I made reference the other day to my recent journey to the Grand Strand Medical Center and thought that today I would take a few moments to explain what I’ve been up to the past two months, my recent diet changes, and why I’m suddenly interested in working out & eating healthier.
Around last August I found myself becoming increasingly tired all the time and not having any energy throughout the day. I also had started to develop an annoying cough that just wouldn’t go away. I’ve had my nose broken twice when I was little, so I didn’t think too much of the cough, it’s something that I’ve dealt with a lot over the past few years and the chronic post nasal drip. In the past, some good sleep and a few days of taking Zyrtec would resolve the issue.
Right before Thanksgiving I was feeling miserable, so I took a quick visit to a local Dr.’s Care here in Myrtle Beach. On that visit, the Dr said to me that my blood pressure had been a little high. He asked if I had a coughing fit before entering the office to which I answered yes and he attributed the high numbers to that. He said if it stayed high come back & he would give me something for it. He handed me a prescription for a nasal spray and an antibiotic & sent me on my way.
My wife & I packed up the kids & headed to Atlanta to spend the holiday with her family. Needless to say, I was not myself during that trip and was miserable. I spent most of it laying around and feeling like crud. I’d find myself out of breath and having no energy. At night I couldn’t get to sleep and then during the day would be so tired to go and do anything with the family.
We came back home and still I continued feeling like crud the next 2 weeks. Not getting any better, and the cough staying around I finally on Friday Dec 11, I told my wife I was going back to Doctor’s Care and wasn’t leaving till I had answers. I was tired of not being able to rest, being out of breath, and coughing constantly.
Upon arriving, they took me in the back and did the normal weight, height, temp, BP readings. However when they tried to get my blood pressure, they kept having problems. I told them that it was probably a little high and that it was on my last visit too. After 3 nurses trying to take it & all not getting good results, the Dr. finally came in to see me.
He informed me that an ambulance was on the way to take me straight to the hospital. He told me that this was not a good situation. When I got the ER, the nurse there said that I was a hypertensive crisis patient with extremely high blood pressure. It was 247/173 at that moment & was a high risk for stroke at any second. Normal blood pressure is 120/80.
I ended up being admitted directly into the progressive care unit where I spent the next several days connected to some pretty heavy medicine to work on lowering my pressure. I had IV’s of straight nitroglycerin trying to help as well as a barrage of various BP medicines. Because it had been so high for so long, they said they couldn’t risk it being lowered to quickly or I could stroke from that as well. Finally, on December 16th they had my pressure into a range they liked and sent me home.
I met with a family care physician since then as well as a Cardiologist & Kidney Specialist and they all basically told me the same thing to which we have been adhering. First, they said I needed to limit the amount of sodium intake. Some of the things that we used to make on a regular basis for dinner had to be eliminated. Some of the things that shocked me being high in sodium were things like cheese tortellini and italian breadcrumbs. I’ve also changed my breakfast routines. What used to be filled with bacon & sausage has now been replaced with protein shakes and snacks have been replaced with unsalted peanuts.
Each morning I try to wake up early and hit the treadmill for at least 25-40 minutes. While I don’t find this to be a fun thing to do, I’ve found Netflix Movies help the time to pass by quicker on the iPad. I’ve also cut back the amount of soda intake. Since I’m not a coffee drinker, I used to have at least 1-2 sodas a day for caffeine. I’ve cut back this to maybe 1-2 sodas a week. As I told my wife, the doctors all said low sodium, not no sodium. So when I have a craving for one, I’ll have a little here or there. If I tried to go cold turkey, I know myself I’d binge back and have zero self control.
I’m now a little over 6 weeks into the new me and I’m already down almost 50 pounds and feeling much better each and every day. I visited a doctor on Friday and my blood pressure was 124/76 which was almost perfect. I once again can play with the kids without being out of breath. I can pick up my 17 month old and hold her without feeling like I’m about to pass out. Life is getting healthier each and every day in our house. I’ve got a lot to live for with an amazing wife and three awesome kids and I plan to be around for a very long time to cherish it with them all.