Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Why I am doomed

(weapon of mass destruction)

I went to the doctor the other day. I will spare you the details. Let's just say, I never go to the doctor unless I am extremely terribly uncomfortable. In fact, before I go to the doctor I email my sisters to see if my condition is just a genetic fluke, search the internet for herbs, vitamins or home remedies, and rummage through the medicine chest for old, expired prescriptions.

Then I wait a week to see if it goes away. Two weeks if I can stand the pain. That's how much I hate going to the doctor.

Anyway, this condition I had which shall remain nameless became very uncomfortable very quickly. So off I went.

The condition turned out to be something quite minor and easy to treat. But while I was there, I learned that I am doomed.

The nurse took my blood pressure and looked at me with raised eyebrows. "It's 164 over 95," she said with alarm. "That is quite high."

"Well, maybe it's because I am in excruciating pain," I said hopefully.

"Hmm," she said, looking at me like I was a complete idiot.

The doctor came and went, never mentioning my sky-high blood pressure. I'm sure he didn't want to be the one to tell me that my days are numbered. He probably didn't want to go through that awkward moment, like in Terms of Endearment, where the doctor can't even say the words and the poor sickly patient (me) has to say through her tears, "I know what you're telling me. I need to figure out (sob) what to do with my kids." I didn't really want to go through that moment either. So I didn't bring it up.

But a few days later, my husband and I were at Walmart and I dragged him over to the free blood pressure machine.

It was still high.

Not quite as high as before, but not good. Yikes. Maybe it's time to pay attention to my diet. I'm not overweight, but I do eat an awful lot of salt. In fact, more salt than I ever realized. Today, I kept track.

Breakfast alone could kill me. Did you know there are 220 milligrams of salt in a SINGLE SLICE of sourdough bread?? Plus another 90 milligrams in each tablespoon of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, which I Can't Believe Is Not Good For Me!!

I normally snack on cheese (130 mg) and Triscuits (180 mg) and peanuts (115 mg) and potato chips (don't ask). For dinner, I love Good Seasons salad dressing (320 mg!) and spaghetti with Ragu (580 mg!!).

Even Little Debbie Zebra Cakes have 170 mg of sodium!

No wonder the doctor didn't say anything. It's just not good news.



chicamom85 said...

I know and sympathize, we are living in a world of salt! It is everywhere. My husband is on kidney dialisys and so I really have to watch it around here, I have been very good so far. But here is some irony. He has to also watch his potassium and the salt substitutes have a high amount of potassium so I can't even use those. Sometimes you can't win. Take care of yourself.


Fran Hill said...

Your statistics look very frightening. I'm so glad I still think in ounces. Great caption on the picture! It looks so convincing, too. Good luck with the no-salt regime. I reckon if you empty the salt pot, but shake it over your chips anyway, it will be a bit like smoking a nicotine substitute. They say it's a physical thing. Try it.

Rae said...

Another thing that people often overlook is if they have conditioned water. If a water softener is on your drinking water line you are getting exorbitant amounts of sodium.

gaf85 said...

Lesley, Oh yes, those visits to the Doctor.... Last time I went they had my lab results waiting for me and I was warned about my cholesterol starting to climb. The doctor said I had 6 months to control it or she would put me on medication so now I eat Cheerios every morning. I'll have to go back and look to see what the sodium content is. I also switched to "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" so I better go read the label on that too.

MzzLily said...

I am blessed. My blood pressure rarely gets to 100 over 65! My doctor once told me to eat more salt! Real food is low in sodium. It's the packaged stuff and cans that are out to get you. Seriously, if your BP is 165, I'm worried...

Lesley said...

I think most Americans have NO idea how much salt we are consuming! Rae, I didn't know about the water softeners. We don't have one, but that is scary.

Jan Mader said...

I popped over from Ali's blog. I see Rae has been here too...we seem to both have good taste when it comes to blogs!

I'm a children's author and would love to have you come visit!

Hope to talk to you soon.....

PS..I've been on blood pressure medicine since my early 20's when I fractured a kidney!


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