My Little Kingdom

A day in the life of me and my kingdom. Thoughts of a mother of four amazing little boys, a wife of an incredible husband and a woman trying not to forget about herself.

February 21, 2009

The Great Salt Blog

So a very small few of you know this and I’m only blogging about it because it was such a bizarre and somewhat humorous experience. For the past 2 years we’ve been trying to discover the cause of a couple of odd symptoms one of which is high blood pressure. Yes, I have high blood pressure, really high. I’ve been to four different doctors, five if you include the nephrologists. OK, make that six including the cardiologist. I’ve undergone all kinds of lab work and wonderful tests including an angiogram. I even have my very own blood pressure monitor gizmo. The first thing I hear from each new physician accompanied with a puzzled look is, “You are too young, fit and healthy to have high blood pressure. If you were overweight or older, yes, but this isn’t right. Something isn’t right.”. To make things even more fun the last two visits with two separate doctors I was told, “You are a mystery” in fact one called me a “mystery girl”. Um, mysterious is OK. But “mystery girl”?! What am I a character on PBS’s Word Girl? Not what I want to be dubbed as in the land of medicine and health.

We’ve pretty much ruled out any problems with the heart and now we are looking at the kidneys, hence the nephrologists. He is conducting some more extensive labs in hopes of avoiding having to put me through more invasive testing. As part of these labs I was required to take sodium chloride. Yes, table salt. He said that he could just send me home and tell me to pour salt on everything I eat until it tastes bad for three days or he could give me tablets. I opted for tablets. Especially since he said that every one who has opted to over salt their own food had not poured on enough salt and therefore was required to redo the lab work.

Salt tablets, I can do that. Simple enough. Not so, just finding the tablets (we’re talking table salt here folks) in and of it’s self was an ordeal. I couldn’t find a pharmacy that carried salt tablets, which are mostly used by marathon runners I am told. The one pharmacist suggested I go home, take my saltshaker, measure out the proper amount of spoonfuls of salt and shovel it down. Hmmm, that is unthinkably disgusting! I can’t even imagine taking a spoon full of salt and eating it! Let alone multiple spoonfuls.

Rehearsing all of this to Cameron (he's always able to see the humor), he jokingly said, “Well you know, the feed store down the road carries blocks of salt.” Yes, I can see it now, a big giant salt block in the middle of our dinning room table. Neighbor kids asking, "dude, what is your mom doing?". While throwing a waded up napkin and laughing at him I responded, “Well then don’t be surprised when the neighbors mention they saw your wife down the road fending the cows off for their salt lick”.

Finally I find it at a specialty pharmacy. Thank heavens, I was getting worried I would have to face those cows. However, they are out of the tablets and will have to order some in. So a few days later I have the coveted salt tablets. I thought the worst was over. By the second day I was miserable, I couldn’t eat anything. My appetite was ruined. Nothing tasted right, foods I normally loved I couldn’t eat. A perfectly wonderful batch of chocolate chip cookies I had made, couldn’t even get through one cookie. I kept double checking everything I ate because it didn’t taste anything like what I had put in my mouth. Anything salty like tortilla chips and salsa sent me into a down hill spiral of endless nausea. I could see the look in my boys eyes, their expressions said something like “uh, there’s something wrong with mom”. One even asked, “Have you thrown up yet?”

If any of you happened to see me around town and wondered why my mouth was gapping open like a frog with a fly stuck in its throat, well now you know. It was the salt. No amount of water or other liquids helped either. In fact the more I drank the more I felt like the Dead Sea was churning within the very depths of my belly. If you’ve ever been to the beach and caught an unexpected mouth full of salt water you’ll understand how it burns inside your throat and nose, your stomach feels ill and your lips and tongue are so salty you can’t stop smacking them together. Well multiply that by the Pacific Ocean. It was literally uncomfortable to close my mouth, as this seems to produce more saliva, which was saturated with salt. I constantly felt like I swallowed a wave right out of the Gulf of Mexico. I’d say the Great Salt Lake, however, there are no waves in the Great Salt Lake.

Seriously I was so overly saturated with salt I made sure to stay clear of any cows. A human salt lick is what I was. I highly don’t recommend it unless of course your doctor does. And if you are unfortunate enough that he does, you now know what to expect.

Friday morning I anxiously went to the nephrologists to finish the lab work. As I left his office with a skip in my step singing rapturous melodies I couldn't help but to think it was a grand day indeed not only was the sun shining but no more salt tablets!


Blogger LdsNana said...

OMGoodness! I wanted to ask you what was going on over on Twitter, but I was sure that your answer would require, most likely - a blog post! LOL

I'm soooo sorry for what you are having to go through, to find out what the big "mystery" to your health issue might be...

I'm also sorry, but this post has left a big smirk on my face. Please forgive me. I think it is the salt licker thingy!

Kathryn Skaggs

3:43 PM  
Blogger nikki said...

I love how you can make such a miserable situation not only bearable but comical! I know you weren't feeling to comical at the time, but thanks for sharing your wonderful personality!
have they figured out yet what the "mystery" is?

4:26 PM  
Blogger shelley said...

You'll have to post about what they were looking for in the lab results after Rx salt tablets! Confusing ;) Salt is an enemy to HBP patients, from what I know. I have HBP and am usually wary of it most of the time. Have you ever considered the DASH eating plan? Dietary Approach to Stopping Hypertension.

9:57 PM  
Blogger shelley said...

maybe this is a better link to look at :)

10:03 PM  
Blogger my little kingdom said...

Thanks for the tips. it has something to do with my aldosterone levels re: kidneys. The testing continues but narrows in focus.

11:21 AM  

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