Friday, June 8, 2012

Taming The Beast

My blood pressure was high. I could feel it. I had that sort of I-need-to-take-a-deep-breath feeling throughout the day and I had a slight headache.

When I got home from the Clothes Closet Tuesday afternoon, I pulled out my little portable, battery operated blood pressure taker machine that I had stored in the closet. 159/98. Whew! That's about what it was when I was diagnosed with high blood pressure about 12 years ago. No wonder I felt a little breathless. I knew it was time to visit my doctor.

I called my doctor's office Wednesday afternoon and made an appointment for yesterday morning.

I was hoping the whole blood pressure elevation issue would have passed overnight; that I would sleep it off like a drunk night on the town. No such luck. When I woke up yesterday, I felt the same, only maybe a little worse because now I was a little more tense because I had to go to the doctor.

After my 30 minute drive to Little Rock, I entered the medical building and rode the elevator to the 9th floor. I hadn't been to the doctor in over a year and I was stunned when I saw that the name plaque on the office door that used to straightforwardly announce my doctor's name followed by M.D. had been removed and replaced with a new plaque that invites you to "Sei Bella Med Spa." Clearly, no longer a clinical  doctor's office, I entered an atmosphere boasting of laser treatments, Botox, facial peels, massages, Lipo-Ex (which is apparently a non-surgical, non-invasive, fat-melting alternative to liposuction that uses radio frequency instead of diet and exercise to make one lose weight and inches) and shelves loaded with beauty products. The sincere, accomplished, hard-working, board certified doctor of internal medicine had decided to quit practicing medicine and sell wrinkle free pipe dreams. Face Meet Palm.

The nurse escorted me to one of the small exam rooms. The traditional exam table had been replaced by a stark white spa treatment chair. She took my blood pressure. 160/101 Crap! Worse than yesterday.

The nurse left, closing the door behind her, but I didn't wait long in the little room. I never do. The doc is always prompt. 

Doc knocked on the door before she entered and after a few questions and a brief exam, she wrote out a prescription for the same med I'd been taking but increased the milligrams from the lowest to the highest dose.

As she scribbled on her prescription pad, she said, "If this doesn't bring your blood pressure down, I'll refer you to a cardiologist for a stress test... you know, because your cholesterol has been so high."

Of course, I knew what she meant. If my elevated blood pressure couldn't be treated by meds, then there could be something wrong with my heart. My first thought was Aw Jeez, I'm gonna take this one three times around the dance floor. Give me a crumb of information and I'll make a cake of catastrophe. That's how I roll.

After my initial consultation and with my new prescription securely tucked away in my purse, I asked, "When are you going to stop practicing traditional medicine?"

"Soon," she said. "We're working out the details now. It's just not worth it any more because Obama has screwed it all up." Huh?? Yep, that's what she said. But this isn't about her. This isn't about Obama. This is, as usual, about me.

I paid my $35 and left. I felt sad about losing my doctor. She is the best doctor I've ever had, but she's not the same. It's time to find a new one. A doctor who actually wants to be a doctor.

I stopped on the way home to have my prescription filled. I'd start this new prescription at the usual time, just before bed.

I woke up in the middle of night, 1:00am to be exact. In spite of my new dose, my blood pressure was high, but I didn't get up to check the numbers. I just laid there and stewed..... and thought. It's not working. It's not working. Damn. I don't want a stress test. I don't want to find out that my arteries are clogged and I need surgery to clean them out. I can't have surgery. Mike and Kathy and the kids are coming to visit. I don't want to be in the hospital when the girls are here. And I have a trip scheduled to visit my cousin and Mike and Kathy in August. I don't want to screw that up. What if I need bypass surgery.  I won't recover in time to take the trip. By the time I finally fell back to sleep, I had decided I was either going to need a heart transplant or I was going to die on the operating table.

This morning my blood pressure is 145/85. A little better. I don't think we need to add my name to the heart transplant list just yet, but I'd like keep my options open.


altadenahiker said...

Not only are we related, but apparently we're on the same schedule.

I had already decided to turn down the hopeless, hail mary operation they were sure to offer.

Terri said...

Of course you'd turn it down, as would I. Who would want to be unnecessarily disfigured for the viewing? One wants to look beautifully peaceful in a casket.

altadenahiker said...