Feeling tired -- 08/10/06

Yes, you're right, I've really neglected this journal... I mean, even given my tendency lately to only get in six or eight entries per month (and, actually, I did have seven entries in July), it is still a bit extreme to go more than two weeks without posting an entry.

Usually when I have longer than average gaps between entries I say something about being very busy...

Okay, so I've been busy...

So what's new?

What's new is that I have also been tired... sometimes very, very tired... and sometimes drowsy as well...

Toprol XL.

That's a brand name for metoprolol, a beta-blocker.

Yeah, for my blood pressure. This is partly because of my typical blood pressure being in the "high normal" and "borderline" ranges, but especially because of my exercise-induced hypertension (as I mentioned in my previous entry). I am supposed to "throw away the salt shaker" and especially try to avoid sodium-heavy processed foods (like canned soups, etc.). Oh, and also cut back on caffeine. (And I discovered that in a typical day I drink a couple of cups more than I thought I did.) And drop a few pounds. And keep exercising (just don't do intense workouts).

Among the possible side-effects of Toprol XL are fatigue and drowsiness. (There are others and I think that if I have to have side-effects, I'd prefer them to the others, but I'd rather not have any.) I'm taking my pill in the morning, as my cardiologist recommended (and I'm not exactly thrilled being able to write the phrase "my cardiologist") but he says if the drowsiness continues or becomes too much of a problem I could switch to taking it at bedtime.

I manage to get through the work part of the day okay (although it is a struggle because when a moment of fatigue hits, my natural impulse is to hammer down a cup or two of coffee... but I'm supposed to restrict my coffee consumption), but then in the evening when I'm playing on my computer and I think about writing a journal entry, I'm tired from the day and I have been ending up just surfing around, reading the sites that I like to read and the result is that I haven't written an entry since July 25th.

I have been pretty good about exercising -- mostly bike riding because I've become nervous about running, at least for a while. Some of my bike rides have been short, just a handful of miles, but almost half the time I do at least ten miles. This past Sunday I rode 17 1/2 miles and I think maybe tomorrow or Saturday I'm going to try twenty miles.

And I've lost four pounds over the past four weeks. I hope to keep that pace going until I've dropped at least ten pounds. (Actually, I'd really like to see if I could drop twenty pounds before the end of the year.) Based on stuff I've read (and by what my cardiologist has told me), weight loss and sodium reduction could take care of much of my "normal" blood pressure, but apparently he believes I will always need to take medication for the exercise-induced hypertension. In the fall he is going to schedule me for another treadmill stress test, to see if there has been any improvement.


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