I traveled to NY a few weeks ago - work trip, combined with a blitz of seeing friends and family. Midway through the trip, I started feeling a little "meh". Not emotionally "meh", but physically "meh". Chalked it up to jet-lag for a while, until a planned after lunch walk turned into a "hey, I need to head back to the hotel and crash for a bit". A few Ibuprofen and other OTC meds later, with a little rest, the energy level returned, and thankfully that was all that was needed to sustain me through a quiet game of Scrabble and Chinese takeout dinner with my extended family later that evening.
By the time I got back to California, though, I was getting a variety of different viral symptoms, ranging from sniffles to coughs to aches to headaches to . . . well, name a symptom, I probably had it. It peaked a week and a half later with crushing headaches and body aches that resulted in two days down and out from work, and a variety of meds, including a Valium when I got desperate because I hurt so bad I couldn't sleep. Each day that I woke and felt better (excepting the two days down and out) I kept going back into the office, thinking I was on the road to recovery, and each afternoon, my body told me otherwise.
Now, there are a lot of viruses going around, and this one may have overlooked getting a flu shot this year (these things happen). But with the amount of work I have to do in my life, taking care of a family, and the many other stressors of life, period (not to mention taxes), I'm probably a prime target for bad health right now. I also chose last weekend to do my best "battered wife" impersonation and walked straight into an armoire door at full speed, resulting in a small cut near my brow that decided to bleed out into my eyelid like the worst Boy George makeup job you can remember from the 80's. I'm sure Cover Girl makes a "Crushed Grape and Blueberry" eyeshadow if I just looked hard enough that I could have used to offset the ugliness on the other side and just call it a "look".
After a particularly restless sleep Sunday night, an increasingly ugly shiner over my left eye, a headache from the pain of meeting a solid wooden door, and an impending east coast trip again (this time, just a quick over and back in two days, including a red-eye on the front end), I realized that maybe it was time to get my house of health in order. I've got good genes on my side, in general; but I'm a chronic procrastinator. However, on Monday, I took the proverbial bull by the horns, and started myself down a better path:
- I took advantage of the fact that my company just put a clinic in our office on site, and scheduled my annual exam (over 2 years after my last one). I had to endure a bazillion questions about domestic abuse, given my wicked shiner, but got all the necessities under my belt, including a tetanus shot.
- I have a mammogram scheduled for next week. I have been an embarrassment of a wife to my radiologist husband, as I am over 2 years past my recommended first mammogram. Though my breast exam was uneventful, this will put everyone's mind at ease (provided it shows the same uneventfulness the manual exam did).
- I am on a regular regimen of multi-vitamins specifically geared at women's health and immunity . . . although my diet isn't terrible, it never hurts to make sure that I'm not deficient in anything. Plus it makes my pee a really pretty flourescent yellow-orange color.
- My doctor's visit recorded some startling blood pressures, and while I have had BP flirting in the 130/90 range from time to time, one of the readings of 170/110 alarmed both myself and the Dr. Of course, she couldn't decide if it was high blood pressure, all the cold medicine I took, caffeine from the Excedrin I took, or the head injury I sustained, so I'm on a two week trial of low-dose diuretics. Although it still fluctuates more than I want it to, I've already had readings as low as 125/81, so we can get this under control.
- I'm sporadic in my exercising, so I am going to try to be better about it, and started this weekend with a nice brisk walk with two doggies. California was a sunny 65 this morning, and it felt really good.
On all other fronts, I'm healthy as a horse. But knowing the full complement of things out there that could stress me in the upcoming months, I figured "risk of premature death" didn't have to be one of them.
Now if only I could find time to get my California driver's license . . .