I freely admit that I am not a doctor. Nor do I play one on TV. Nevertheless, I decided to, oh, just kind of experiment with my blood pressure meds. Because I'm an idiot.
My blood pressure has been out of control for months now thanks to lupus and prednisone. (I'd actually had it under control for years before then - to the point where I was completely off hypertension meds.) Usually it's the systolic that's too high; on occasion the systolic will be within acceptable limits, but then the diastolic will be too high. Usually, though, it's just the systolic. (FYI, systolic/diastolic 120/80) Always one or the other, though.
When the lupus kicked in last year and my blood pressure started to go up, the doctor put me on my old dosage of 25mg of atenolol daily. Later that was upped to 50mg. Last November that was doubled to 100mg daily. The high readings still continued. So I figured, "Hey. I'll just up the dosage myself!" So I started a routine of taking 150mg of atenolol for three days, then going back to my usual 100 for a few days, and back and forth like that.
I didn't see a noticeable consistent change in my bp readings. And I really did keep meaning to look up the info on atenolol to see what the maximum dosage was. But I'd only remember when I was away from the computer or right before I fell asleep (because my brain is so helpful like that.) And anyway, a bigger concern was that my asthma has been acting up. Today was just nuts. I was sucking down the ventilin every couple of hours, and at one point I had to take it twice within 30 minutes. Huh. Whatever could be causing a problem? Huhhhhhhhh.
You see where this is going, right? Since I didn't really have enough breath to do anything else, I finally got my act together and found the info on atenolol. You know, I'm lucky I didn't kill myself. Maximum dosage is 100mg. So I've been self-medicating at 50% above that. And you know who has to be especially careful when taking this type of hypertensive medication? People with asthma.
Because atenolol constricts the blood vessels in the lungs and makes breathing more difficult. It also slows down the heart. Which would explain why my heart rate has been at 50 lately.
So here I sit, wheezing away, feeling all day like I have pneumonia, knowing I have no one to blame but myself. I'm just kind of riding it out, waiting for the effects to subside and mentally thwacking myself across the head most mightily. Because I really do deserve it.
I'll call my doctor on Monday and make an appointment to discuss trying a different med. If nothing else, at least I found a good site that lists all the types of medications and their actions. I'll print it off and bring it with me, because really . . . my doctor is only slightly less dangerous with medicines than I am.
So that is my tale of woe. Or Moe. Along with Larry and Curly, for veritably I have been a huge Stooge.
Just one more thing. I used to have a Demotivator
plaque on my wall at work which read: It could be that that sole purpose of your life is to serve as a warning to others. Bwah! Truer words were never spoken :) And let that be a lesson to you.