November 12, 2012

Hold the salt

Sometimes I feel like the oldest 40-something year old on the planet (for the record, I will turn 44 later this month). A friend once joked that after you turn 40, everything starts to fall apart. Like a car just out of warranty. It's happening to me, and I don't find it funny.

I am currently under the care of a cardiologist, a urologist and now, a hearing and balance specialist. When I go to see these health care providers, I am the youngest person in the waiting room by a good 30 years.

The ironic thing is, overall I am healthy. I lead an active life. Most days I feel good. But my "issues" have definitely started to add up, as have the medications. And now, I'm on a special low sodium diet.

Most people assume high blood pressure when they hear that. But I actually have low blood pressure. So low my cardiologist is concerned. Doctors have joked with me through the years that the last thing I would ever need to worry about was salt intake.

Yet now I find myself limited to 1,500mg a day, doctor's orders. Apparently, I am on the verge of developing something called Meniere's disease, an inner ear disorder. After a battery of tests, my results were right on the borderline of the diagnostic criteria.

If we can't bring the fluid levels down in my right inner ear, I could lose my hearing. And suffer from debilitating vertigo. In addition to the low sodium diet, I have been placed on a prescription diuretic.

I literally laughed out loud when the doctor told me that. As you may recall, I had recently been placed on medication by my urologist to STOP ME FROM PEEING ALL THE TIME. But I was assured the new medication would not cause problems, and it hasn't.

I'm having to make adjustments to what and how I cook. More so than I expected. I thought our family diet was already pretty low in sodium overall. But when I really started looking at how much sodium is in things, I was shocked.

I return in December to see if this approach is working. I have no idea if the diet is a temporary or permanent thing. I hope the former. In the meantime, I'm holding the salt. And on the hunt for delicious low sodium recipes. If you have any suggestions, please share!

Also? Bring on 2013!

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