Since my GP has no interest in checking to see whether I’m still alive and, if I am, what condition I’m in, and my cardiologist has apparently been abducted by aliens (hopefully doing unspeakable things to the useless sod!), I’ve made an executive decision and doubled my heart drug – just one more rung on the self-medication ladder.
I’ve been taking Candesartan for about a year, at 4mg a day. It’s a pretty nasty drug, it has to be said, but there’s no denying it’s effective. What it’s mainly been effective at, though, is maintaining a state of sustained mediocrity, with few crises, while still leaving me almost totally housebound, except for one afternoon a week in the pub, and an occasional excursion to Sainsbury’s**. Oh joy…
**Which is a hell of a lot better than not taking it, believe me.
OK, I accept that’s more than some people have, but it’s not enough. I make no apology for that – I simply want more out of what remains of my life.
Yesterday, I increased the dose by 50%, which worked pretty well, so today I doubled it to 8mg, and I have to say I feel pretty damned good. Getting up in the morning – a massive, and dreaded, effort for the past year – was a breeze. No shambling around for hours, fighting to stay awake, trying not to puke, and doing nothing besides check my email. Even this morning, when I overslept and took my 06.00 meds at 08.30, I was good to go by 09.30
My breathing is better, much better, as I’ve just realised I missed my 13.00 inhalers and haven’t even missed them (just realised I’ve taken no Ventolin today, either, so how much of what is ascribed to COPD is actually my heart, and for how long has that been the case?**), and I find that having greatly reduced one problem, pain is easier to tolerate, and as an unexpected bonus, my mind feels remarkably clear, due, no doubt, to improved blood supply.
**Finally started to wheeze about 18.00, so had a dose then.
So clear that I’ve just knocked out a thousand-word blog post with very little effort. Damn good one too, if I do say so myself (the one fly in the ointment being scrambled spelling – right letters, wrong order, which is an ME problem from way back). I’m also cold, and where that would normally have me scurrying for the thermostat, today it doesn’t bother me. I should explain that I’m not actually cold, but at 26C and below I feel cold (more ME crap).
What now, then? Well, the first thing is not to give in to temptation and overdo things. It’s very tempting to drag out the vacuum cleaner, but I know if I do that so soon, I’ll crash, so for now I’ll content myself with writing.
The important thing, right now, is to do nothing out of the ordinary, until I see whether this improvement is sustained over the next week.
On a less subjective level, my pulse ox shows O2 sats at 92%, (not great but I feel better than of late when it’s been consistently higher at 95%), pulse 90-ish and stronger than usual, and less erratic, though admittedly stronger is a relative term, still only sparking the display at about 50% of normal. It’s also come down from a fairly tachy 125, which has been the norm for weeks now. I wonder how much that’s due to not taking Ventolin,** which can jack up the heart rate substantially?
**I feet very rough, and shaky, after taking the above dose. Really quite ill, in fact – time for a little Ventolin research, I think.
All in all, though, a very good day, although I’m starting to flag, but hey, I’m not expecting miracles, and that’s normal for this time of day (19.15), so with the ‘wait and see’ caveat, for now I think I can chalk up a tentative win.
And somehow, I feel taller. I’m not, of course, but snatching even a small victory can do remarkable things…