Thursday, December 9, 2010

Me and Mr. Jones, 2 (the first morning)

My roommate is much improved. His breathing is less labored, he's more able to speak (yesterday he was slurred and incoherent), and he's not coughing up as much junk. He's got that weird whine on the exhale that goes with crud in the trachea, but he and his wife got some good sleep in the night.

I didn't, at first. Starting around 10 pm I was hit with the worst migraine I've had in at least a year. Usually I'm in a position to shoot aspirin at it as soon as I feel it coming on, but I'm captive and not allowed to have aspirin. There was acetaminophen, but it won't even touch my headaches. Took a few more hours of sweating and nausea for that one to end.

But now I have a clue for what's been causing the migraines all these years: high blood pressure! I'm off my meds' schedule and dosages by a good bit, dependent on a platoon of medical staff. I'd never given it any thought--most people with high BP aren't even aware of it, let alone all the ways it can mess things up. (High BP: Is There Nothing It Can't Do?)

In my case, the BP caused a tear in the inner lining of my aorta. As blood kept flowing against that weak spot, it widened and deepened into a pocket between the inner and middle layers (a classic "Type B" aortic dissection). Hack me open, look straight down the pipe, and you'll see the 'pocket' taking up the left-front quarter of the aorta. I haven't had a followup CAT scan since July; no idea how well it's healing up. At least this kind of damage does heal, if slowly. If it had been a "Type A" I might not be sitting here listening to Jonesey's breath making that "woooooooo....." sound.

Back to the migraines. It seems like I've been getting these vicious headaches for about a decade. Can't say if it came with, before, or after the weight gain of the late '90s, or the breathing problems (allergies, mild asthma), or the beginnings of that tumor growing in my right kidney. Maybe it's all caused by that. I know the BP's been high for at least as long.

The Doc came in and he's convinced I'm shitting him about taking the meds, or maybe I'm not taking them right--maybe all at once? A full day's dosage once each morning? Come on, I'm not an idiot. "Three times daily" means once every 8 hours, and like that.

The meds obviously work, given that 141-over-something BP last week (the first drop below the 160's in months), and the 140's and low 150's I'm seeing sitting in thos hospital room, so something else is interfering.

I've pondered all afternoon and "diet" is the only thing I can think of. I'm not doing fast food 3 meals a day, but there's a lot of canned and packaged stuff that's probably high in sodium. That's the only thing I can think of. But I'm on a low-sodium diet here and my blood pressure is still high.

No comments:

Post a Comment