I’m clear again after two weeks on two sets of blood pressure pills. From August 11 through August 24, 2016 I ran a little test using my Lisinopril prescription.
I’ve had the Lisinopril-only prescription since April from the VA but only took a few of the pills. I’ve been reluctant to take the blood pressure medicine because with the earlier Lisinopril/HCTV pills I was prescribed the blood pressure went too low and I came close to passing out. Instead, I embarked on my own experiment to change lifestyle by walking as an alternative to the pills.
I want my data, being an old database programmer. But I also wanted to do an experiment to see whether the new prescription worked for me and in any case to see what the effect was on me.
The short, short story is that 48 hours after dropping the pills this time I felt clear and energized for the first time since starting them again. But I also found an effect (symptom, if you want) that I had not previously noticed. My predictive perception of the world around me was reduced and felt like a thin, almost gauzy film in front of me. Normally we go around in an auto-complete mode. The pills seem to reduce that capability. More on that later.
Here is the narrative.
The pills only come in 20 mg size, at least at the VA pharmacy where I get my pills. The prescription specified 10 mg per day so they also gave me a pill cutter to split the pill in two. It is a little blue plastic doohickey with a V-chute to shove the round pill into and then a razor-blade type of guillotine lid which I press down sharply to divide the pill. It does a pretty clean job.
I decided I would start with 5 mg a day. So I figured out how to cut a pill once (put it in the V-shaped jig and bring down the blade, as I said above). Then turn the half pill just so in the same V and bring the blade down again. One pill gives me four days at 5 mg a day.
I kept this dosage going through the 19th and changed it to 10 mg on the 20th. When I switched I put in my regular annotation in the comment field of my database.
4.2 miles (post office on Gregory east of Wornall), feeling very woozy, I figure because of the increase in dosage from 5 to the prescribed 10 mg of Lisinopril. However, this was also too much as I felt somewhat woozy, increasingly after a week on 5 mg.
10 mg Lisinopril, feeling woozy
The wooziness wasn’t a lot, but it was noticeable. What I didn’t write in the comment and I will now is that I also felt less energy, slightly winded and seemed have legs which were not heavy exactly but seemed to be limbs that I had to pull along, rather than getting pulled along by them.
Then there was the guazy feel, noticeable generally but in particular while driving. It was as if a light gauze was over my or in front of me but a gauze which is so light that I’m not sure it is even there, except that it was just noticeable.
I wanted to see the effect on me with the pills and then again without the pills. But I needed to remain on the pills long enough to experience the effect from the pills. Otherwise I would have nothing to compare.
As it happened the comparison was more marked and specific than I expected. I should first note that the pills do indeed produce a lower set of readings regardless of exercise. But exercise gives me benefits I don’t get from the pills, such as conditioning, better breath control going up and down stairs and just fast walking as well as a good feeling from just being outside and moving on my own for an hour or so each (almost each) day.
What struck me on the second day after dropping the pill was my sense of clarity (mental and physical) and me sense of energy. My legs felt as if they were taking off on their own with the rest of me following along.
On the first day after stopping the pill (24th) I entered this in my comment field:
pre-walk – going off the BP pill as of this morning. Have been feeling woozy, slow, loss of energy, less stamina, breathy – not severely, indeed extended the pills a bit to feel sure. Now will try without again to see the contrast.
On the second day (25th) I entered this before my walk:
pre-walk – day 2 after bp pill 10 mg Lisinopril, most syptoms cleared
and this after my walk
2.4 miles, chicken tender and iced tea – seem clear of the last previous bp pill from two days ago, no woozyness getting up, no slight, tiny layer of mental & visual “fog.” Seems like gauze only too little to ID as gauze. Clear conditioning and stamina.
I would say “better” but “clear” seems more descriptive
The fog interrupts the predictive auto-complete awareness which is part of normal operation. As such it feels disruptive or just “foggy” or slightly befuddled (but not confused), a slight tinge of “at a loss.”
Here are the average readings from before and after. As usual, the pre-walk readings are higher than the post-walk readings. I normally take three readings or more. If a reading seems to be an outlier from the other measurements I take another, or more, until I see a pattern of close readings. Then I average those readings minus the “outliers.” The “avgN” field gives the number of readings used.
|8/11/2016 10:38:37 AM||Yes||No||132||87||66||3||pre-walk||No|
|8/11/2016 1:36:54 PM||No||Yes||96||63||87||3||2.4 miles, one hour after||5 mg, day one||Yes|
|8/13/2016 8:51:06 AM||Yes||No||136||82||55||3||pre-walk||5 mg – third day||Yes|
|8/13/2016 3:42:45 PM||No||Yes||120||77||73||3||2.4 miles, nearly 7 hours later||5 mg||Yes|
|8/14/2016 12:00:15 PM||No||No||124||76||64||3||measure||5 mg -day 4||Yes|
|8/15/2016 10:11:12 AM||Yes||No||141||90||57||2||pre-walk||5 mg – day 5||Yes|
|8/15/2016 11:19:41 AM||No||Yes||124||82||96||3||2.4 miles||5 mg, 7am||Yes|
|8/15/2016 12:10:34 PM||No||Yes||118||81||88||3||2.4 miles at 1.3 hours later||5 mg||Yes|
|8/16/2016 12:10:42 PM||No||No||115||80||71||3||measure||5 mg||Yes|
|8/17/2016 6:52:28 AM||Yes||No||131||90||59||3||pre-walk||5 mg||Yes|
|8/17/2016 8:48:53 AM||No||Yes||122||82||85||3||2.4 miles||5 mg||Yes|
|8/18/2016 10:05:41 AM||Yes||No||128||89||75||3||pre-walk||5 mg at 6 am outlier (pulse)||Yes|
|8/20/2016 7:20:17 AM||No||No||118||75||60||2||measure||5 mg (yesterday) Just took 10 mg||Yes|
|8/20/2016 11:44:15 AM||No||Yes||94||59||89||4||4.2 miles (post office on Gregory east of Wornall), feeling very woozy, I figure because of the increase in dosage from 5 to the prescribed 10 mg of Lisinopril. However, this was also too much as I felt somewhat woozy, increasingly after a week on 5 mg.||10 mg Lisinopril, feeling woozy||Yes|
|8/21/2016 5:45:33 PM||No||No||114||82||80||2||measure||10 mg, early morning||Yes|
|8/22/2016 11:25:45 AM||No||No||112||74||71||2||measure, just took today’s bp pill||10 mg, outlier||Yes|
|8/23/2016 10:26:49 AM||Yes||No||115||79||71||2||pre-walk||10 mg||Yes|
|8/23/2016 1:25:33 PM||Yes||No||120||78||73||3||pre-walk||10 mg||Yes|
|8/23/2016 3:26:42 PM||No||Yes||93||67||107||3||2.6 miles||10 mg outlier||Yes|
|8/24/2016 9:49:04 AM||Yes||No||106||78||69||3||pre-walk – going off the BP pill as of this morning. Have been feeling woozy, slow, loss of energy, less stamina, breathy – not severely, indeed extended the pills a bit to feel sure. Now will try without again to see the contrast.||outlier||Yes|
|8/24/2016 11:21:13 AM||No||Yes||114||79||83||3||2.4 miles, large iced tea at Shell||pill yesterday||Yes|
|8/24/2016 11:57:17 AM||No||Yes||104||81||72||3||2.4 miles – one hour later – 127/78/70 – at start, after battery change||bp residual from yesterday||Yes|
|8/24/2016 5:05:47 PM||Yes||No||105||69||80||3||pre-walk (to orientation on campus)||bp pill 1.5 days ago||Yes|
|8/25/2016 9:25:36 AM||Yes||No||129||89||56||4||pre-walk – day 2 after bp pill 10 mg Lisinopril, most syptoms cleared||BP pill symptoms seem mostly cleared||No|
|8/25/2016 11:28:52 AM||No||Yes||108||72||103||3||2.4 miles, chicken tender and iced tea – seem clear of the last previous bp pill from two days ago, no woozyness getting up, no slight, tiny layer of mental & visual “fog.” Seems like gauze only too little to ID as gauze. Clear conditioning and stamina.||I would say “better” but “clear” seems more descriptive||No|