In a 1960 pre-employment physical at L.A. City Schools offices a lady doctor said my blood pressure “Is too high for employment!” She had me sit quietly for a while, reread it and I passed. She told me it was “White coat hypertension and male reaction to a female doctor.” I admit her probing upset me.
Within the year I met with another doctor and he thought my blood pressure was a high as I had gained weight and was about 220 pounds where my ideal is 175. He prescribed Inderal which was notorious for attenuating your sex life. At 24 I had no problem.
In 1965 I decided to lose weight, bought a blood pressure reading sphygmomanometer and dropped to165, my blood pressure became normal and I quit Inderal. My weight never exceeded 180 until 1995 when the stress of failures in business and marriage porked me up to 220 plus. Under stress, I eat.
In 2003 I had an ankle sprain and a doctor noted my blood pressure was up so he prescribed Lotrel and gave me 100 pills from his samples.
An Indian pharmacy called offering Lotrel at a low price so I bought, it worked well and continued for 15 years. The FDA stiffened importing regulations; India could no longer ship Lotrel to the US so I sought an American supplier.
I needed a prescription so I went to a clinic doctor who did a cursory examination and wrote a one-year prescription. When that expired I went to a branch of the clinic to encounter a lady physician who was very upset at my low pulse rate when seated! She had me walk down the hall briskly wearing a pulse monitor. That was OK, but she wanted to send me to an Emergency Room! For what?
Over the last year, I had noticed a light-headed feeling getting up if I had been sitting or reclining. On my daily walk looking at aircraft overhead made me wobble. My only symptoms. Apparently, my pulse rates were abnormal.
As a result of the clinic scene, I went to a cardiologist who put me through a total heart analysis coming to the conclusion, “Your heart is sound, but the system running it is erratic so we are going to install a pacemaker.”
Pacemakers are expensive and run your heart at a fixed rate which is not natural. Why not find the cause of an erratic pulse and correct it? Heart ability to run at different rates is something I did not want to give up when the suspected cause was Lotrel!
Internet research revealed Lotrel is notorious for causing symptoms I have, low heart rates and “light-headedness.” The cardiologist did not respond to my queries on this subject. Could it be he wants to sell pacemakers? Avarice in medicine? Pshaw!
Internet research revealed getting off Lotrel must be done in small steps. The drug comes in a two-part, capsule within a capsule. After opening and mixing on a mirror surface I divide the dose into two, later four piles, store them in folds of note paper held with clips until putting each in a shot glass of water for consumption.
The quantity is determined by daily pressure/pulse data with a Life Source Blood Pressure Monitor sent to me by a thoughtful lady friend aware of my problem.
My strategy is to get this, but need substitute medication given the time my diet will take losing a pound a week. For that, I search through “natural” remedies offered on Amazon as each has up to 500 reviews, many with hard data for statistical analysis. The best include the herbs: Hawthorne, Arjuna, Gota Kola or Bacopa, all reduce blood pressure. This strategy avoids depending on a naturopath with a bias for his formula as this field is full of self-promoters that are as bad as the doctors.
Most will not analyze and approach these matters as do I, but they can learn and the Internet has information to support ideas of questioning arrogant practitioners of our time. We are in a jungle.