Transplant Athlete
Friday, December 30, 2005
  The Horror

OK, by now you all know, I've been fighting high blood pressure. As my training for RAAM has been heating up, I've been feeling light-headed after rides and that's my cue to start decreasing my blood pressure meds. I only have 30mg pills of the Procardia, so I skipped a day and then attempted to discontinue the medication. Not a good idea. I always have the worst withdrawal symptoms from blood pressure medication. Once, before my transplant, I had a batch of blood pressure patches go bad. I spent several hours (at 2am mind you) looking for the one CVS open 24 hours in Northern Virginia to get a new patch. The pain is so intense, I can't stand it.

At 1am, I couldn't stand it any longer and I cracked a 30mg pill in half and downed it. Yes, I know you're not supposed to just cut those time release pills in half, but I was desperate. I cracked the remaining half in two and I'll take one of those tonight and hopefully that will be the last Procardia I take until next fall. I think the Procardia was doing something funky to my system, affecting my heart rate when riding. I just went to check on the side effects of Procardia and look at that Anemia is listed as a rare side effect...That explains my hematocrit at 32%. Like I said in an earlier post, I get the rare side effects from medication. They also list "fluttering heartbeat" and "rapid heartbeat" as side effects, which would explain the "funky feeling" I have when riding.


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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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Warning Signs for Kidney Disease:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Burning or Difficulty when Urinating
  • Frequent Urination at Night
  • Blood in your urine
  • Cola or tea colored urine
  • Swellig of the eyes, ankles, or feet
  • Lower back pain unrelated to physical activity

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