Sunday 22 April 2018

Sunday - and strategies

Good morning, everyone.  Another nice day is predicted for today but I feel for the Marathon runners as it's expected to be hot in London.
I'm awake early and there's a lovely breeze moving the curtains although it is too dark to see what the weather is doing.  I don't think we had any storms but my hearing is so bad that it wouldn't wake me anyway.

Well, I did Google and everywhere I looked came up with similar points.  Whether the op goes ahead on Tuesday or not, I have to do something to sort out the hypertension so this is what I gleaned . . .

1.  Lose weight.  Tick.  I can't lose weight any faster than I already am doing so it's an added incentive (if one were needed) to carry on.

2.  Eat a healthy diet.  Definitely tick - and using a doctor given regime so can't do more!  Sooze, if/when I have to come off the LS diet, I'll try what you suggested.  How big a glassful?

3.  Reduce salt.  Specifically they mentioned eating fewer processed meals.  I hardly ever have a processed meal, most of my meals are made from scratch; fresh ingredients and a recipe.  I can gradually cut down on the amount of salt I add to the cooking water, etc, and  I am sure I will notice other ways now I'm more aware.

4.  Exercise.  Well, this * is * something I can work on and had already planned to do so.  I have decided that after recovery (or next week, if the worst happens (!) ) I am joining the local Nuffield gym because they have a lovely pool - nice changing room, great individual showers, hair dryers, etc.  I do belong to the pool in town but it's not as nice (there's a new one being built but it will take ages before it is open and then I can reconsider) and it's not as simple to use either, there being lots of times when it's used by schools or for fun swims in the holiday.  I have no problems with that, it's just that if you want to just go up and down, up and down, it's not so easy at times.  It'll be more expensive, of course, but not as bad as it first appears as I will cancel the other membership for now.
I hate exercise classes - dodgy ankles being one of several reasons - and am getting some weight exercise from the allotment work which can be quite heavy, so I think swimming is the way to go.  I know I can stick to that.

5.  Limit alcohol.  Tick.  I'm totally off alcohol at the moment anyway and have been since Christmas, more or less.  It is banned on the liver shrinking diet.

6.  Stop smoking.  Never have smoked, so there.  :-)  Tick.

7.  Cut back on caffeine.  Nearly tick.  Well, most of the coffee I have is decaf nowadays but I'll go 100% again and see.

8.  Reduce stress.  Er - how?  I do have quite a lot of stress in my life right now, but it is associated with other people  and situations over which I have no control (which is why I don't talk about it here - it's not my story to tell).  I try to manage it and I do remain pretty positive but maybe I need to do more.  Deep breathing is supposed to help with that so, yes, I will give that a go and see.

9.  Monitor.  I ordered a home blood pressure thingy yesterday so I'll do that as soon as it comes.  It'll give me some idea of how it's going anyway.

10.  Visit your GP regularly.  Huh!!!  Whoever wrote this has no idea of how hard it can be to get an appointment but I'll ask about regular monitoring when I next go.

So there you go!  There are some things I can do but an awful lot is already in place.  The biggie is more exercise, I think.  As if life wasn't full enough already!  :-)

What do you think?  Any other advice?  Thank you all for your splendid comments yesterday.  I'm fine about it all now as they helped a lot.

Today, after the drive home which is cross-country and very pleasant, I intend to do a bit of allotmenting this afternoon and then go home and rest/relax.  I might get out the sewing machine and catch up.
I've realised I'm a bit short on summer skirts (I tend to wear skirts and tops a lot) but am reluctant to shell out loadsa money on clothes that I might only wear this season if things go according to plan.  I have a few lengths of fabric but am not sure if I want to use them to make something short term.  I found a lovely skirt (well, I think it is lovely) online yesterday which I have ordered in one size smaller than I am now and it can be my next target - to be able to wear it before I go to Center Parcs.  And while I'm thinking of that, a big thank you to my friend, S, who has agreed to 'house sit' for me again.  What a good friend.

Here's the skirt (taken from the web site).  It won't look as good as that on me but nevertheless, I love it.

Well, better stop rambling now.  Have a great day and may the sun shine for you.


  1. I love that skirt! Please will you let me know which site it's on?

    Re your BP. I've had high blood pressure for years which I take daily meds and which, from time to time isn't too well controlled. If you haven't been referred back to your GP specifically about the 'high' reading then you possibly have nothing to worry about. My GP told me that a doctor usually take readings on different visits and needs at least three high ones before they decide to start treatment, and it obviously wasn't so high that they rushed you straight into hospital to get it under control. Just the fact that you knew it was being monitored could have been enough to raise the readings on that day.

    My advice would be to forget about it as much as you can until you've seen your GP. All the changes you are proposing will only benefit you in the long term (whether you do actually have hypertension or not, or whether it was a one-off because of the importance of being able to have the op). Don't forget that walking is one of the best forms of exercise.

  2. So glad to “hear” a more positive tone in your voice this morning. Just look back at all you have achieved!
    One small point. I never put salt in my cooking. I leave it for people to add their own. In the case of pulses
    and rice all it does is to toughen skins/ outer layers.

  3. Can I stick my oar in here everything you have decided is good for your general health. Can I draw your attention to meditation it costs nothing and is very helpful. I am lucky I have a dog to walk and stroke both BP lowering items.

  4. Thank you, ladies.
    Eileen, this is the site. Copy and paste it as I don't think it will show as a link.
    There are more lovely things but I thought I'd check it out with one needed item first.
    I have been referred back but the first date I could get is 10-5. This was an ongoing monitor thing over twelve hours, every half an hour. They put it on in the morning and I took it off just before bedtime.

    Sue: I don't salt pulses either, never have. The rest is going to be a matter of changing my taste buds, I think - except for chips. Have to have salt on chips! :-)

    Diane: I think the deep breathing is a sort of meditation in a way. Thanks, it's worth going into in the longer term, I think. It depends whether the hypertension is being caused by stress or physical factors, perhaps.

    All your comments are much appreciated.

  5. Hello, I've been reading your blog for a while now but this is my first time commenting. I wonder if you would consider trying Taoist Tai Chi. It is a very gentle form of exercise (it's known as moving meditation) and even I am able to do it and I am waiting for a hip replacement. I understand it is supposed to be very good for lowering blood pressure (not something I have a problem with, so can't speak from direct experience). I first started practising Tai Chi when I lived in Essex (Wickford) and know there are lots of classes available in all areas of the county.

    I've been so impressed with your weight loss - I too am losing weight before I have my hip op and have so far managed to lose 2 stones in 4/5 months (Slimming World). If I can shift another 2 stones then I think my chances of complications after the op will be much reduced.

    Hoping very much that your gall bladder op does go ahead on Tuesday. Sending very best wishes, Elizabeth.

  6. Everything you're doing is on the right track. If your doc hasn't put you on medication for high blood pressure, they can't be that worried, so try not to stress about it! (I know the feeling -- getting stressed over blood pressure readings raises your blood pressure!).

    Have you thought of yoga? It's a very relaxing form of exercise that you can adapt to your own body, and I find it great for keeping me supple. Tried tai chi too, but found I had to concentrate too hard so it wasn't relaxing.

  7. I'm already on meds for BP and after the last 12 hour check they put it up.

    I shall read up a bit, thanks for the suggestion.
    J x

  8. Elizabeth, lovely to have you commenting, thanks very much. I think I need to explore some relaxation stuff and I'm very grateful for the suggestion, many thanks.
    You're doing extremely well with your weight loss - fingers crossed that it all works together with the op date. I am sure it will make a huge difference.
    J x

  9. Hi... I have a friend with high blood pressure who also swears by beetroot as a way to help. She buys it in powder from from a health shop (Grape Tree - don't know if it's a widespread chain or not). She isn't fond of the taste and tends to add a teaspoonful to soups, stews etc unless she is feeling very brave when it goes in a glass of water!

    As others have done, I was going to mention both yoga and meditation. Last year I found a wonderful YouTube channel - "Yoga With Adriene" - lots of yoga videos of varying lengths and levels of difficulty, designed for doing at home without an audience. I've found it incredibly helpful in restoring some mobility. The yoga itself is fairly good at reducing stress, but Adriene also includes some proper breathing/meditiation stuff.

    I hope the various strategies help, though as also said above, if the BP was significantly high you'd have been sent off to have something done with it straight away.

    Suzie Hill

  10. Joy,
    I think you have outlined a pretty solid plan. I think the swimming may be just the ticket to get your bp where you want it. It sounds to me like you will be doing all you can. So, I have my fingers crossed it all works out for the best in the end. The skirt is adorable! I almost never wear skirts. I should lose a few pounds and get a few skirts. Hubs and I have agreed to focus on more healthy eating come summer.
    Have a lovely day!

  11. Such encouraging comments, thanks, Suzie and Softie. I'll look uo that channel, Suzie, it sounds good for the longer term and to complement the swimming.
    I think the swimming will work well and I do like it. I'm not fast and I'm not expert but I can get along and it's supported exercise so less chance of injury.
    I'm sure I will be reporting back on it sometime soon.
    J x

  12. Hi Joy, sorry it's taken me so long to answer your question, been a busy day (who said Sunday was a day of rest?!).

    From memory (it was 2 or 3 years ago), I think I was having 200mls a day of the beetroot juice....the one I had was called Beet-It. As I said, I wasn't really fond of the taste - far too earthy for my liking. A friend suggested mixing it with orange juice, which I reckon is a good idea for disguising the taste - not for me though as fruit juice is too much sugar for my diabetes (I thought the beetroot juice's benefits outweighed the sugar disadvantage). It did lower my BP, my GP said if it carried on going down I could probably come off BP medication. However, the taste just defeated me in the end, it got to the point where I felt I simply couldn't face another mouthful of the stuff. I didn't know that you can buy it in powder form, as CrystalWitch has mentioned, although I see her friend also dislikes the taste!

    Good luck with the anaesthetist tomorrow.

    Oh, and I love the skirt - I don't wear skirts (or dresses) but if I did that would be exactly the style and colours I would choose.

  13. Hi, Sooze. Thanks for the info, it really does sound worth a try. And thanks for the good luck too. :-)
    J x