As you know, I have been increasing my water intake dramatically as well as my salt intake to counter the effects of OI/POTS . I’m actually doing well with the water consumption. I have always been a huge drinker since getting sick 20 years ago so this wasn’t too difficult for me. I am now settling at around 12 glasses of water a day or 3 quarts which seems to be a good place for me.
As for the salt, I am still incorporating changes as I go along. I am purchasing food items with salt in them for the first time since the 80s! I also just placed an order with Whole Foods that included organic bullion, pickles, and salted chips. So that should really help me this coming week.
In addition, I ordered some Himalayan salt from iHerb.com at the gentle nudging of my friend Linda . My natural doctor in Maine had actually suggested it for the side affects I was having from Singulair (which I no longer take) but I just haven’t been able to squeeze it into the budget. But…I did today! I should have that on Monday as well.
On Wednesday, I decided to take a chapter from Sue ‘s book, if you will, and take a 24 hour period and check my blood pressure before and after I do simple things. (Is anything really simple anymore?) I am able to do that because the VA gave me a blood pressure machine in December and wanted me to track my blood pressure until my appointment in August as they are stumped as to why I have such odd swings in my blood pressure.
The nudge to do this came when I had a heart episode on Wednesday afternoon and my heart started skipping beats for about 5 seconds or so. My blood pressure machine will actually catch that, but there is no way to get the cuff on and capture it, all in five seconds. Nor can I wear it all day. Plus, I never know when the heart skipping or racing is going to occur.
Well, here is the results of my 24 hour period. I think they are quite telling.
9:34 a.m. – 121/83, pulse 64 – at rest, only got up to go to the bathroom. (no dizziness)
10:12 a.m. – 145/84, pulse 87 – I took a quick shower (military style) (mild dizziness)
11:54 a.m. – 155/97, pulse 74 – I made myself some lunch which meant heating up a cup of home-made chili and getting some chips to go with it. (very dizzy)
1:48 p.m. – 128/98, pulse 71 – I was resting trying to allow my blood pressure to get back down (very dizzy still)
4:31 p.m. – 151/90, pulse 101 – Went down to the end of my street to get a sandwich. Came right back and ate it here. (very dizzy still)
5:27 p.m. – 148/96, 93 – Resting and trying to get blood pressure down (Now have had 10 glasses of water and dizziness starting to abate)
8:38 p.m. – 135/86, pulse 93 – dizziness gone after 12 glasses of water and added salt.
And I’m going to add one other example here from Friday. I had to leave for two hours so I decided to go to the park Dekker and I always went to and sit there for a while (half hour) and then go to the Library which is two blocks away, (I was there for 1 hour) and then stop by Arby’s and got my free sandwich and came home. All together I was gone just under two hours.
Before I left my blood pressure was 118/81, pulse 75. When I returned my blood pressure had jumped to 137/102, pulse 93. I had taken seating breaks where ever I could and had walked very slowly.
Although I wasn’t dizzy-free when I went out, the dizziness was very mild. By the time I headed back home I was walking like a drunk, had blurry vision, floaters, ringing in my ears, was really weak, and had to push with everything I had to get home.
I collapsed for the rest of the night when I got home.
This morning I woke up in pain, slightly dizzy and with severe pain in my right upper thigh and arms. I figured out where that came from. I was carrying a bag from the Library with 5 books in it (2 were small ones) and the pain in my arms is from carrying too much weight. I no longer carry over one pound because, for me, I end up in a severe FMS flare-up.
The pain in my thigh, are you ready for this?, comes from the bag hitting my leg when I was walking home. Just the slight tapping into my leg and I have so much pain in that leg that I have been limping!
Good thing I can take as much Phenocane as I need!
So, what has this told me?
Well, several things actually.
1. I am going to set up a chart in my laptop and start tracking my blood pressure throughout the day as well as how I am feeling at that moment.
2. I think I need to rearrange my day so that I am doing the more challenging things towards the end of the day when I have taken in most of my water, such as my showers, etc. I am also going to start limiting how many showers I take a week and then planning serious rest on those days.
3. I have seen two positive side affects as a result of the increased water consumption. First, I am visiting the bathroom a lot more for bowels movements. I am not having to rely on the colon cleanse, or probiotics quite as much as a result. Secondly, I am finding my sinus’ are not so dry and I can blow my nose much more easily!
I think my ability to do Friday came from all the prayers and thoughts that were coming my way and because of the increased water and salt. However, I really need to get a grip on this because it is quite alarming to be out in public and all that is running through my mind is, I can do this. No I’m going to pass out. I can do this, just one more step. No, I’m going to keel over. I feel like I’m walking through mud and a cob-web. I can do this. No, I don’t think I can. God help me.
That is a conversation I no longer care to have in my mind. I also don’t want to constantly have to wonder if I am going to collapse.
So…on to next week, new salt, more water, more resting and evaluating, and most likely, more change.
Oh, one question for my readers. Does anyone experience pain when they have thier blood pressure taken? I am having FMS pain but also this deep, profound aching in my veins when the cuff tightens. I don’t have the cuff too tight because I checked the instructions. The pain is almost unbearable.