It wasn’t all that long ago I was celebrating being off blood pressure meds and musing poetic about losing 20lbs. On Oct 15, just 5 days after my fortieth birthday I had a follow-up with my doctor for my blood pressure. It read 145/97. That is not what I was expecting.
I had arrived early, drank little coffee and had been relaxing in the waiting room, confident I would be in the 120/80 zone. I had met my first weight loss goal of 10% of my mass, which for me is 27 lbs. I had picked that because of what I read on the Heart & Stroke Foundation website and that amount of weight loss was correlated to reduced blood pressure.
Friends had cautioned me (I’m looking at you Cato, you very well informed and smart woman) that weight loss may not lead to lower blood pressure and I’m glad I opted not to have bariatric surgery. I would have been in the position of having had surgery and still be on blood pressure meds, pretty much intervention hell for me.
So I was pretty bummed out, actually I was really pissed off. (ya, ya “Type A” blah blah blah). When leaving the treatment room, with my new prescription in hand, I ducked into the washroom and had a pretty good cry. I pulled myself together enough to book my follow-up appointment, got to the car and cried the whole way to work. I looked like a red puffer fish. Thankfully I have an office and could quietly be a wreck as I went about my work.
I had started some intensive therapy in April because, like a great post on here by Moira said, I shouldn’t confuse the therapeutic benefits of exercise, blogging and my support network with actual therapy. I knew I needed to make substantive changes for my health including attitudes to food.
So it is disappointing, but not devastating, that I will be on meds for the rest of my life. I will also eat food, mostly plants, not too much. I will keep moving my body and accessing the services I need to be well, like my doctor, chiropractor, massage therapist and psychologist. I’m ridiculously resourced. I better leverage that for the best outcomes because it turns out I’m worth the effort after all. 🙂
8 thoughts on “Disappointing news (Guest Post)”
But what about the (little) coffee?
I feel your pain. For me it was cholesterol meds. Not because I have very high cholesterol but because I have a history of stroke and heart disease. I cried too. I felt old, only old people take meds like this. But hey, like you I plan to keep eating well and exercising too. I am 56 and I own it, meds and all. You are awesome, Natalie. I only have met you once briefly but you make a big impact on my. I love your spunk!
It was definitely the image of being a person who has to pack meds for travel that stuck in my mind. I know it’s irrational. With time I’ll get there. I find you and I have A LOT in common 🙂
But what about white coat syndrome?
(Also, I found my blood pressure higher than your one-time reading following a few weeks without 30+ minute walks most days. Within two weeks of resume walking, I returned to an ideal blood pressure. Specifically, walking at a comfortable pace. Drop into drug/pharmacy stores to use their pressure cuff machines to check yourself–with no white coats in sight.)
It’s an important piece to keep in mind. Doctors often credit up to 10 pts to white coat syndrome.
My partner has cycled several thousand km. on a solo bike tour with his own packed panniers.. He’s done different trips of this length. Includes mountain passes. He’s been cycling daily for the past…25 yrs.
He too found out 5 months ago he had high blood pressure. Such a drag ..so he’s on mild meds.
Don’t give up to good habits.
Good on him for getting checked out by his doctor. I think that is the big lesson for me, do all the things within my control and see my doctor regularly.
I understand completely how you could be upset that all your hard work and commitment did not deliver the results you were expecting and hoping for, I’ve been lucky enough to have gotten off of all medication by changing my lifestyle but admittedly, a big part of the underlying equation is nothing but sheer luck. Almost obviously, having a balanced attitude brings with it the ability to commit yourself to what is best for you but also the ability to accept almost matter-of-factly what you just can’t do anything about – and therefore, to do so without judgment (in the bad sense of that word) of yourself or the (unfair) world, in any way. And if ever I actually achieve that healthy balance, I’ll let you know!
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