Cheryl Rauschenbach is a stroke survivor, wife and mother. Her fuel is her family and her faith. “You have given all to me. To you, Lord, I return it.” Join Cheryl at the Springfield Go Red for Women Luncheon on Friday, August 24 from 10:00-1:00p.m. Learn more on the American Heart Association Missouri Facebook Page.
For years, my ob/gyn would say, “You’re blood pressure is a little high!”
Nothing was done.
For years, my general practitioner would say, “We will recheck your blood pressure after we talk.”
I was concerned, but not too much. After all, they are the doctors.
Of course, I had many reasons why my blood pressure was high: I had a chronically ill daughter and naturally, suffered from anxiety. So many appointments with her… usually not great news, etc.
Fast forward to 2014. I was diagnosed with a kidney angiomyolipoma and had to have that kidney removed. I was diagnosed with LAM (lymphangioleiomyomatosis) and we won’t get into that. That story is long, you are getting the short version.
Finally, a doctor who cared and more importantly took action. I was sent to a nephrologist to monitor my blood pressure and help me to protect my existing kidney (Lovingly referred to as the Lone Ranger). I was given a blood pressure medication and monitored. Now this is the important part: if you need rescue blood pressure meds at the appointment for a blood pressure that is too high and the doctor accepts your stories of stress (a chronically ill daughter, etc.) And sends you home with the same old regimen: my advice is: RUN!
This story could have ended abruptly on May 13, 2016 when I had a stroke. Fortunately, it did not.
I finally woke up. It was decided on May 13, 2016 that I would question, push and never settle for laziness, not from myself and not from the doctors, the new doctors.
I was lucky. I am two years out from my stroke. My doctor and I work hard together to lower my blood pressure. She gives me the facts. She is always adjusting, sometimes changing my meds. Adding, taking away. Trying. I am watching what I eat – (sometimes). ALWAYS doing my best and eating foods with little or no sodium, watching those damned saturated fats and working out.
I have come to accept I have two diseases: LAM and HYPERTENSION.
One and three women die from heart disease.
I was not the one.