Archive for March 1st, 2014

Finally med free

Posted on Saturday, March 1st, 2014 at 1:07 am

Well, I had to go back on a reduced level of metoprolol, because I was having too many class 2 hypertension episodes (>160), with a too strong and too fast heart beat.  So it delayed the final departure for a week.  But I have been off for four days now.  And as long as I keep the physical stress down, I am staying in class 1.  It is easy to get the body to become too active, kicking the heart into overdrive.  So I’m having to be careful.

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But I am free of drugs and mostly staying on safe ground.  It still wants to creep up at times, but I can guide my brain to bring it back down.  I’ve become pretty good at dropping the systolic forty or more mlHg in less than a minute.  The diastolic takes a little longer.  But the mental feedback that I have found, trying to mimic what the clonidine did, seems to be rather successful in bringing down a raging heartbeat.

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My hope is to be free of medication long enough to train the brain to adapt.  I am losing some of the capillary dilation.  My skin isn’t as red, a little more normal.  So it will be a while before I can bring the pressure down close to normal.  But I am doing pretty well in keeping it down out of the danger zone.  I’m seeing fewer of the class 2 events than I was having during the full medication period, especially at the end.  My body was adapting to the meds, and when they would wear off before the next scheduled dosage, I would get class 2 events.  So they are actually decreasing by going off medication.

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I do have confidence that I will be able to bring the levels down.  I need to take the mental routines that are working and make them a full time habit.  Easier said than done.  But it is getting easier to implement, I’m finding less resistance from the medula.  It’s not as shielded, to use a metaphor.  Or perhaps, it is decreasing in density, it’s easier to begin the influence from the cortex.  This is the goal, to train the heart beat controls and ease them back from post-op levels, where they’ve been for 21 months because of constant medication.

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The medication is pretty much a brute force approach, and the body resents it.  When the medication wears off, the body over-compensates, rebelling against the suppression.  What I want to achieve is to lead the brain down to a proper level of regulation of its own accord.  Ever since surgery, my sub-brain control center has been panicking.  Instead of sedating it, I want to train it.  I have spent a lot of my lifetime exploring the interaction between the brain and the body.  I was interested in many of the eastern arts of meditation when I was young, and I learned a great many things, ways to guide the body, to keep things in balance.

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After the surgery, the panic was too intense to corral.  I needed the drugs to keep my heart on an even keel.  The clonidine patch was way out of my price range, but I returned to clonidine in pill form when I started using the clinic in Austin.  I feel that enough time has gone by since the changes in my body structure for things to settle on their own.  The side effects of the medication were the kicker that led me to this tactical shift in this time frame.  I think that I can now get my system to find a new unassisted balance that stays out of class 2.  The ultimate goal is normal, but I don’t expect it over night.  For now, in this brave new world I’m facing, I’ll settle for class 1 as the norm.  After that finds a stability, I’ll start working on getting it down near or to normal ranges.  Elderly, a spare tire, and the recent suppression will make it hard to hit 110/70 on my own.  But I hope to get there in the long run.

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For now, it’s being careful not to exert myself, keep myself in a low key state of mind, and try not to deal with major emotional issues.  Fortunately, the latter is fairly easy.  I don’t have many, and none are local.  I’m keeping touch with my circulation and being active in adjusting it when necessary.  I want this to become the subconscious routine found out of habit.  So I’m working on the habit of touching the sub brain with the right types of thoughts.  If I’m going to return to some semblance of normality away from interfering medication, it’s the path I need to pursue.