Last August, when Tina and I were diving head first into the shallow end of the fertility pool, I went for my first checkup in probably 5 years to make sure my plumbing was all in tact. While there, my doctor diagnosed me with high blood pressure and immediately took steps to change that.
High meant more than 140 over 100. Normal blood pressure should be 120 over 80. The doctor was most concerned over the second number than the first.
At times my BP was registering as high as 150 over 110. Lemme tell ya, that ain’t good. At the local pharmacy where they have those machines you can sit down and check your BP, I was as high as 155 over 120. I got depressed, but I went into blitzkrieg mode to attack it.
At the beginning my doctor put me on a diuretic, and it made me pee a thousand times a day. My doctor went on maternity leave and between not having a doctor to go to and the expense of the fertility treatments, I couldn’t refill my prescription after last November because I haven’t found a new doctor yet. That basically meant I went into self-doctor mode.
I drastically changed my diet. I cut salt and eat out even less than twice a month. We only eat fresh vegetables and meats. We upped fish to about two to three times a week. I noticed Tina edged salt out for the most part, as the seasoning was so tasty in the dishes I was making. She still loves salt on certain things, though.
Over time, I edged out coffee. At first I edged out caffeine, and then followed it by edging out decaf. Now I drink a cup of green tea in the morning, which has caffeine, but it’s more recommended for high blood pressure people. And I don’t drink caffeine at all the rest of the day.
I started using melatonin to encourage sleep, which my doctor recommended. It doesn’t work as well as alcohol (honk), but it works pretty well. I had been buying “sleep aid” products — which is Tylenol PM with out the Tylenol — but I always feel hungover after taking one of those. The “sleep aid” dosage is around 25 to 50 mgs. Melatonin comes in 3 to 5 mgs (3 is all you need) and I find it works much better than “sleep aid”.
I’ve also cut down on alcohol consumption. The American Heart Association recommendation for daily alcohol intake for men is two twelve ounce beers, two four ounce glasses of wine or two shots (1.5 ounces) of liquor. On any given day, I could drink upwards of four beers or more. When I’m playing pool, it gets boring and drinking is all there is to do.
Finally, I upped my exercise routine from 4 to 6 miles of running a week to somewhere in the range of 7 to 12 miles (sometimes more if I’m not too busy) and 15 to 30 minutes in the pool 2 to 3 times per week.
Yesterday, we were at our local grocery store slash pharmacy. You know how you have to go to the pharmacy to buy Sudafed™, sign away your firstborn and swear your allegiance to the flag, because Meth Makers have ruined it for the rest of us? I was standing there honking out an order to the pharmacist. When I talk, in my head it sounds like I’m under water. I sound all cartoonish and raspy.
Tina says, “Hey did you see this.” I look and she’s holding up a blood pressure monitor. Price tag says, “$59.99.”
I’ve put off buying one, because I have a manual sphygmomanometer. I had just taken a blood pressure that morning and I was depressed about the results.
I broke down and bought the damn thing, as I’ve often felt I was doing something wrong. Tina and I got home. I set it up. It has this gargantuan display. It’s obviously made for older folks.
I took my blood pressure, and guess what?
Go ahead, guess.
It was 134 over 80! Seriously. That is a fucking dynamic success. This was even after we came trudging up our three flights of stairs with heavy groceries. I thought it was going to be through the roof. The second time I took it after I calmed down, it was 117 over 74. Imagine our surprise.
We may not be fertile, but my blood pressure back in black!
I took it again last night before I went to bed. And guess what it was?
Tell ’em iPhone picture: