Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Red, red wine and very sharp pointy things.

Suffice it to say that I've been feeling a bit stressed recently, what with all the hoo-ha over my mum's nursing home etc. Today, I'm going to be prodded & cut open with very sharp pointy things as I'm having a right inguinal hernia repaired with polypropylene mesh.

Last Wednesday, I attended the pre-op' assessment and failed with a BP of 154/100. I explained that I had a very important meeting with Social Services on my mind and it was causing me much stress so I was told to get a re-test at my local surgery on Friday. As the meeting on Thursday didn't go quite as I'd hoped (case closed), my BP on Friday was 160/100. My GP upped my Amias dose from 8mg/day to 12mg/day and told me to get a re-test on Monday. I had to get my diastolic reading (the lower of the two numbers) below 90 or my op' would not take place today.

On Monday morning I tested my BP at home using my £9.99 Lloyds Pharmacy automatic BP meter (which usually gives the same reading as my GP's sphygmomanometer) and the lowest reading I could get was 135/99. Uh-oh! Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I hardly ever drink alcohol, but I had a bottle of Blossom Hill Californian Red in the cupboard for *ahem* special occasions, so I had a 250mL glass of it on an empty stomach. Woo-hoo! It went straight to my head and I felt slightly flushed. Ten minutes later, I was in the doctor's surgery having my BP tested. It was 140/86. Result! I told my GP what I'd done and he was O.K. with it. So, red wine for the win!

Before you all rush off and get hammered, here's an article from the Harvard School of Public Health about Alcohol: Balancing Risks and Benefits. The article used to contain a graph but it's been edited-out in the latest version. Luckily, I had a copy of it on my hard disk which I shall upload here.

As women have smaller livers than men, the cirrhosis graph shoots up faster for women as alcohol consumption increases beyond 1 drink per day.


"Guppy" Honaker said...

Hi Nigel - I hope your hernia surgery goes well, and that you recover quickly. (I've been following your blog for a while - but your surgery today has prompted a "get well soon" comment!)

- David

Aloe Vera 101
Holistic Health Info.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

Hi David.

Thanks for that. I'm back again, though rather sore down there!


x said...

Hope you have a quick recovery Nigel.
I am doing the OU heart disease course and they are positive about the benefits of alcohol (they don't even specify red wine) - but then they think a bag of chips is full of saturated fat...
I can't see me ever giving up the booze.. I tried for a month and everyone suddenly became incredibly boring!

Nigel Kinbrum said...

Hi Dr.A.

Thank you. As long as I don't make any sudden movements, it doesn't sting too much. Thank goodness for Co-Codamol & Lactulose.

Not drinking alcohol is probably why I get irritated rather easily. There's an awful lot of stupid out there. I can hardly wait for my next *cough* special occasion. ;-p


Paul Youd said...

Hi Nige

I find this very interesting for two reasons:

I count my units daily - today I've had 2 so far (50ml of red wine and 250ml homemade bitter) and will probably have a glass of something later on tonight.

I limit myself to 4 units a day - but I always have at least two. Over a week I'll probably average 25 units.

Secondly, I need a hernia operation myself. I've had two in the past - over 20 years ago, but it's popped up again!

I'm holding off having the op until I can get rid of a chronic cough condition. The last thing I want is to be coughing whilst I'm recovering from the op.

So every time I see you 'cough' I wince a little...

Anyway, good luck with the recovery!

BTW, is it still 6 weeks before you can drive again?

Cheers, Paul (The bread!)

Nigel Kinbrum said...

Hi Paul.

I was quite chuffed by the rapid effect of that 1 glass of red wine. I think that having an empty stomach helped.

Luckily I don't have a cough. It was just to highlight the word special! Have you tried Vitamin D3 therapy? That might help if you have a chronic lung infection. Or are you taking any meds that can cause a dry, tickly cough?

I only have to wait about 2 weeks before I can drive again. When I can do an emergency stop without any pain, that's when it's safe for me to drive according to the discharge notes.

Cheers, Nige.

Flavia said...

Ah, I had already read this post. It was actually the one that prompted me to add red wine to my arsenal of blood pressure lowering supplements and foods.

Will you continue with the wine? I am not sure if it is the red wine itself or the calm conversations and lingering that it seems to produce. It seems like quite a drop for you!

Well, any reason to drink wine is a good one! SALUD!

Nigel Kinbrum said...

Hi Flavia.

I save Blossom Hill Californian Red for *special* occasions. I don't drink alcohol most of the time.

I went pink after that wine. It may have been dilation of my arteries that dropped my BP. See also Things that make you go pink.

Cheers, Nige.