I'm going to be writing a lot of posts about my BlogHer 2011 experience over the coming week or so, but this is the one that's topmost in my thoughts right now.
It all started with a tweet I saw from Queen of Spain about a blood drive at the conference. I've been an enthusiastic blood donor since college, so I was happy to sign up even though I've been turned down a few times recently due to low hemoglobin. However, my last blood test at the doctor's office showed normal iron levels, so I figured I'd give it a shot.
Well, I almost got turned down, but not due to anemia. Instead, it was because my blood pressure was sky-high.
Now, I've always had blood pressure on the low side of normal. If I stood up too fast in yoga class, I'd often get dizzy. High blood pressure is definitely something new. The tech took my blood pressure twice and I squeaked down into the acceptable range the second time, but she thought it was concerning enough that she wrote down both readings so I could share them with my doctor when I got home.
I had a pretty good idea that the sudden change in blood pressure was related to one of my medications. It didn't take much research to figure out which one, so I left a message for my doctor, who had her nurse call and tell me to stop taking that one (duh).
I'm actually rather irritated at her for prescribing it in the first place and also irritated at myself for not being a more proactive healthcare consumer when I started taking it. It really wasn't particularly appropriate for the condition for which it was prescribed and it's apparently well known for causing hypertension. Thanks, doc.
So now I'm assuming that my blood pressure will go back to normal. I've been stepping up my exercise and changing my diet quite a bit, so those things alone should help, especially now that I'm not being poisoned by that stupid drug.
I'm very inspired of late to take charge of my health and, ideally, get off most or all of the various medications I'm taking. It may not be a quick process, but it's worth starting immediately. I'd love to get to a point where I feel like a fully healthy person instead of a walking collection of symptoms.
So my post title may be a little hyperbolic, but I'm glad I got the heads-up that something was wrong. I'll talk about the less life-or-death aspects of BlogHer in the rest of my upcoming posts.