Thursday, March 29, 2007

Hypertension 44: Back In The Saddle Again?

Posts to this blog have certainly gotten a bit spottier since I returned to work—less time to blather on about my poor, troubled self! Also, I became up to date on my journey through Medical Land a few weeks ago, so there was no need to write something every day. But I do miss not doing it every day…(can I blame the meds for that?)….

Life has settled into a Predictable Patient’s Pattern. Each morning I wake up (well, thank goodness for that!), take my medications, try to get the dog to poop outside so she won’t poop on the floor while I’m away, and go off to work. At work, after settling in, I take my blood pressure with the home device. I do not bother taking it three times a day any longer, which is a relief—not that it was hard taking the pressure multiple times, it was just medicalizing me, making me think about being a patient. Plus, my blood pressure has stabilized, with even stressful situations not making it rise above 160. Heck, I could think about George W. Bush running for a third time and it wouldn’t—ugh—wait—my heart, help me!

Work is ok. although virtually every assignment is full of human tragedy. I have a greatly reduced workload, and in fact have even asked for a few more cases, now that I’ve settled in. As long as I pace myself, although I’m tired all the time, and light headed about half the time, I’m ok. When I am only reading files, typing memos, talking on the phone, everything is okay. I feel “gray” a lot, and achy at times, but I’m trying to get used to that. Lots of people have worse things to get used to.

When I have to interview people in person, that takes a lot of energy. The longer the interview, the more I have to push for information, the less energy I have coming out the other side. Two and a half hour interviews are exhausting. Driving out to interviews is draining. The more I do physically, the less energy I have for anything, it seems. Days involving interviews, driving, pushing to get something done on a deadline—when I go home all I can do is dumbly watch tv waiting until I can go to sleep with some self respect (if you go to sleep at 7 pm, aren’t you a weenie?)

Exercising three times a week is a real challenge when you work full time. Fitting that in with work, and still “having a life” isn’t easy—but, again, lotsa people have it far worse!

I have to do the exercising after work, so that makes for a long day, even when I go to the gym straight after leaving work at 4:30 (after picking up my wife from her workplace and dropping her off at home). Including travel time, the whole exercise bit takes two and a half hours: undressing & putting on gym clothes, the treadmill for forty minutes, using the weights and doing “stomach crunches” (how aptly named!) and so on for another twenty, then undressing, hitting the showers with a lot of smelly naked men, dressing, driving home.

With luck, I get home by 7:30 pm and then can have dinner. If I try to have dinner before exercising, I won’t be home until 8:30 or 9. When I get home that late, all I really have time to do is pet the dog, say hello to my daughter, and go to sleep.

Before they told me I was sick, I used to stay up until midnight or even one am, writing. These days, I start to fade by 9 pm, should be asleep by 10, and will pay for it the next day if I’m still awake at 11. A couple of days ago, with the spouse outta town and the daughter in Vancouver, I was up until 12:30 watching a terrific film directed by Tommy Lee Jones, The Three Burials of (don’t remember the first name) Estrada. Great, sensitive, modern western, with some fine politics—great all around package!

The next morning, I got up at 7 am, and only six hours of sleep was bad news. Aches all over! Dragged out all day, my brain a puddle.

It was nice when I could stay up late, like any adult.

1 comment:

Fran said...

Yep--you do sound really, really busy!

To get in extra exercise especially when I don't have as much time to put aside for it, I make sure I walk more and longer, like I'll park farther away from where I wanna go and make extra trips back and forth across the house and yard as I'm doing things. Supposedly you can use pedometers to count up how many miles you've walked all day, and the miles can really add up if you want them to.