Wednesday, May 02, 2012


As you begin to age, you start to realize that you ain't getting any younger...and when people say that phrase you usually take it with a grain of salt {no pun intended here regarding this post} and use it in funny situations or random conversations. 
No one is stupid. 
As you age you really aren't getting younger...and sometimes people fail to remember this and are of the opinion that they are invincible. 
You think that nothing can touch you and that nothing can happen to you. The strain that can be put on your body as you grow up - well, as you age you can't do the same things as you did when you were younger. Let's put it this way.
Mind you, our bodies are incredibly resilient and put up with a lot of crap and I'm not just talking about your skin {sun, wind, pollution}, hair {hair dyes, blow-dryers, hair straighteners}, muscles {vigorous exercise, lifting heavy}, cuts, scrapes and bruises but also something a teeny more important that no one can see and no one realizes they are damaging. 
Your organs. 
A lot of people do shit at they grow up or are grown up and have a ways to go yet without realizing what their everyday life is doing to their bodies because sometimes we just simply do not see and out of sign is out of mind, no? 
Unquestionably, your organs are incredibly important. Without them you quite frankly could not function. Kidneys, liver, heart, lungs, intestines...I mean, your lifestyle plays a major factor in how your organs perform. 
For example...a lot of people drink and a lot of those people binge drink on weekends when they go partying. Not only are you putting strain on your liver then because your body recognizes alcohol as a poison and tries to get it out as fast as possible {thus anything you eat whilst drinking usually gets pushed to the back of the line because the body can't work on getting rid of booze AND the fat/protein/whatever you ate/drank, so it takes turns. Usually though, by the time Mr. Liver is done with the extra Grey Goose you consumed Mr. Foie Gras is stored in your booty}. 
AND when you take that Tylenol to cure your hangover the next day you are putting your liver through even more strain as acetaminophen needs to be processed through your liver as well. You can imagine how tired it now is after all that partying. Probably more so then you are. Livers are extremely self-sufficient and repairs itself at a rate that leaves a lot of people and medical people alike amazed. This doesn't mean you should eat like shit, pop pills and drink like a fish {mind you fishes don't drink Dom Perignon...I think} but you gotta take these things into account!
I am not saying be freaking paranoid every moment of the day but listen to your body and let it rest! You sleeping doesn't mean your body is rested and in the clear...take care of yourself more often that just that. Quit smoking. Cut down the boozing. Eat clean. Exercise. Don't take so many damn pills.

What spurred this topic of conversation on you may ask? 
The boyfriend and I went to the pharmacy the other night and to kill time we went to check our blood pressure on one of those bp machines. Now, before I go on, I have major anxiety issues and am OCD, so in hindsight, what I was about to do was not going to be good for my central nervous system. AT ALL. But I didn't think I had a problem. And also, you can't take those machines seriously as children sit there and bang on those buttons as if it were a drum set thus recalibrating the entire damn machine and almost leading people to stroke because the number that pop up on the screen resemble the cockpit of an airplane because a) you really have no idea what you are looking at in that instant and b) even if you did then what the hell were you going to do about it? 
Well, obviously other then taking control but that's not the point. 
The POINT is as I mentioned earlier - you didn't pay attention to your lifestyle as a whole or you thought you were undefeatable and then something like this happens and you feel like you are no longer in control of your own airplane. 
The boyfriend jumped on the thing and had a fantastic reading. Something like 130/76. Hmm. Pretty good. 
I got on and had no issue; almost positive that mine was going to be better.
Then these red numbers flashed on the digital reader. 
How is that possible??! I am 25!!
Yeah, a little overweight which I am working on but wtf?!
I heard 60-year-old men who were 20 pounds overweight had a readings like this! 
Needless to say I was not in my happy place leaving that store. Quite frankly, it freaked me out and I thought I was going to have a heart attack right there in the parking lot. 
Drama queen. I know. 
But still, when you have an anxiety disorder paired with being obsessive compulsive...well, you don't really know how to shut your head the hell up sometimes. 
We got back to the house where I borrowed my boyfriend's Mom's blood pressure monitor. Well it was pretty evident that my hopes of it being the stupid machine at the store being all screwed up were dashed. For the rest of the night I hovered in the 140s and 150s, but the top number wasn't what concerned me. It's the bottom number that was over 100 and sometimes went as high as 114. Not good. 
The top number is called systolic and the bottom diastolic. 

"Two numbers are used to represent blood pressure. Systolic pressure (the first and large number of the equation) is the force that the blood flows from the heart into the arteries. Diastolic pressure (the second and small number of the equation) is the force as the heart relaxed, allowing the blood to flow back into the heart."
Source - WikiAnswers

The anxiety didn't help as it raises your blood pressure...I began to search online all about blood pressure and hypertension and what necessary steps I need to take to lower this. Don't kid yourself, if you are looking for peace of mind, then checking your blood pressure every half hour whilst in a dither will NOT help as it isn't going to drop in the span of a few hours. In the back of my mind I knew that the past few years I didn't listen to my body...I smoked like a chimney, drank the boys under the table more then half the time {um, nothing to be proud of ladies}, ate lots of crap AND ate a RIDICULOUS amount of salt. And I mean, disgusting. When my parents took the salt shaker away from me at the dinner table I was a little annoyed and thought "My gawd! I'm in my early 20s! Nothing will happen!!" and kept on loading my friend table salt, sea salt, household salt, whatever, onto my mashed potatoes. The amount of salt I consumed would be too embarassing to share. 
And I should be ashamed of myself as I grew up watching my Mom cook and she never did that! Never loaded the salt. To be honest, my Dad was diagnosed with high blood pressure and a lot of things changed with regards to what went on at the stove or what we purchased at the grocery store. Oh...and that almost meant no more junk food or fast food. 
I was young at the time, 16/17, and I just didn't get it nor did I try to get it. It can be exceptionally scarier being diagnosed at a later age as this obviously doesn't happen out of nowhere and has been going on for quite some time before you actually realize what is going on. 
There are no symptoms! Other then checking your bp at the doctor's office. 
I saw my Dad measure his bp regularly in the morning and at night and I never asked him what was going on or if I could do anything to help because I just thought it was a random number and had nothing to do with anything. I was obviously really naive and oooobbbviously went to a dumb school where they didn't explain things like this to you. 
There are definitely ways to lower your blood pressure without have to be serious and make honest lifestyle changes. Stand to lose a couple of pounds to help your heart out, exercise more, drink lots of water, cut the salt intake, read your labels, avoid processed foods, meditate and try to lead more of a stress-free life. 

But if you find that you do these things and nothing is happening, nothing is going down then you might just have to go onto medications. It's scary. I thought to myself last night that if we never sat down and did that stupid machine that I would have never known and I wouldn't have panicked about it for half the night. BUT and this is a huge BUT...I am grateful. If I didn't do it, it could have gotten a lot worse. I would still lead an unhealthy lifestyle and not pay attention to what I can't see, thus only making it that much more worse. I'm not trying to freak anyone out and this is just my story. High blood pressure isn't a joke and if it were nothing serious then it wouldn't be dubbed "the silent killer" and one of the leading causes of death in our country. It is important for us to really take care of ourselves and love our bodies for all it is that it does for us. Get your checks with your doc, eat health, happy!
Everything will fall into place. 
My blood pressure this morning was 128/98...still a bit high. But I'm working on it. 
Now, as I write this at night, it is 123/98...sometimes the diastolic dropping to 90 or in the 80s. 
I know what my problem is now and I need to address it. It is forcing me to make an entire lifestyle change. But the point is we shouldn't have to be forced. We should be doing this without having to run into health problems. We should be doing this for have a long, healthy and happy life. 
So make sure you get your checkups with your doc...if you gained weight look at your bp but overall, the moral of the story is to LOVE your body and all that it has to offer. It is taking care of you for start taking care of it. 

This blog post does NOT offer medical advice what-so-ever. This is my personal story and account of my own health. 
If you are concerned about your own health go and see a doctor or medical professional.


{Source: Images from Google Images}

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