Cardio -- 12/10/09

If you are new here, there's a brief introduction to various characters at the end of this entry...

I really like my cardiologist (other than the fact that I don't like being able to say "my cardiologist"). I've been watching my blood pressure since back in July of 2006 when testing showed that my normal resting blood pressure was too high and also showed exercise-induced hypertension in a treadmill stress test. Fortunately, as shown by another treadmill stress test that fall, my blood pressure has been successfully controlled by modification of diet (i.e., low sodium), exercise, and medication.

I him twice a year for a checkup. In my appointment this morning he mentioned to me that his wife is planning on doing a triathlon this coming year and he was giving some thought to trying one himself. That's when I confessed that I have been doing some day-dreaming about doing one myself. (More about that some other time -- I'm really not sure yet -- and I have an appointment coming up on Monday with my podiatrist to check out some heel pain I have after running and also after multi-mile walking.) His wife is training for what they call a 70.3 triathlon (i.e., the swim + bike + run totals 70.3 miles, also called a Half Ironman) but I am thinking about what they call a "sprint triathlon" (750 meter swim, 20 K bike, 5K run).

Anyway, he wanted me to get an echocardiogram (ultrasound imaging of the heart) in order to determine if I have any problems with heart muscle enlargement due to hypertension. My blood pressure appears to be under control, at least when my blood pressure is being checked... but what about other times? This will check to see if I am having any hidden problems from elevated blood pressure. They had a time slot open this afternoon, so I came back at three for the echocardiogram.

On my way out of the office (3rd floor of a medical office building attached to our local hospital), I glanced out the window and was struck by the view of Point Judith Pond. Almost three and a half years I've been coming to this medical office and I had never stopped to realize what a good water view they had. One foggy early December day in 2006 I had snapped a picture of the same area, except I took it from a spot much closer to the water. (I probably should note that people around this area use "pond" for a body of water that other places might call an inlet or a lake. Point Judith Pond is more than three miles long.)

A brief introduction for those of you wandering in here from Holidailies for the first time: I'm just a middle-aged guy (but somehow I hit 66 on my last birthday) who lives in Rhode Island with my wife Nancy (a middle-school math teacher), daughter Gillian ("Jill" -- 27 yr old college student and baker), son Jeremy (24 yr old restaurant cook and part-time college student), and Tiger (senior citizen cat). Eldest child Adam lives in New York City with his wife Leah and our grandsons Sam and Milo. I'm a former programmer/systems analyst who got involved with software training and instructional design. For the past several years I have been working from home (you can't beat the short commute!) doing quality assurance and editing on course material for both classroom courses and Web-based training courses for a very big computer company. I've been writing this online journal since 1996.

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