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April 10th, 2019 Leave A Comment

Don’t Wait for a Wake up Call!

Headaches are rare for me. If I get one it’s usually due to being dehydrated. The day before we were to leave on an overseas trip in July of 2013 I had a rip roaring splitting headache like someone had hit me in the head with a baseball bat. I took some over the counter pain reliever and it subsided but the problem persisted and so I pretty much lived on the pain reliever for the duration of the trip.

Fast forward to early September just prior to a procedure at my Eye Doctor’s office. The nurse came out to the waiting room to take my blood pressure. She looked at the first reading and thought the machine had malfunctioned. She took it a second time. Off the charts! I can’t tell you the exact numbers but it was extreme. She asked if I was nervous. Did I have ‘White Coat Syndrome’ – exhibiting higher pressure in a clinical setting? “Not at all” I said. “I can’t wait to have this done since it will protect my vision – in my good eye!”

My Doctor and I agreed that the risk was minimal for the procedure and it went ahead as scheduled. Of course he highly recommended that I see my primary care physician as soon as possible. I had to wait a while after the procedure to make sure the eye was stable so I asked them to take my BP again and it was even higher.

Not messing around I was in my Doctor’s office at 8:00 AM the next day. He was already scheduled up with other patients so I saw the Physician’s Assistant. My pressure had backed off a little but not much. She began to ask me the typical questions. Family history, did I smoke, drink, if so how much etc. At the time I was at or above 250 pounds, way too much for my 5’ 5” frame.

As she was looking down while making notes on my chart I saw a slight grin begin to form on her face. I said, “I’m a classic case aren’t I?” She said, “Yes, you are but most people would have been in here after the second headache”. I said, “Well I’m glad I didn’t die of stupidity by not getting it checked out”.

That was the wake up call. As she was writing up the prescription I decided right then and there that I was not going to live on it for the rest of my life. I decided that whatever it took to drop the excess weight I was going to get it done. One of the main culprits in my life was Ale. I love a great IPA. A good friend had introduced me to it a couple of years earlier and it helped me pack on the pounds so I eliminated that immediately.

I got the prescription and started taking it promptly. Right away during the middle of the day I felt dizzy on the medicine so at some point in the first two weeks or so I cut the dose in half and immediately felt better and my pressure was in a normal range. Once I lost about 10 to 12 pounds I began to walk on a regular basis and more weight came off.

As I increased my walking mileage, lost more weight and felt better I decided to take myself off the medicine. After about 4 months I stopped taking it completely. Monitored myself three times a day for ten days. Every reading was in a normal range and I’ve never taken it again since. I monitor my blood pressure often and it is always in a normal range. Over the next thirteen months I dropped 45 pounds and have kept it off.

This is not medical advice, so consult your physician before eliminating any prescription medication and before starting any rigorous exercise plan. I chose this path because I have always felt that an individual should be their own primary care physician and I’m responsible for my own health. After all who knows your body better than you? However if I can do this, so can you! I’ve lost 20 more pounds since then and am still working on getting to my ultimate goal. What are you waiting for? A wake up call? Get on with it!

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