Friday, July 9, 2010

Controlling High Blood Pressure....Naturally....The Journey

I asked my doctor how to get off my blood pressure medication. I didn't ask if it was okay. I said I was doing it and wanted to know how. He told me and I followed his instructions. After a month of weaning off the drugs, I finally took my last little piece of a pill a few weeks ago.

My body told me it didn't like what I was doing about three weeks into the month long process. I got worried that it wasn't going to work and maybe I really did need to be on the meds....but I continued.

At first my pressure was all over the place with a lot of high readings and very few normal readings. I was concerned.

Then slowly it started to turn around and I was getting more good readings.....not 120/80....but better than it was. I was encouraged.

Then the news came about my bad Ultra Sound and my pressure went up again. I was frustrated.

I got the benign biopsy results the day before we left on vacation. The first day of vacation, my blood pressure was BELOW normal! I was shocked.

When we got back from vacation, it went right back up again. I was so confused.

I thought that perhaps it was time to throw in the towel and just go back on the drugs.

Then I sat down and really thought about it. It was so obvious to me that my mental state had a lot to do with my pressure. How on earth could I change who I am in order to control my pressure? I thought about how I hustle from place to place....I never just walk. I'm always in a hurry...even when I don't need to be.

I thought about how I am always thinking about "what's next" instead of enjoying "what's now".

I thought about how fast I breathe all of the time. Never ever taking a nice deep breath to calm my mind and soothe my soul.

I thought about how I rarely take time to "smell the roses" even though I mean to.

I thought about my diet...I thought it was okay....what was I not seeing?

I thought about my lack of enthusiasm about my physical therapy program and walking on the treadmill. I was doing it, but I wasn't "into" it.

It was all pretty overwhelming, but what I realized was that even though I thought I was doing everything I could to bring my pressure down....I really wasn't.

Not taking the meds was really, really important to me. If I didn't need them, then I didn't want to take them. So......after reading a lot more about high blood pressure...this is what I did.

I took a good look at my diet. I found lots of hidden salt in many of the foods I was eating. I increased my potassium and my fish oil supplements. I started walking further and faster on my treadmill. I walked like someone with a purpose. When I started to hustle down the hall at work, or to my car in the parking lot or through the grocery store.....I stopped....and I reminded myself to slow down. I wasn't in a race. I posted a note above my computer at home that says "120/80". I drew a smiley face in one corner and a heart in the other. I posted a note on my bulletin board at work that says, "Slow down" and "Breathe". I started doing some deep breathing a number of times a day, especially if I felt my old habits creeping in. I purchased some wonderful herbal hibiscus tea from etsy shop, Tea For All Reasons, because I read that it's good for high blood pressure. I stopped to smell the roses.

Guess what? Slowly my blood pressure came down. I started getting more and more good AND normal readings. I still get a high reading now and then, but most of my readings are very respectable. While my pressure isn't where I want it to be all of the time just yet....I honestly believe I am on the right path. Whether it will continue to improve, I don't know. We will see.

I can't say what one thing is making the difference, or if it is all of the things thrown together. It doesn't matter to me. I thought I knew myself really well, and I found out we never stop learning about ourselves. The more I learn...the healthier I become.

Our bodies and minds are amazing. I think a lot of the time we reach for what we think is the quick and easy solution to a health problem, rather than putting forth the effort to find a natural solution.....and trust's hard work. Sometimes drugs are very necessary, but sometimes it's just a matter of giving our bodies what they need to function the way they are made to function.

My journey continues.....I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

You Call That A Vacation?

Irv saw a big travel trailer in a neighbor's driveway this week. He mentioned how great it would be to vacation in one of those....just us and "the girls". He said it would be cheap because we wouldn't need a hotel. We could just go to campsites. Maybe we could go to Minnesota. It also wouldn't cost much for food, because we would be able to cook our own in the travel trailer. We wouldn't have to get anyone to watch the dogs. Wouldn't it be wonderful?

I explained that I LOVE eating at restaurants on vacation. I LOVE staying at hotels on vacation. I LOVE not having to let dogs out when I'm on vacation. I LOVE not worrying about what the dogs might be chewing up when I'm on vacation.

I really don't want to cook, or clean up or walk dogs if I'm on vacation....that wouldn't be a vacation at all. In fact, I would NEED a vacation after that vacation. :)

In all honesty, one of my dreams is to own a travel trailer...not a gigantic one, but a big enough one that I could still drive....and take a couple of months and just drive all over this wonderful country of ours. No real plan....just drive and stop wherever we want to. We could visit places we've never been, and visit our favorite places. We could stop and visit people or not visit people if we don't feel like it. Just drive and sight see. Wouldn't that be just awesome? I might even consider taking the dogs with on that kind of trip.

How about you? What kind of vacation are you dreaming of?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Shop and Paint

Bernadette and I had such a great time baby shower shopping yesterday. We started out at Starbucks to have a treat and go over the registry to see what we might want to look at. Since Tresa and Chris occasionally read my blog, I can't really tell you what we bought...but let's just say we had a blast! I will take pictures and then after the showers I'll show you.

After shopping I came home and sweet Irv had painted the ceiling in the bedroom for me. That meant I could dig right in on the walls. Have you ever painted a room and immediately hated it? That is how I felt about our bedroom the last time I painted it. I hated everything about it....the colors, the bedspread, the valance, the is what it looked like. A couple of the walls were a deep gold color and a couple were that brick whatever it is color. Man, I must have been in one heck of a funk when I picked those.

The bedspread was a sort of mossy green and it was okay, but I didn't love it. Then I made a valance, a lamp shade and pillows out of this fabric that was just not "me" and I still to this day have no idea what I was thinking!

So, here we go.....the transformation to an awesome light blue that will go with the bedding that Bernadette gave me. She decided she didn't like it for the room she was redoing and gave it to me. It's almost brand new. I think I showed it to you a long time ago, but I think those pictures are on my old hard drive. Once I'm done I'll take some new pictures and show you again.

I didn't have much light when I took these so it's hard to see the's more of a gray blue than a baby blue. It matches the bedding really well.

I got the first coat on today, and I'll put the next coat on when I get off work half day on Friday. Then I will have the weekend to work on the closet and trim. I am sooooo thrilled with the color. I makes the room look so much bigger than the dark colors. Lovin' it already!

Make it a good one and do something nice for yourself today....and maybe for someone else too!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Baby Shower Shopping

I am headed out with Bernadette this morning for a little baby shower shopping! Chris's family is having their shower on August 1st and ours is on August 7th. I love baby showers. So much cute stuff.

Bern and I decided to pool our resources and make a trip to Buy Buy Baby today. We will print off Tresa's registry and see what kind of trouble we can get into! Should be fun.

I was in the town next to ours to find a nice tea infuser the other day and saw a big sign that says, "Opening Soon....Buy BuyBaby!" Oh brother am I going to be in trouble when that happens.

Have an awesome day today and be sure to do something nice for yourself. You deserve it!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Family Fun for the Fourth

We had a wonderful day yesterday, celebrating the holiday with the kids at Michael and Bernadette's lovely home. They just had their patio redone and it is fabulous. We had some great conversation, really delicious food, roasted s'mores in their fantastic fireplace, played that crazy and frustrating game again and watched the fireworks display taking place at the race track....from their front yard. It was just a grand day!

Every time we see Tresa, we take a photo like this to send her brother in Colorado and her Aunts around the country. Three months to go!!

Tresa and Bernadette.....

Michael the Novice Griller....getting tips from Chris the Master Griller.....

Chris with Michael and Bernadette's Aussie....Teagan......

Bernadette relaxing while we wait for dinner......

Even though it was warm and sunny, their patio is completely we had a nice little fire going. You have to so you can make s'mores you know.....

The soon to be mommy and daddy.....

Bernadette playing that crazy game.....that the girls won.....AGAIN!

Chris during the game....the guys did come close....but only for a short time.....

Look at the frustration as Irv tries to come up with a clue to get his guys back in the game! It didn't happen.....

The game always makes us laugh......a lot.....

Beautiful flowers from the yard......

Look at the concentration while waiting for Baby Boy to move so Bern can feel him. We all got to feel him moving yesterday. It's just so magical......

Bernadette and Teagan while we waited for the fireworks to starts so we could head back outside. The mosquitoes were a bit on the hungry side.......

Have a wonderful day today and do something really nice for yourself.....

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