So, mentioned in the last post that I was going to the doctor this morning. I had an appointment to talk to her about my cholesterol (for which I had a blood test last week, finally), and I also wanted her to act as my referrer to Avalon Employment Inc., which helps people with developmental and intellectual disabilities find and handle work. (And considering some of my work requirements, I could use the help!) Not to mention, I also wanted to talk to her about what happened Wednesday and yesterday.
Please note that if you’re triggered by medical issues, you may not want to read the following.
I was feeling well enough (aka the headache around and behind my eye had calmed down enough) that I had no real issues with driving there. It was raining, but in some ways, that made it easier – no sunlight to deal with. Just the roads and the potholes, which are as bad here in St. John’s as they were in Costa Rica (and there was a pothole in Costa Rica that swallowed a bus once!).
So, I got in to see her quite rapidly (within minutes of entering, and just about as I was about to ask if there was somewhere darker and QUIETER that I could wait), and handed over a print-out of An Eye for An Eye (sans comments, because I printed them before they were made), so that she could read what had happened. We ran through the checks, and it wasn’t sinuses (which is always a possibility around the eyes) and it wasn’t glaucoma (as I mention in my reply to JRG’s comment to An Eye for An Eye). That, at least, was a relief.
But here in St. John’s in can take a year to see an eye specialist, so I’m to go to an optometrist to get a report for her, just in case there’s something there to expedite things.
Then I reminded her that I was really here to go over my blood test results. I was expecting her to immediately start talking about my cholesterol results, but instead she explained that my storage iron was low. (7 micrograms per whatever rather than the 15-160 micrograms per whatever that it should be; ideally, at my age, it should apparently be 30-40 micrograms per whatever.) So, okay, I have low iron anemia again. It’s something that happens to me on and off. This time my GP wants to try controlling it with diet, so I’m to eat more spinach (I’m already eating broccoli) and red meat.
Then she mentions that there’s also an issue with protein leaking from my kidney. Okay, I have no idea what that means… until she explains that it’s a sign of hyper-tension, AKA high blood pressure. I’m a bit bewildered, because usually my blood pressure floats on the low side of normal, and occasionally dips into low. (I’m starting to suspect that if things were normal, it would be low a lot more often… read on.)
So, she takes my blood pressure, and it’s 143/98 (or 143/90, can’t remember which), which is high. Cue jaw-drop. I have high blood pressure? Why?
Well, apparently it’s called “hyper-tension” for a very good reason – you can end up with high blood pressure from being super-tense. Considering that for the past several weeks my shoulders have felt like an iron bar, and my neck and the area between my shoulder blades has been just as bad. Usually I don’t feel the tension in my muscles so much as just know that it’s there, but lately I’ve been feeling it as well (and boy, is it unpleasant and painful).
Cue the start of a panic attack because of medical stuff. (I get lightheaded, dizzy, cold sweats… the same kind of symptoms as when I’m having a hypoglycemic attack or a low blood pressure issue. Which can make it difficult to tell what’s going on, unless I’m dealing with medical stuff – in which case it’s definitely a panic attack.)
I managed to control it fairly well, and ask her about my cholesterol – and she looked, and told me it was fine, and my sugar levels were fine (aka no diabetes, still at risk for but wasn’t experiencing hypoglycemia then). So between the anti-cholesterol medication and the reduction of butter in my diet, I’ve been doing well. That was good, at least.
So. Hyper-tension. Anyone have any suggestions for me, aside from massage therapy (which I know works, and which I’m going to look into)? I suspect that it’s because of the last several weeks to months of stress, and the stress isn’t going to get that much better, given the fact that I’m going to have to look for another job starting next week (the internship lasts until the end of March, but I’d better start looking before that). Help, please?