February 14, 2011

My Parkinson's Week: A Wake-up Call to warn me to restore more balance to my life.

I've lived my life by Mae West's mantra:  Anything worth doing is worth overdoing!. I was a two-pack-a-day cigarette smoker. (Tobacco-free for 45 years fortunately.) My alcoholism got me thrown out of law school and 5 or 6 times into jails. (Alcohol-free for 33 years even more fortunately.) But I continue to periodically disrupt my life and well-being with my obsessive/compulsive and addictive tendencies.

I loved an e-mail that my son sent recently to my daughter (and copied me), saying:
Think how dull the world would be without people who are bipolar, obsessive/compulsive, and ADD.  Isn't it nice that Dad is all three!
I got a warning this week that I've done it again by obsessing about getting this blog up and running and by letting work on the computer consume much of my day. Last Monday, after a good night's sleep, I woke up feeling unusually tired and lethargic. I thought at the time that this might be a sign that I'd been overdoing things and needed to remember that I was 81 years old and my energy supply has limits..  I started upping my meditation time and my do-nothing time.  But Friday I got the real warning. I'd had a couple of breakthroughs on my efforts to promote the blog that got me very excited about the prospects for developing them further.  So after breakfast I headed for the computer but then just sat there feeling extremely tired.  After an hour or so of this, I checked my blood pressure and it was up near 180. I decided to go into my bedroom and lie down and I nearly passed out.  I laid in bed for an hour or so as waves of faintness came and went. I finally decided to call my daughter and 911. Both responded quickly and well.

I was carted off to the hospital emergency room where I had several blood tests, a brain scan, a chest x-ray, and continual monitoring of the blood pressure which went up to near 200 but then gradually began coming down.  When all the test results came in, the doctor said they all showed I was normal.  (My daughter correctly disputed that.)  So I was discharged and went home. Now, two days later, the erratic blood pressure spikes are subsiding and I'm feeling much better.

There's no clear evidence as to what's causing this. But my guess is that it's related to my getting overly excited and involved in the blog and spending far too much time on the computer. So I'm, once again, calling up the bumper-sticker-like slogans that helped me deal with my alcoholism -- Easy does it.  One day at a time. And, my favorite, "I can't think my way into a new way of acting but I can act my way into a new way of thinking."

I've laid down a rule for myself -- after an hour on the computer, I have to take a break and do something else for at least a couple of hours.   Fortunately, our unusually cold winter in D.C. is releasing its grip and the temperature predictions for the coming  week are are for the 50's and I can get back to the outdoor walks that have always been good for me.

At least this time my obsession has been about something positive. But it's yet another reminder that a positive can turn into a negative when it's carried to excess.

It could well be that something else caused the spike in blood pressure and I'm researching a couple of other options. But in any event I need to get more balance back into my life.


Zahed said...

You need to tends free life. I can't understand, why you take stress unnesessary and fealing bad?

Sghimire25 said...

Namaste john
Sorry to hear about your recently health problem, wish u all the best n I think you need more rest in these days ... Takecare