It’s St. Patty’s Day! Manchild and I are a couple of tater lovin’, whiskey drinkin’ Irish kids. Or at least, partially Irish. It’s back there somewhere in my euromutt heritage. I don’t know if that’s where my freckles came from, but expose me to sun and watch what happens.
There’s not much food here, so I sent manchild a text earlier asking him to pick up some potatoes, cabbage, butter, and booze so I can make colcannon. After that initial text, I was having a wicked time staying upright. My blood pressure was craptastically low. So low, I couldn’t even get a reading until I was laying down. My vision blurs and my ears buzz when I sit up, and when I stand up? Shit starts to go black real quick. I said nevermind, and to get himself some food and snacks because I didn’t think I’d be able to cook. He came home with 2 pints of Karamel Sutra ice cream, 2 frozen pizzas, and a crap ton of v8 and Gatorade. Well then, that works.
I’ve had problems with low blood pressure before, but it seems to be independent of POTS, although it does exacerbate it if they happen at the same time. It’s wicked annoying. My BP would tank at the worst of times, like one time I was out grocery shopping and nearly passed out, so I had to sit in the aisle next to my cart until the adrenaline took over. How embarrassing. That was the event that lead to my first visit to a cardiologist and my ‘silent’ diagnosis of POTS and orthostatic hypotension over 3 years ago. I say silent, because no one bothered to tell me. Those may have been the first clues of a neuropathy, apart from strange sensations in my feet.
Before my second half-assed evaluation by a cardiologist, my blood pressure was okay most of the time. Rarely did it dip down into no man’s land, and it was partly remedied by loading myself with salt and fluid. At least enough to take the edge off so I could get stuff done. Since starting the beta-blocker, even at a very small dose, my bp has gone down the toilet. I’m seeing more days where I can’t function because my vascular system isn’t responding appropriately. Tachycardia alone is enough to make me extremely nauseous and give me the shakes, but hypotension on top of it means I quite literally have to drag myself across the floor.
My adrenal function has been under the microscope for over a year now, and while something isn’t quite right, it’s not quite wrong enough for it to be considered adrenal insufficiency. I guess that comes when my adrenal glands completely shrivel up and die. I can’t wait! Until then, I MUST figure out a way to make these problems have less impact. I have a referral to the acupuncture clinic, and they’ve agreed to see me before they switch facilities. I don’t know what kind of voodoo they can work on me, but I hope it’s the good kind. It can’t hurt to try, and the fact that most of my skin is numb helps. 😉
We’re on the hunt for a recumbent bicycle that I can use to recondition my heart. I was a distance runner before illness slowly started munching away at my fitness level. I kept going as long as I could, until the anemia made my muscles turn into useless, spastic rocks. Physical therapy will be a long, exhausting process, and it’ll be a couple of months before it stops feeling like torture, but I HAVE to do it, even if it’s the only thing I do. Spending too many hours in bed, or sitting on my ass is going to kill me.
Yesterday’s news wasn’t a surprise because I was told right off the bat that AIH was likely. Even so, it hit me pretty hard. I wanted to roll myself up into a blanket and live there indefinitely, which I did for most of the day. Then I put my big girl britches on and searched far and wide about the condition. I felt a whole hell of a lot better about it afterward. My positive ANA test does make sense out of all the random bits and pieces that are crapping out, and that’s mildly comforting. Next up, getting in to see the Rheumatologist. I’ve heard great things about them, and with any luck, my expectations will be met or exceeded. I have a good feeling about things for the first time in a while. I’ll take it!
Aaaanyhow, Happy St. Patrick’s day! To all the days here and after, may they be filled with fond memories, happiness, and laughter.