"Wow, that was drastic." My reaction about 20 minutes into switching back to my old beta blocker yesterday morning. The closest I can come to describing how I felt on the cartia all day long for 3 weeks was like my heart was in jail and couldn't move the way it wanted to. It felt restricted, and I could feel it straining against the tethers trying to do what it thought it was supposed to do. It was unpleasant, to put it mildly. It worked super good the first week for blood pressure, but by the end of second week I'd slid into bradycardia, spurts of vasoconstriction (I'm sure my body was trying its hardest to get my blood pressure back up), a constant short of breath feeling, and complete lethargy. Yesterday morning was a very physical relief when that beta blocker hit systems and suddenly jail was gone and I my breathing relaxed. It felt like a big deal, like those shows where everyone in mission control at NASA suddenly relaxes because they finally hear from the astronauts again.
I didn't even think "Maybe I should stay home because I just made a big sweeping change in my body again." No, I went out and voted, and then chugged on up the highway on a heat index day to get some very much needed groceries. Well guess what. I had the total opposite of an anxiety attack. I went pure goofball for about an hour. It wasn't like being high, probably more like, while my body was readjusting all that blood pressure command stuff, possibly being on the verge of fainting. I was an idiot not to have a little power cuff with me to see what was going on, but when I finally reached town, I pulled into the post office, pulled up an analog clock on my phone, and did a minute long heart rate count and got 72, so I knew I'd be ok. I was coming back from bradycardia.
Quick random torture break.
And of course I had an almost immediate need for benadryl because beta blocker bumps histamine levels, but maybe it won't be such a fight now to get that zyrtec doubled again. I had to back off on that this last week, couldn't tell if it was making my med situation worse, but I felt more comfortable backing off. There aren't any drug interaction precautions between either blood pressure pill being taken with zyrtec or neurontin, but there's a moderate warning on zyrtec and neurontin, and with my body fighting the cartia so hard, and the zyrtec/neurontin combo doing the opposite, I think the reason I went from sleeping awesome to not sleeping again is because I was already in bradycardia, there was no way my brain was going to let me add more possible drowsiness, so I went into full alert mode and back to sleeping 6 or less hours a night.
Ok, you people who wonder why you still can't sleep when you're popping tons to stuff to help you sleep- I just demonstrated that your brain will do everything in its power to keep you breathing through the night, and some of us are very sensitive to chemical change in our internal environments forcing our bodies to do stuff, and our brains don't like that. So trying to restrain can actually kick us into high gear. I've been trying to get this through to doctors for years. I have become so med sensitive that even just small doses of anything trying to change something in my body, even for pain relief, can set off system alarms for hours.
One biggie I noticed fairly quickly yesterday was that the continual optic nerve headache I had developed on the cartia melted away through the day. I'm not fighting to use my eyes this morning. Optic nerve headaches usually make doctors think high blood pressure, and my every other day nsaid pill is well known for auras as it raises blood pressure in the brain and around the eyes. Things like prednisone and neurontin on top of that pain med make it worse for me, so this is a long-term thing proactive problem solving thing, planning for pain control maintenance without crossing too many streams if something goes haywire. For the cartia to somehow be lending to optic nerve pain (intuitively it should do the opposite) is important, but some of the side effects include muscle weakness (eye strain isn't mentioned) and possible higher infection risk (which means my autoimmune inflammation level could go berserk), and since I did develop the sore throat listed in common side effects and a spike in my tinnitus, yeah, I can totally see where cartia could be involved with nerve response around my trigeminal neuralgia and guess what I found. omg.
Another break in case you actually clicked and tried to read that stuff.
So, yeah. Don't blow symptoms off. Just because your doctor isn't aware or common literature doesn't mention doesn't mean there isn't a study or research out there somewhere very specifically detailing what is happening in your body when you try a new med out. I know I go deeper into research than a lot of people might be able to go (I have training in medical terminology and nursing and I'm a research bloodhound), but I've found things validating all kinds of problems I've had on meds. I spent ten years on amitriptyline before I finally found research about how it impacts bladder long term. I was going in monthly checking for nonexistent UTIs and my doctor thought I was going hypochondriac and didn't know what to do with me. Many years later, a neurologist wants me back on it to control pain in my spine, and a psychiatrist said no way because it makes bipolar worse. This is why you need to put together a medical team. All the hands need to know what the other hands are doing at all times. People wonder why they're miserable on meds, doctors add more meds, sometimes people find new doctors and fail to tell them everything, they wind up with even more complications, and basically it turns into a game of how long can we keep twisting up this body until it croaks off. And then we blame doctors and pharma when it's really US expecting someone to fix our whining and complaining while we keep destroying ourselves with junk and sitting around too much. The kicker for my doctor is whether a med stops me from being more functional in some way, and not being able to exercise is a definite ohHELLno on his side effect list. I see way too many people in forums complaining that their doctors won't listen and change their meds, well, find your doctor's trigger. Simplify it down to what your doctor wants to see happening with you.
I understand it's a LOT of work to learn how your body works at a cellular level or take a nutrition class or do real meal planning and your own cooking, and it really is hard to get off soda pop and turn your tech off once in awhile (and stop drinking and smoking and whatever), but if you are sliding down this 'aging' thing and wondering by your 30s and 40s why celebrities look so good at 50 and you don't, you need to figure out your priorities and what you want as an older person. Me, I wanna be able to keep dressing myself and driving a car, and don't think you can skid right up to that brink and suddenly save it all at the last minute by changing all your bad habits later. I think I mentioned somewhere the hotel guest that cussed me out for looking younger than her, with a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other, and she stormed off to sit by the pool. If looking in the mirror depresses you and other people looking healthier pisses you off, do something about it.
We can feel sorry for ourselves, or we can pay attention, but if you're not playing survival mode in this world, you'll get left behind sooner or later. This will always be my M.O.
"I think you're great, just fantastic." Free associating. Rhymes with drastic. I'm still in super focus goofball mode.
Apologies for all that, hope you guys have a good day, and here is a nice brain cleanser. Please notice the currently most powerfully influential people in the world all lined up in a row. (I'm not kidding. Look it up.)