Doctor’s Appointment Today

The following post is compiled from my Tweets today on Twitter:

I went to see Dr. Massey, my doctor, today for a general check up and to get a refill on medicine for my high blood pressure which runs in my family.  The blood pressure medication also controls my WPW palpitations.  My blood pressure jumps all over the place. It was kind of high today at 145/84.  It was taken again by the doctor and it was 130/84.  Sigh.  Usually my blood pressure runs around 119/85.  I guess I was nervous at the doctor’s office.  The nurse called it “white coat” syndrome.  Dr. Massey didn’t seem too worried.  He did get some blood taken from me to check my potassium level and asked me to pee in a cup.  That’s always fun.  Since my dad lost a kidney due to renal cancer, my doc wants to monitor my urine for any trace amounts of blood just to be sure.  Otherwise, I’m healthy as a baby gorilla.  Oh, and my official weight is down to 207.  Woo hoo!  My goal is 190.  I can do it.

Greensboro is ranked Number One in Allergies!

According to an annual report from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Greensboro, NC has won the national crown as the nation’s fall allergy capital!  Greensboro ranks ahead of Greenville, SC, Little Rock, Raleigh-Durham and Jackson, Miss.

The foundation said Greensboro topped the list due to its higher-than-average pollen score, higher use of allergy medications per person, and lower-than-average access to allergy specialists, compared to other cities on the list.

My Daily Blood Pressure

I’m going to start recording my blood pressure readings here on my blog for those of you in my family who are interested.  I only take it in the mornings because it is the calmest part of my day.  The afternoons are hectic with the kids and I am usually trying to rush around and get ready for bed by 9:30 pm.  If I took my blood pressure at those times, I don’t think it would be accurate.

I started taking a beta blocker medication for the high blood pressure and for my atrial fibrillation.  I am taking 50 mg of a medication called Toprol.  One pill every morning.  I started taking it on the afternoon of 7/19/06.

My blood pressure for today is 128/88.

Cooking Cinnamon Buns in the Car and a Fluttering Heart

Well another weekend is upon me.  Man, sometimes the weeks just fly by.

Hey, since it has been so hot outside lately, I started me thinking.  The inside of my car is baking sometimes.  The thermometer in my beetle was 102 degrees one day!  I wondered as I got inside my bug and my buns were cooking if I could literally put some real buns, like some yummy cinnamon rolls, in the car and bake them.  God, I love cinnamon rolls!  Remember the cinnamon rolls you use to be able to buy in elementary and middle school?  At the elementary school I attended, Winter Park Elementary in Wilmington, NC, the cinnamon buns were the size of my head!  I just checked out the school website and sadly I did not find any head sized cinnamon buns.  I did look at the staff and, I have to say, the Assistant Principle, Dawn Schifter, is hot!  Anyway, I digress.  The heat in my car starting my mind to grind.  What foods could I cook in the car?  There is a lot of wasted energy inside an automobile on a hot summer day.  Surely, I should be able to do something.  This idea has me thinking even further.  If I approached this and found out what foods I can cook in the car, wouldn’t it be neat if I create a cookbook with recipes exclusively for car cooking?  Someone has got to find that interesting.  You know, I just may make my mark in the world yet!

What else is going on?  Well, recently, I started seeing my family doctor, Dr. David Massey, for my high blood pressure.  Yes, I have what is called hypertension.  Crazy.  I have always felt fine, but a blood pressure reading my dad took one day told me otherwise.  140/90!  Upon that realization, I bought a blood pressure monitor and started taking readings every morning at home.  Reading ranged from 132/80 to as high as 150/100.  What in the world?  Well, I have cut out extra salt, cut down on caffinated drinks, and am trying to eat better.  I’ll soon begin taking blood pressure medication called a beta blocker.  However, before I can do this, I have see a cardiologist!

I also have a heart related condition called WPW.  No, it has nothing to do with WPW (Women’s Physique World).  You know, some of those gals could give me a condition of some sort.  Hey, wouldn’t it have been funny if I went to the Women’s Physique World website and saw Dawn Riggan?  The Winter Park elementary assistant principle?  Stay with me folks.  The WPW I am associated with is called Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome.  WPW is a form of supraventricular tachycardia (fast heart rate originating above the heart ventricles) discover 1930 by the dudes whose last names are listed above.

Click the image below.

WPW

When you have WPW, along with your normal conduction pathway, you have extra pathway called an accessory pathway. Electrical activity is conducted through these pathways that make the heart expand and contract.  The extra pathway in a WPW patient looks like normal heart muscle, but it can:

  • conduct impulses faster than normal
  • conduct impulses in a circular direction

The impulses go through the extra pathway (short cut) and can travel around the heart very quickly, in a circular pattern, causing the heart to beat unusually fast. This is called re-entry tachycardia.  I sound smart huh?

Some people with WPW have atrial fibrillation (a common irregular heart rhythm distinguished by the disorganized, rapid, and irregular heart rhythm). The greatest concern for people with WPW is the possibility of having atrial fibrillation with a fast ventricular response that worsens to ventricular fibrillation, a life-threatening arrhythmia.  Yes, it seems, I may be one of those people.

I have known about my WPW since I was about 12-years-old.  I saw a cardiologist regularly until I was about 16-years-old.  I haven’t been to a cardiologist since then because I was never really bothered by the condition.  I do get palpitations once in while, but after resting and doing some deep breathing the fast heart beat goes away.  I have noticed, in the last year, some extra fibrillations going on with my heart.  It’s kind of like a light fluttering.  I told my wife, Carolyn, it happens because I am thinking of her.  She couldn’t roll her eyes fast enough!

I saw a cardiologist this past Tuesday, July 11th.  His name is Dr. Steven Klein.  He’s suppose to be the best in the area concerning WPW.  Well he told me, in addition to WPW, I have atrial fibrillation.  Confused?  Okay, lets go over this again.  Some times, I get palpitations which can cause a fast heartbeat that in turn causes some dizziness and short breath.  Other times, I can feel a slight fluttering of my heart which is caused by the extra conduction pathway.  Dr. Klein told me this condition is common in WPW patients as they get older.  Wow.  So what now?  Well, I have to go see Dr. Massey again on Wednesday, July 19th to discuss my visit with Dr. Klein and pick up a high blood pressure prescription called a beta blocker.  According to Dr. Klein, the beta blocker will not only help to lower my blood pressure some, but also control the atrial fibrillation.  Then on Thursday, July 20th, I will go to see Dr. Klein again and sit in a dark room for 30 minutes while I get an echocardiogram.  It’s kind of like a sonargram of heart.  The echocardiogram will take a 3-D picture of my heart and break it up in layers so the doctor can study.

Well that’s all for now!   I will report more when it happens.

My Swollen Uvula

Sounds dirty doesn’t it?  Sadly, it’s not.  So many possible uvual jokes are going through my head right now.  I’ve had a sinus infection going on for the past two days.  Last night I went to bed really exhausted.  I woke up later with a dry, scratchy throat and what felt lots of mucus in the back of my mouth.  I instantly knew what was going on.  I had a swollen uvula.  What is an uvula?  Basically, it is the piece of skin that hangs down in the back of your throat.

The first time I ever had a problem with my uvula was about three years ago.  I went to the doctor and spent a lot of time and $ just to have him say I had a sinus infection.  The drainage is causing the uvula to swell.  This time, I’m just going to take it easy and drink lots of liquids and take my allergy medicine.  When I get home, I will do what my mom has always suggested and that is gargle with some warm salt water.

Yes, I’m at work this morning.  I feel crappy.  Oh well.