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Saturday, May 26, 2012

The little machine...

Sometimes I quite dislike this little machine...



It sometimes gives readings that I don't particularly like. But lately those times are rare :-)  The machine not only measures my blood pressure but more importantly for me, it also measures heart rate. Not long after DD2 was born in 1984, I experienced episodes of 'racing' heart beat eg 180 per minute. I had all sorts of tests then and the doctors in the public system concluded it was 'because I'd just had a baby'. But it didn't go away and eventually I had to take some medication for elevated blood pressure but which would also slow down the heart rate ; however the 'condition' didn't have a name. (shrugs shoulders lol!)

So life went on and I settled into life with a resting heartbeat at 100, for over 20 years and I gradually didn't notice the 'episodes' that much at all. That was, until I changed GPs. I was sent by her to a special clinic attached to a large private hospital where I met the Professor. Professor Gordon was quite elderly but so up to date with what was happening in the world of medical research. The tests he organised for me ruled out any thing sinister. But the condition that I had developed was called inappropriate sinus tachycardia. The professor likened the heart to a pump. If it works flat out all the time, a pump will wear out...so will a heart. So I was sent to a cardiologist who worked to get the right balance of medications.

I see this specialist every 6 months and he of course wants regular readings of BP and heart rate. I often forget...then realise that the appointment is only weeks away. I'm supposed to take readings 3 times a day in blocks of 10 days to 2 weeks throughout the 6 months.
It's 11pm at night and I remember; the readings of course are not so good then, because the morning dose is wearing off! But when I had my appointment last Thursday I did have some middle of the day readings and they were good :-) When he checked my BP last Thursday it was 110/70 with pulse 76...little dance here.... So Dr N was happy. The results of my blood tests showed cholesterol level was good, liver function etc was good, but... yes there is always a but when I go to see Dr N...usually it's the BP, once it was a 'sugar spike' (18months ago) with the resultant lecture from the doc, and again this time it was elevated sugar levels.

I explained that where DH and I had worked in recent months, the office was just a few doors away from a bakery...and we had indulged in treats for morning tea :-(  hadn't we? I guess I'd had a guilty conscience about that and 3 weeks ago I stopped eating anything that I knew contained sugar. At first it was easy as I substituted slices of apple for cake/slice/fruit loaf, or some nuts or a piece of cheese. But the last day or so I've been craving 'the evil stuff'. Dr N also pointed out that white rice and pastas should be avoided too .

As this 'sugar spike' happened to me before and tests a few weeks later showed I was fine, still  I guess I shouldn't just assume that that will happen this time. But I have to admit that this week I have had more energy so avoiding sugar could have a serious upside. Or it may have nothing whatsoever to do with improved energy levels :-)

When I go out for coffee with some of my old school friends, one friend Val, orders a pot of tea and then takes a banana out of her handbag. The rest of us order cakes and pastries to go with our tea and coffee. I think I might join Val next time with maybe a banana or apple in my bag. However I believe a sweet treat is ok, say once a week, but not every day which was the habit that I had got into.


My friend Val (in the corner) carries fruit in her handbag to avoid the cakes

7 comments:

Maria said...

Oh Maria your friend Val is very good. Especially when ALL those yummy treats are in front of you..
I think ONCE a week for a treat is fine..

Claud said...

Please take care of yourself. I know it's hard to stay away from sweets - I always crave something sweet after lunch or dinner too. Not good. Big hug,

Tanya said...

One of my patients notices he has huge sugar spikes after pastry as well. Remember it's not just the sugar but the complexity of foods like refined foods and unnatural fats. I think taking your BP regularly is a good idea. Hope your next visit goes well.

Becky said...

Apple YES... BANANA NO!!! Banana and Watermelon will spike your sugar way high. They are the two biggest no no's for me... my sugar level will jump to nearly 250 if I eat those.

Maria said...

Becky how terrible!My favourite fruit is actually bad for me; I didn't realise that. The other fruits that I love, stone fruits, are also too high in sugar and are off limits.

Susan said...

Your BP reading is just great Maria! I too am of the belief that a treat once a week is fine. I also know that sugar can become a real addiction. I can't keep biscuits or cakes in the house - they disappear overnight!! So, we have our weekly bakery or chocolate treat and try (try ... lol) to stick to that!! I've followed the advice of Rosemary Stanton for many years - everything in moderation :D)

Lea White said...

I think cutting out sugar is very hard to do. I would certainly struggle with it.