September 17, 2015

Forget Blood Pressure. Happy New Year!

Today, I'd intended to discuss what I've learned from my blood pressure monitoring and my research on levodopa. Tomorrow, I'd intended to cover orthostatic hypotension, the sudden low blood pressure spells many of us with Parkinson's experience.

But last night, two familiar thoughts came to mind:
  1. I've been overdoing this blood pressure stuff.
  2. I'm eager to discuss some new subjects.
My dear friend Kathy will read #2 above, smile, and think "the more things change, the more they remain the same." When I was vice president for human resources at the Bureau of National Affairs (BNA), Kathy was our benefits manager, and she had to repeatedly endure my attempts to fire everybody up about a new idea. I'd quickly get bored with that idea and move on to something else, leaving my teammates to scratch their heads.

A Brief Wrap on Levodopa and Blood Pressure
For several years, I’ve kept records of my blood pressure, with accompanying notes showing what I was doing at the time, and how I was feeling.

I’d bet the ranch there are very few others nutty enough to keep such obsessive records. Mostly, they show the relationship between falling levodopa levels in my body and rising systolic (upper) blood pressure numbers.

I take two levodopa pills for Parkinson’s every three hours. Toward the end of each cycle, my pressure begins to increase. Soon after I take the next pill, it soon drops back into the normal zone.

The levodopa/blood pressure link is clearly there for me. Is this just a fluke? Or have others with Parkinson's experienced anything similar. I'd love to hear more.

And So... Happy New Year!
Probably because I spent so many years in school, I still think of September as the start of my new year. Nothing seems particularly new about the middle of winter when we flip the calendar page to January. 

As I age in this swamp we call our nation's capital, September also gives me a welcome sense of renewal. Washington's summer humidity increasingly saps my energy. It's become so bad these last few years, I might have spent summers in Maine were it not for all my friends and family here.

This past week, the humidity finally became bearable. It'd be a stretch to say I feel like a new man, but at least I'm a re-energized one.

September IS the start of a new year for me in one sense. My belated Parkinson's diagnosis came in September, 2009. I'm now heading into my seventh year since that diagnosis.

Other changes ahead should make this an interesting and -- I hope -- happy new year.

We'll be talking.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

C/L also lowers my B.P. to around 130/80. without it, it climbs up to 150/99 or higher. i try to use exercise, diet and exercise to keep my B.P. down but C/L has the greatest affect. I don't use B.P. to tell me when I need to take my next pill, I take a combination of regular C/L and 25/100 controlled release which adds up to an avg of 800-900mg/day. This doesn't give me ideal symptom control all the time but is a compromise, i don't get dyskinesias if i take too much but i find i get a brain fog late morning, early afternoon, if i take too much. i'm 61, diagnosed in 2002, when off i'm pretty immobile.