Thursday, January 9, 2014

Take this with a grain of salt...unless you have high blood pressure (if you do, take this with a grain of no-sodium salt substitute)

A couple of weeks ago I awoke at 3:30 AM to the sound of my heart clearly beating.  I decided that either my hearing had taken a welcomed leap in clarity or my heart beat had reached historic decibels. 

With no means of testing my hearing, I took my blood pressure on a cuff that had been around since the Eisenhower administration.  The diastolic number eclipsed my cholesterol level which had put me on a diet in December of 1989, ordered by my beloved Dr. Sherwood B. Fein (no kidding … parents didn’t know he would grow up to be a doctor).

A few hours later, after sharing my experience with my daughter, I went to the nearby fire station and got a second opinion on my blood pressure. The opinion was I should go to the ER.  The good news was my blood pressure was a whole lot lower by the time the ER docs got to work. The bad news was it was still too high. A few tests later I was released and instructed to make appointments with my physicians.

A half dozen appointments, ultrasounds and follow-ups later I was instructed to take my blood pressure twice daily (on my newly acquired Panasonic BP Monitor which corresponded fairly well with the one at the doctor’s office) and told to add no additional salt to anything I eat. 

This morning Mean Eileen brought me a few bland recipes, some no-sodium ingredients that are supposed to make me not miss salt, and some reading material that explains why I should never again ingest anything that tastes good. 

I went to a section of a food guide titled, “HOW TO READ A FOOD LABEL” which has changed since 1989 (along with my Cholesterol level) and began immediately making menus for the next week. 

After quickly abandoning that project, I found the draft of my 1989 book titled THE GREAT OATBRAN WAR OF 1989 and reviewed The American Heart Association recommendations in that year. “Limit your daily cholesterol intake to 300 mg and saturated fat to one-tenth of total caloric intake.” Apparently I did that, because I’m still alive to write this grain of salt.

Gotta go now. I have to pick up grand granddaughter, Izzy and take her to McDonalds. We snack more than frequently on the soft vanilla cone.  At least we did ... getting the results from my blood sugar evaluation tomorrow ...

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