Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Best of Times and the Worst of Times

Perhaps what has been one of the most aggravating months of my life is finally ending on a good note. After a barrage of Frankenstein-ish pokes and prods, we've got a diagnosis for my freakish event earlier in the month - there's nothing wrong with me - and a second EEG proves that I do NOT have epilepsy or any other seizure activity.

DIAGNOSIS - Hypertension, migraines and certain herbal supplements can trigger temporary spurts in high blood pressure. The regular ingestion of unnecessary blood pressure medication can lower your heart rate to dangerous levels and cause you to pass out ...

It really is that simple.

I'm not trivializing high blood pressure. Every day high blood pressure goes untreated results in damage to your eyes, liver, and kidneys, among other organs, which is why the Fire Chief started all this.

I don't blame the Chief. He was looking after me. But, I'm mad as hell at the doctor who put me on medication that lowered my heart rate to life threatening levels instead of listening to me.

I told the doctor that high blood pressure had to be a symptom of something else. I'm healthy and active. Not a soul in my family had ever had high blood pressure and not even pregnant and big as Rasputia was my blood pressure ever above normal.

But the doctor showed me a film, talked about being over forty, and convinced me that I was in denial. I had high blood pressure. Fine. I took the medicine. And, on January 7th, reacting to the meds, my heart rate dropped so low and my blood pressure sky rocketed so high that I wound up in the hospital for three days.

January has been awful. Grounded from my car while we made sure I didn't have a stroke, heart attack, or seizure, the men in my life had to chauffeur me everywhere. All I needed were a few mothballs, an AARP card, and a pair of droopy stockings to feel more ancient.

One son drives a Frontier pickup. Another drives a Honda. I am the queen of carsickness. By the time I ride four miles in the passenger side of a Frontier or Honda, then crawl across the gravel parking lot, barfing my way to the office doors, nobody can convince I don't have a brain tumor.

But, it's over. I'm fine. I have a medication for migraines that seems to be working well. Two entire weeks with no migraines. That's somewhat of a record for me. No high blood pressure. No blood pressure medication.

And the important things here are -- (1) I'm not dead (2) I've got the Nicholl to look forward to and (3) I've got my car keys back!


Optimistic_Reader said...

That sounds awful MaryAn. Glad you are well again and migraine free.

MaryAn Batchellor said...

Thanks, OR, feel great! And, rewriting my heart out to get ready for the Nicholl!

Olaf Legend said...

Not to be trivial to your illness, but Droopy Stockings sounds like a blues musician.

but serious, hope you are back on your feets fully now.

Sal said...

Glad you discovered the real root of the problem and can fix it. Wishing you good health for the rest of 2007 (and beyond!)

Unk said...

Whew! I recommend chicken soup with lots of pepper. Home made of course.


oneslackmartian said...

We are all excited about important things #1 and #2.

#3 . . . not so much.


ECHenry said...

Marry Ann,

One slack martian's comments have me concerned -- do we need to be offering up a few extra prayers for the good people of the state of Texas now that you're back behind the wheel again. Britney... Brandy... Marry Ann... is there something to that?

Woman's been given the right to vote -- but should they have been given the right to drive?!

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

MaryAn Batchellor said...

EC, I didn't say I had the RIGHT to drive. I only said I had my keys back!

potdoll said...

sorry to read about your rotten month. lots of love and best wishes to you.

David Anaxagoras said...

I'm so glad you are okay, and I'd be mad too.

Were you monitoring your BP at home? Doctors are just people, and sometimes they are stupid people who make assumptions. I nearly died from a simple, preventable infection that went septic a couple years ago because the doctors were stupid, inexperienced, and convinced me they knew what they were doing. Thank you, student health care. I'll never abdicate care of my body like that again.

I have hypertension. They started me on the lowest dose of meds possible, made me come in for a follow-up within 7 days, and insisted I monitor myself at home.

David Anaxagoras said...

Uh, "they" being new doctors that are doing a good job, for once.

MaryAn Batchellor said...

David, since I've been out of the hospital, I've bought a blood pressure cup and checked it regularly. It never jumps above normal.

Agreed. Doctors are only people. But nobody knows my body like I do so I'm somewhat at fault for not putting up a better argument and getting a second opinion.

On the other hand, my heart rate got so low, I damned near died. Joe Bubba Farmer with an eighth grade education wouldn't know to argue and get a second opinion...

We patients are just people, too.

Sucks how that works.