Sunday, June 02, 2013
Notes from the Cave
As I mentioned in my last report, I went to see my cardiologist a few weeks ago as a follow-up to an ER visit I made due to heart palpitations. Everything checked out fine and both my cardiologist and my primary care doctor agreed that the palpitations were normal and benign. That doesn't necessarily make them any less alarming when they occur, but I am learning to deal with them. There is absolutely no question that stress and worrying about them make them worse.
In addition to that, my cardiologist decided to cut my two heart medicines in half. I take a so-called ACE Inhibitor, which reduces the stress on the heart, and a beta blocker, which helps lower blood pressure. During my appointment, my pulse was in the 50's and my blood pressure was also low, so that, apparently, indicates that I no longer need the higher doses of these two medicines. I can only assume this is due to the fact that I have been eating so healthy, losing weight, and getting a lot of exercise. My heart is getting stronger and healthier. So this is very good news.
He also has taken me off of my blood thinner. He had originally told me I would need to take it until the beginning of June, so this was essentially a planned move. I hated taking that medicine because it caused me to bruise easily and also caused me to bleed endlessly from minor scrapes and scratches. I felt like a walking murder victim half the time because the slightest scrape on the arm, or picking at the cuticles, would bleed like a stab wound. I once unknowingly scraped my forearm and it was bleeding without me knowing it. I then brushed my arm across a door at work to push it open and I left behind a huge swath of blood that freaked out all my co-workers.
Despite this, I was very uneasy about going off the drug. I felt vulnerable without it because it helps reduce the risk of a blood clot forming in the stent. This can happen while the stent is still healing and growing into the heart tissue. Apparently, based on the type of stent I have, this becomes less of a risk after the first few months. Also, my particular stent is the widest possible because I have large arteries, and my cardiologist said he doesn't remember anyone ever coming back to the ER with a blood clot in this size stent.
So....after angsting over it for a week, and getting a second opinion from a heart surgeon I happen to know, I went off the medicine a few days ago. So far so good. I'm almost eager to cut myself so I can see if I bleed normally again.
I've also continued to lose weight. In my last update, about two weeks ago, I said I was 226. Yesterday, I weighed in at 218. Last weekend, we went to the lake for Memorial Day and I didn't exactly eat the way I would have in past years, but I also didn't stick religiously to my new normal eating habits. I came back Monday expecting to have gained a pound or two, and instead had lost a few. Not sure how that happened, but I have dropped another couple of pounds since then. I think I've lost 5 pounds in just the last week or so. It would seem, perhaps, that my metabolism is starting to increase. Either that, or this is just one of the normal patterns of ebb and flow when it comes to weight loss. You just creep along for weeks, half a pound at a time, and then suddenly, without changing anything, the weight starts to come off more quickly. Who knows.
I hate that all my Notes from the Cave lately have been almost exclusively about my health and eating habits, but it seems like that is the only thing of significance to really talk about.