Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Lease Is Extended - I'll Live !

They say that when you're living the fast life, sooner or later it'll catch up to you.

I've found that living for fast food, will most definitely catch up to you also !
Tonight my wife prepared our first meal, a supper, using the guidelines stipulated by the doctor-ordered diet upon which I've been placed. She's decided that it would be a good idea for her to start watching what she eats too.

I'd never realized just how much for granted I've been taking salt over the years. It was quite literally a shock to the system to eat an entire meal without salt! It's going to take a lot of getting used to, to say the least!
I'm getting ahead of myself ....

I was released from the hospital on Thursday afternoon and sent home with a sack of prescribed medicines, [sic] drugs.
Lisinopril 20 mg -( 1 a day ) to control high blood pressure
Cephalexin 500 mg - (4 a day) antibiotic for infection
Ferrous So4 325 mg - (3 a day ) iron supplement for anemia
Furosemide 40 mg - (1 a day) fluid removal and blood pressure
Non-oral meds
Ammonium Lactate lotion - (2 a day) apply to dry irritated skin
Then there was a brief consultation with the hospital nutritionist who lowered the boom on me: a two-page diet plan that literally turned my world upside down! Of course, if the title of this post is to mean anything I'll have to follow it as religiously as possible.
I. Diet: You have been prescribed a Cardiac Diet.

We would like you to eat foods low in sodium (salt), fat and cholesterol. You should have lean meats, low fat dairy products, low sodium soups, low fat salad dressings. You should avoid eating processed meats (bacon, ham and sausage), convenience foods, regular soups, fried foods, whole milk, butter, table salt, rich desserts.

II. Diet: You have been prescribed a 2 Gram Sodium Controlled Diet.

We would like you to eat foods that are low in sodium (salt). This may help you control your blood pressure and avoid large amounts of fluid weight gain. You should eat more fresh meat, chicken, fish, fruit and vegetables, plain rice and potatoes. Avoid adding salt to foods. You should NOT eat processed foods like cold cuts, hot dogs, and frozen dinners. Buy low salt cheese, reduced salt canned soups, unsalted crackers, and no no salt added canned vegetables. Limit pickles and condiments like soy sauce and steak sauce.

III. Diet: You have been prescribed a High Fiber diet.

A high fiber diet may protect you from certain caners, heart disease or constipation. We would like you to gradually add foods to your diet that are high in fiber. Foods such as: whole grains, breads, cereals, vegetables, oat/wheat bran, dried beans, legumes, and fruits are good choices.

Drink plenty of fluid (6-8 cups per day.)
In Clement Moore's "A Visit From St. Nicholas," the children were asleep while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads!

I'm not asleep, but visions of hot dogs, sausage links, eggs, and sticks of butter with sprouted wings can be seen circling above my head just out of reach before they fly through the window into the evening air.
My Blue Cheese salad dressing - gone! Fish and Chips (fried) - bye-bye! Southern style fried chicken - no more! Encore frozen Salisbury Steaks - history!
I think you get the picture.

This morning, I had a 10am appointment with the Dermatologist. The rash that had developed after the outset of the edema (fluid retention) appears to be clearing up. The rash itself has been a complete mystery to the doctors. They have been unable to explain its presence or what caused it. They are stumped as to why it "jumped" over the white untanned skin on my wrist where I'd been wearing a watch. They cannot figure why it was appearing on my lower legs and next on my abdomen skipping altogether my thighs. The next day it then be on the thighs. One day it was on my neck and formed rings around my eyes - two days later, it was gone from those spots. The rash never appeared on my back and it never showed up on any part of my skin that was covered by my underwear!

This really has them scratching their heads: not once did the rash ever itch!

I have a appointment for next Thursday with the dermatologist for him to see what has or will not happen during a six-day span.

As for the edema, the doctors are also baffled over that case too. They are unable to explain why I "blew" up and why such a large area of my body was affected in a matter of only three days! The water pills have been doing the trick and the swelling has been subsiding quite rapidly. It is almost completely gone now! Of course, in order for the water pills to work their magic, the fluid is drained through the kidneys. Trips to the bathroom to urinate are quite frequent especially within the first hour of taking the pills.

Yes, the lease has been extended.

Lessons learned: eat properly and when something doesn't look or feel right - get thine ass to the doctor!




addicted to life said...

you have amazing blog!
you gain 1 new follower :)

lime said...

glad to hear you are home and doing reasonably well. i know the necessary adjustments seem huge now but i hope soon they will seem easy and normal. best wishes for continued health.

Duke_of_Earle said...

Long live thee, indeed!

Hale McKay said...


Thanks for the "follow."

I'll drop by and check out your site.

Hale McKay said...


Good to hear from you. Yes, the adjustments seem big, but I'm sure I can endure and stick it out.

Hale McKay said...


Thanks for the support.

kenju said...

You can learn to like foods prepared in that fashion. It won't take long for your tastebuds to forget about extra salt. Most natural foods have quite a bit already. Mr. kenju's doc says follow a minimum of 80% of that diet every day and you can afford to splurge once a week.

Jack K. said...

Glad to know you are getting back to a new "normal". You will soon discover that a salt free diet ain't all that bad. Kenju is on the right track with that advice.

I'm not a medic. If I read you description about the rash, my first impression was, it only occurred on your unprotected skin. Hmmm? Could it be caused by the sun, or some chemical spray? Hmmm?

You will enjoy your new dietary plans. Keep on getting better. We need you around to regale us with your wonderful stories.

Now get back to writing. lol

Skunkfeathers said...

Yeah, the lifestyle changes, however healthy, aren't easy. When I learned the hard way I had diverticulosis, some rather favored foods had to disappear from my diet. Not adhereing to it caused me a second trip to the ER and more unpleasant meds for the same diverticulitis episode that shoulda taught me the first time.

Yeah, I fudge now and again...but not enough for a third episode, I hope ;)

Get better!

Hale McKay said...


Since our first supper without salt, I went to the store and purchased among other things some "No Salt" and "NuSalt." What a difference - these substitutes for salt made a world of difference.

I believe I'll be to adapt. Wait! I know I will - I have to!

Hale McKay said...


As for unprotected skin - I have been wearing knee-length cargo shorts. Yet the unexposed skin under them was also "attacked" by the rash.

Hale McKay said...


Your case is resounding proof that I need to adhere to my dietary restrictions, lest I have repeat episodes.

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