I’ve been incommunicado for a week or so with an episode of back pain SO colorful that I could barely hobble down the hallway. You know it’s bad when I don’t even feel well enough to write a blog post while perched atop a heating pad on the bed…
Don’t know what I did to bring this one on…only thing I can figure is maybe it was trying too fast to get up to a three-mile daily walk, by way of beating back the fat and the blood pressure. Whatever happened, it damn near crippled me. Yesterday it finally began to subside a little, and today it still is better. So I guess it’s not my body telling me it wants its hip replacement now, not later…
So…did the Magical Mystery Wonder Herbal Balm work on this? I have no idea. Maybe: the pain started to ease a day or so after I started smearing it on morning noon and night. But in the past the infallible cure has always been tincture of time, which, after about ten days should be kicking in right about now.
The blood pressure, interestingly enough, is also subsiding! It actually has dropped in spite of my not having any real exercise at all for the past 10 or 12 days. The only motion I’ve been able to manage — and that, painfully — has been the physical therapy routine I learned the last time this happened. And that’s not what you’d call aerobic. 😀 So far this week the average has been 126/83, and that’s WITH a spike into the 140s caused by a few moments of truly bracing pain.
So. I’m beginning to feel some hope that I can get the numbers consistently into the low 120s and high teens — without benefit of drugs — within about six weeks.
It’s interesting that this is occurring in the absence of daily exercise, because in theory a major factor in bringing down BP through lifestyle change is getting a decent amount of mild but real exercise. Apparently, though, weight loss is far more important: managed to drop 3.5 pounds since January 15, and the decline in BP measurements has closely tracked the drop in avoirdupois. When you think about it, 3.5 pounds ain’t much — on a serious diet, you should be able to lose 2 pounds a week without feeling very deprived.
Another factor may be getting off the sauce: I decided to teetotal as part of the BP Reduction Project. I can’t really see much connection, though, between the moment of climbing on the wagon and the moment of BP drop — in fact, one evening I went over to my son’s house and had two or three glasses of wine by way of back pain analgesia, and the next day, all day, the measures were in the teens. Intrigued by this development, a few days later I had one (count it, 1) bourbon & water at about the same time of day, and found exactly no difference the following morning.
So…hm. I figure the operative factor is mostly the weight loss. In theory, getting rid of even five pounds can drop blood pressure measurably.
Today I can walk, and I think I can sling a leg over the back of a bicycle, so after traffic dies down I probably will pump up the tires and go for a bike ride. While it’s not weight-bearing exercise, at least it IS moving around. Sort of. And it gives you a chance to ogle the neighbors’ houses, anyway. Weather is beyond gorgeous here during the day — this is the time of year for bike rides.
Heh heh… I may have to jump off the accursed Water Wagon, too. In amongst the endlessly contradictory research reports about blood pressure and cardiovascular disease comes this latest gem of wisdom: Booze is good for you! Your fevered brain is less fevered on 2½ glasses of wine a day.
Well! If they’d bothered to ask me, I coulda told ’em that. 😀