Friday, January 12, 2007

Hypertension 27: Medical Condition vs. Medical Condition

At this very moment, I am sitting in bed, laptop on my lap, nose stuffed up from a flu which my spouse graciously passed on to me. Outside, it is -35 Celsius, with a windchill bringing the temperature to around -48 C--but living in Winnipeg is a whole other tale. Right now, while eating some beans, my foggy brain began to compare Hypertension with other diseases.

I may have even written of this before. There was some of it in the posting about Hypertension being a disease of fear. There was also a bit of a comparison with other serious medical conditions in the post about the workplace (and I felt bad about comparing one disability to another in terms of impact). But, right now Scarlett, I am blowing my nose & don't care if I am repeating myself. I consider myself lucky to be conscious.

So here is a list....

With many medication conditions:

1. You can be cured. Hypertension, so Western medicine says, you must live with. Yes, you can eventually get better by dieting down to 120 pounds, but that's kind of a long shot.

2. You know the cause (which means you have an idea how to cure it, if possible): a virus, an accident, etc.. With Hypertension, one specialist told me that in 90% of the diagnoses, the doctors have no idea where the high blood pressure came from. Overweight? Genetics? Diet? Lack of exercise? Stress? Hey: one guess is good as another.

3. You can blame the condition. With Hypertension, you are often left thinking you should blame yourself (please see item #2).

4. The treatment does not involve seriously altering your lifestyle--often you can take medication & that's that. With Hypertension, a "lifestyle condition", you must not only take the meds, you must make life changes. Stop eating what you obviously enjoyed because it isn't good for you. Exercise regularly in a facility or by rowing to nowhere on the floor of your living room. Emotional changes--not getting upset.

5. You do not worry it will get worse: the condition is there, you got it, no matter how horrible it is you know what to do and can cope. But with Hypertension, your blood pressure can always go up. Worse, Hypertension can directly contribute to a worse condition that can further disable you--a stroke, heart attack, sight impairment, kidney disfunction (or dat function).

6. You do not have to deal with yentas. Do you not know what a yenta is? A yenta is a kvetch, your Aunt Matilda or Uncle Morris who, well meaning, burrows into your life with good advice. So, if you have smallpox (I have picked an extinct disease, not a condition, so as not to offend anyone who has the disease/condition) they leave you alone. But with Hypertension, you get: "You're eating THAT?", "You look like you're putting on weight, shouldn't you be losing it?", "Why didn't you go to the gym yesterday?", "Don't get so angry about what I'll just make you sicker", and so on.

1 comment:

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