Yesterday morning when I woke up, my back had healed and I had another medical situation that was dragging me down. After I had breakfast, I took my prescription meds including a new one for my blood pressure. I was supposed to meet Susan at the pool at 10am, and as I got ready to go, I started to have trouble breathing. I went down the stairs from the front door to the car and thought I was going to collapse.
A smart woman would have called her doctor and canceled the swim, but not I. I went to the pool, thinking that a good workout would help me. But I struggled to put in eight laps in 45 minutes. That's not me.
The reason I didn't worry was because I had already taken my blood pressure twice that morning and it was 125 over 74. Way under the 140/90 standard for health. And I had swam both Friday and Saturday and met my modest goals without trouble. The rest of my stats, like my pulse and my blood glucose were normal. So, I knew it had to be a side effect of my new blood pressure prescription. I went home, looked at my drug information pamphlet, called my pharmacist and found out that I had bronchial spasms which aren't life threatening although rather annoying. He said that it was a very rare side effect of beta blockers, not many get it, and at the low dosage that I had, it wasn't supposed to affect me that much, it usually starts at 400mg instead of my 25mg. My respiration didn't get any better the rest of the day. I went to work, hardly being able to move without wheezing.
This morning, I took my blood pressure, which was 120/70, and decided to skip the metoprolel that was making my bronchial pipes have spasms. I still feel "wheezy" but it's not as bad as yesterday. I went swimming. And even though I wasn't doing as well as last week, I did better than yesterday. In fact, the life guard dropped some metal connector for the lane divider buoys in the deep end, and I dove 12 feet to get it. I got it, and felt great. It was a challenge, and I really didn't expect that my dive would be successful.
I'm wondering if I need blood pressure medication at all. My doctor (another new one) questioned it as well, but he was concerned about my kidneys.
But my breathlessness reminded me of Mom, when she couldn't climb the stairs in our house without stopping every three steps at the age of 50. I thought that she was out of shape, but now I realize that she was dealing with beta blockers, probably. At higher dosages than mine.
Later, she wasn't breathing heavy anymore, when she was in her early sixties. I wonder if it was because someone took her off the beta blockers and put her on another med that didn't have that side effect. Her life improved a lot, she started to go to the gym and swam a little at the family reunion at the Aquatic Center, and she danced.