Friday, March 16, 2018

A night in the ER, with good company

While some of my friends have been sharing photos of themselves on beautiful beaches, I stretched my legs out as though setting up for the pose of bare feet in the sand ... but on Wednesday it was clogs on my feet on a stretcher in the Brigham and Women's emergency room.

That's because after the light treatment for my graft vs. host disease of the skin – ECP – my blood pressure went so high that my nurse paged the doctor on call. My BP was 200 or so over 100 or more.

As previously stated, the nurses are lovely and caring at the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center at Dana-Farber, where I have been getting the procedure for some two years. My nurse sat and meditated with me and spoke in a soothing voice, but it only went up. The doctor said I should go to the ER. A stretcher arrived and off I went.

Luckily Katie had driven me. She sat with me and somehow we passed the hours as I got hooked up to a blood pressure monitor and got blood tests, a urinalysis, and an EKG. Everything was normal. Slowly it went down to a number low enough to be discharged around midnight. Valiant Katie drove back. We got help from listening to Broadway show tunes on Sirius Radio, which is a time-limited freebie with a new car.

The next day, yesterday, I was tired, but I didn't want to let down the three others scheduled for the morning's tennis game at Bay Road Tennis Center. So I went and played, and I wasn't too bad.

Today I followed up with my internist. Beforehand, I took my own reading and saw that it was normal. Still pretty tired but not wanting to give in to it, I went to an exercise class at the Y, then headed to Springfield to see Dr. Berger.

I told him that it had been going up and down, but never as high as 200. When he said it was time for just a small amount of blood pressure medication, I said I had prided myself on being an athlete with low blood pressure. It was disappointing.

He pointed out that I have had a considerable amount of stress in my life, so it is not surprising.

With the Saint Patrick's Race tomorrow, he asked for a reminder of how many years ago I saw him after the disappointing performance that led to my leukemia diagnosis.

It was 15 years ago. Hard to believe.

He asked if I was running, and I said no, not this time.

He will probably run the 10-K course twice. I barely made it one time through last year.

I will go cheer for Ben, just like he used to root for me.

I'm kind of disappointed about not running and also disappointed about adding a blood pressure pill.

A wise person pointed out that feeling like high BP is a failure is the equivalent of a person with kidney disease feeling responsible for it...and not wanted to get treatment.

I have been doing as much as I can to stay healthy, but I can't do away with the stressors.

Also maybe I should cut back on the Fritos and Cheetos.


Anne H Outwater said...

My dear Ronni,
Are you really eating things like Cheetos and Frito-lays? I thought you were eating clean food! The Frito-lays are surely made of GMO corn, which means there are almost certainly pesticides mixed in, and the Cheetos are loaded with chemicals to say the least.

Please my dear, eat organic. Don't put more chemicals and GMOs into your body. Those are huge stressors not just for your body, but also for the environment's body! Check out the balanced website for the Institute of Responsible Technology.

Studies are showing that people become much healthier in many different ways when they delete processed foods from their diet.
Love, Anne

Seeker said...

You are a hero. Cheetos are bad unless they are the crunchy kind. Even still, save them for really special occasions, like car trips with orange soda. You are the Best and thank you for saving me back in the day!

Unknown said...

Wow, Ronnie, what an inspiration you are to me!! Good for you for playing tennis right after your night in the ER. Hope to see you soon for a trip to the Pie Bar.

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