Life In An Orange Plastic Bottle
I KNOW THAT THERE IS NOT A LOT I CAN DO ABOUT IT, but I get really tired of taking my daily fistful of meds. Counting Vitamins, and other Supplements I down eight pills with my morning coffee, three with lunch, and six more with dinner. I feel like I am a bulwark of the American Pharmaceutical Industry.
Don’t get me wrong – I know that there are a multitude of people who have to ingest more medications than I do, but I can only live within my own frame of reference. I understand that all these meds that I take serve a purpose – two purposes actually – 1. To keep me from having a neurological blowout at freeway speeds, and 2. To keep my local Pharmacist employed. Both are noble causes indeed.
I was in my 50s before my Blood Pressure became an issue. Until then I had numbers that
pleasantly surprised my doctors. They were always on me to lose weight, but what else is new?
They (The ubiquitous “They”) say that stress is a major contributor to the development of Hypertension ( ← a 25 cent word for elevated Blood Pressure. If you can give it a fancier name the treatment is more expensive.) “Dolor in Asinum” sounds a lot more costly to cure than “Pain in the butt.”
Stress is an unavoidable fact of life – and so it was with me. I won’t go into the gory details of how my life in my 50s resulted in me having the Blood Pressure of a Chain Smoking Giraffe. It would bore you and test the limits of my current medication load.
When I left California and came back to the Midwest I was a wreck. My new Hoosier (via India) doctor here in Terre Haute (That’s French for “Did you know that you’re dead?”) took my Blood Pressure and he told me to lie down before I fell down or exploded like an overripe watermelon.
I chose to lie down. I was a new patient and I didn’t want to be responsible for the doctor having to repaint his office.
Over the next year or so we tried a dizzying combination of drugs. Some lowered my BP, but made me pass out and other awkward side effects. Other meds just didn’t work on me. It was all a trial and error quest for just the right combination to lower my BP to a level where I could function without risking turning myself into a student at Vegetative State.
It has been about sixteen years since I arrived in Terre Haute and my Blood Pressure appears to be under control. My doctor is still all over my case for me to lose weight. He is thin as a blade of grass so I don’t think he can understand that losing weight is a little harder than changing your socks.
Life goes on, but retirement (on Doctor’s orders) has made a significant difference. As long as I take my meds and remember that I am now in my 70s and no longer a teenager, I should do OK. I have no plans to take up Marathon Running or Javelin Catching any time soon.
You can’t avoid stress it is everywhere and is around every corner. Even winning the lottery, while eliminating some stresses from your life, can certainly add some new ones. You may not have to worry about paying the bills every month, but how do you deal with all of those new cousins that have mysteriously surfaced?
I’m taking it all as it comes these days. I try to avoid people and situations that I know will get my BP heading toward the roof. That’s all I can do. One day at a time.