with the blood work.


Bark Park party!!!!

Dexter and Cooper after the ball, with Brinkley closing fast.

Everyone gathers for the ball tug-of-war.  Except our hero, sniffing to one side.

Ball tug-of-war close up: Dexter and Cooper, with Brinkley watching intently, and Kaiser... er, bringing up the rear.

Gimpalong Cassidy.

The white dog in the way back, I don't know.  Boomer is next, and the rest you know.

Hooray!  Daisy's here!!!

And there she goes!

L-R: Brinkley, Georgia, Boomer, Daisy, Dexter, Scrappy, Cooper.


  1. Yikes! Those are not some good BP numbers, but...just my two cents but I have heard those machines that stores have are not accurate at all. And the best time to take your BP my cardiologist has told me is 1st thing in the morning. But also, sometimes you are just fighting genetics. I'm on medication due to my heart but also my parents having high BP as well. Darn, genetics...I do hope that they figure it out and you are able to lower your BP!

  2. I really wish my town I live in now had a dog park. We have a huge back yard but its not as fun without friends to run with. Jax enjoys being social!
    Stop the chips and pepsi! You can do it.

    1. I'd invite Jax up, but I know it's a bit of a drive... and I have slowed the chips way down. The Pepsi, well....

  3. >>... #2 is reading. Yes, reading- I almost have to have something to read when I eat. And it boils down to "I eat till I'm done reading" instead of "I read till I'm done eating." That will be the easiest of the ledges to climb down off of.

    Ha! Well, whatever you do, DON'T read 'War And Peace'. Or if you do, at least say "Goodbye" to all of us first.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    1. I have an encyclopedia volume, Al Penwasser's book, a 1200-page history of Europe, and a comic book on the table right now. You think Tolstoy'ed really be a problem?

  4. They take your blood pressure after dragging you around, weighing, peeing, whatever. Of course its bound to be high. I always ask for a repeat after I've been sitting there doing deep breathing exercises for a few minutes. It always drops.

    1. Unfortunately, I don't have that excuse. They weighed me and sat me down. But once out of the Doc's sight, then...

  5. Chris:
    If you want your BP to punch a hole in the roof...just live down HERE for a few weeks...LOL.
    (last year, with my medical issue, doc told me my heart was strong as an ox, AND the BP was normal...go figure.)
    I asked "you sure?"
    "Yep" was the answer, and he's got the diplomas top prove it.

    But I'm with you on the potato chips...I put them ON the sandwich as well as alongside...and I didn't even grow up out here!
    I do manage to keep my weight constant (as in NOT increasing) Guess a hyper-metabolism deserves thanks there.

    Can't say I read AND least not all the time.
    (gotta switch glasses too darn much)

    I might do the later-evening "bite" too, just not that to have SET times.
    Make mine DR. PEPPER!!!

    Remember, EVERYTHING in MODERATION...I often switch off between soda, lemonade (and Tang), or even the So-BE waters (Pina Colada is great). for a buck, but that's a treat.

    And yes, I always joke w/ Wifey about me taking that big "dirt nap"..feel like I'm on borrowed time anyway.

    Great pics of the pooches, too.

    You hang in, stay strong, and s safe up there, brother.

    1. I know, I just have to turn MY moderation into HUMAN moderation.

  6. Ugh on the health scares. Last year I hit the big 5-0 age and it seems everything started falling apart. The metabolism slowed and the weight went up. I can't eat my fave foods loaded with calories because the sugar goes up. Now I can't eat breads and wheat because of what they call, sensitivities. I have learned to read my hormone levels by my BP. I think we hit an age where our bodies know instinctively that since our activity level has dropped a little lets just add a health scare to brighten things up a lil. As if I have nothing better to do than visit the Doc. Hang in there!

    1. Boy, I hear ya. Health problems, work stresses, car failures, all think they have an obligation to keep us entertained. Sokay, guys, I'm good. Really.

  7. Soda is a tough one to kick. Give it two weeks though and the cravings will stop, as will the headaches and shakes. Promise.

    I went for the last of my followups today. Turns out the medicine I'm on has stopped new cysts from forming AND helped my body not produce any more measurable new ones. Great yes? Down side? It "helped" me gain 15 lbs. which is not helping the ankles and joints.

    I will say though, that I gave up artificial sweeteners and that alone has helped considerably. Sugar... *sigh*... it's an up and down battle. Wish I could say I was winning, but alas... I am only 1/2 way there.

    1. It seems like no matter what we do for our bodies, they rebel one way or another. Sorry for taking so long to answer- I hadn't realized how lazy I got over Labor Day weekend!