Thursday, October 8, 2009
What If doing The Right Thing Is Wrong?
I think of myself as relatively fit. I run a lot and am very physically active. I try to eat right and I shun medicines when ever possible. I actually can't remember the last time I had a cold or the flu. Other than about a dozen surgeries this year for a work related accident, I have not had a need to see a doctor.
So, I should be all set, no problems right? Well, as it turns out there is a problem.
and it partially stems from me trying to do the right thing. I recently found out I have very high blood pressure. In most cases this is not a good thing....well in all cases I guess.
From what I have been told, HBP can be caused by many things but is usually related to heart problems as it causes the heart to overwork and possibly bring on heart attack or strokes. Not something I look forward to!
So, my doc says the normal course of action when one realizes they have HBP is to lose some weight, increase exercise, avoid salt and eat healthy......problem is, I am already doing that. The Doc ran an EKG and found that my heart was perfect(that's good news!!) Absolutely strong, healthy and no problems. He even showed me the long lapse between the readings indecating a low resting heart rate that one usually finds in an active athelete. Mine is 48 which has kicked the alarm at every surgery. By the way, he told me Joan Benoit Samulson's was 36.....crazy huh?
The doc asked me a lot of questions and had all of my surgery paperwork. One thing that suprised him was that I didn't take the pain medications after surgery. I told him that I felt the meds interfere with the bodies normal healing process. Also as a runner, we use pain as a gauge to tell us when we have done too much or gone too far.
I heal quite fast and am usually back to my normal activities in no time.
Come to find out, by not taking medications and having so many surgeries, my body has adjusted cronically to high blood pressure. So, by doing what I thought was the right thing, I helped cause this problem. Not making sense? Well when your body is injured, the pain signals trigger some type of enzyme to the liver and the liver reacts by creating calcium which increases blood pressure to force more blood into the damaged area. This sends a large supply of oxygen and also carries away toxins.
The medications not only mask the pain but also the signal to the liver. This proves that medication slows down the healing process. In normal cases, refusing medication is very helpful to healing, but in my case with so many surgeries, it has a byproduct.
The constant liver calcium combined with the blood pressure rise during stressful times like surgey and the fact that I have so many surgeries this year has caused a steady rise of Blood pressure to a point that does not have time to settle out then ends up at quite dangerous levels.
In the end, it is good to hear that I have no heart problems but I still have to address the blood pressure. I am sure it has curbed my performance this year. The doc seems to think it will settle back to normal after all the surgeries are over (I have two or three more this year). I am hoping, with that behind me I can work on a solid running base this winter and kick off some good PRs next year.
I did get in a nice trail run last night (though it was interupted for a short time) I was searching for my Ipod transmitter as it somehow fell out of the holder on my foot. Luckily I found it sitting right in the middle of the trail. I actually thought I would be running in the rain but it stopped about an hour before I went out. The weather was perfect and the woods were peaceful. I can't think of a better way to release the stresses of working.
3 mile trail run
25:07 (8:22 pace)
7:52....151-163 (7:01 kick)