Last week, I found out my potassium level was low. It was 3.1 (normal range, 3.5-4.5 mEq/L). I guess I didn’t realize how much this was affecting me—I’ve been extremely tired, even with 10 hours sleep every night, lots of pain/cramping in both legs, and jarring palpitations, noticed mainly when I’m trying to fall asleep. This has happened before, this same constellation of symptoms, the same lab value, but somehow, I didn’t make the connection. Also, my blood pressure has been running high. I made an appointment to see my new PCP because of the blood pressure. I didn’t even mention the other symptoms. I don’t know why. My potassium is probably low because I am taking a diuretic, one of three medications I take for my blood pressure. Correction: now, after seeing the doctor, I’m taking 4 medications. She suggested adding yet another drug.
What I don’t understand is how I can feel so bad without doing something about it. Without even seeming to know that perhaps there is something I could do to feel better. I know that I haven’t been walking or going to yoga, it’s been all I can do to drag myself to work and drag myself home to bed, or stay at home on my days off, reading. My body is tired, I interpret that I am lazy. I assume that this is normal, I call myself an old lady.
So I’m increasing the dose of my potassium supplement. I hope I feel better. But when I was leaving the doctor, who doesn’t know me at all, I said, wryly (I suppose), I know how this is going to go. I’d like to be more hopeful, but gosh, how can a person taking 4 medications for high blood pressure think otherwise. I told her that I have an advanced directive, that when I have a stroke, I really don’t want to struggle to recover, just let me go. Please.
She wished me a happy new year. And I in turn wish the same for you.