So I went along to see Dr Manby (my usual GP is on holiday) for a blood pressure review, taking along my own spreadsheet and graph from my monitoring over the last 3 weeks. Some reduction from around 160/100 to 150/95 but not yet enough to be happy so my Ramipril dose has been increased to 5mg per day and we will check again in 3 weeks time.
As part of the process, patients who get an increased dose are asked for another kidney function test about 2 weeks after increasing the dose. So, having explained that I seem to have deep veins inside my elbow and that it is much simpler to take it from the back of my hand I ask for and receive the paperwork for blood to be taken at the hospital and am happy to arrange it to the agreed schedule. Intriguingly, when I ask why I can’t have them done at Leeds Dr Manby says that I can and not least because Bradford send all their bloods to Leeds for analysis anyway. Now this is not what I was told by the Health Assistant who tried and failed to take blood samples 3 weeks ago – she was insistent that I had to go to Bradford.
He referred to a slightly unclear fax they received from Leeds about the sleep clinic, so I explained the admin mess and suggested that this may have come from the pre-op assessment (they did say that they would do this). All clarified, he agreed to send for an urgent appointment to get this resolved.
Next is to consolidate the ‘lifestyle changes’ I have already started implementing – more exercise and less food being the essence. The trick for me will be not to make too big a deal about this and to avoid anything radical. Being something of a foodie, I have already started thinking about the food issue:
- Whatever I eat needs to be tasty and filling – feeling hungry all the time is surely not necessary;
- Extremes need to be avoided – banning chocolate, ice-cream, bread, bacon etc removes the possibility of occasional treats
- No ‘dieting’ – it’s about balance and quantity not only eating courgettes or beetroot!
- Supplements – are they proven to be necessary, or is there evidence that overdosing has no ill effect?
I’m going to write more about this in the next few days, so that’s all for now folks!