The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

5 Oct

Have you ever read the childhood favorite “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” by Judith Viorst?

“I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there’s gum in my hair and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while the water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.”

That’s how I feel about yesterday, although my bad day was just one big, bad event.

I started this blog last January as a way to document my personal journey toward normal blood pressure, through food and exercise. If I’m honestly going to document my journey then I have to include the bad days, too. And yesterday was, by far, the worst day of this journey.

It was a pretty typical Monday: kids off to school, a morning phone call with my mom, design work, pick up kids from school, cook dinner, etc.

I started getting a headache around noon. I checked my blood pressure — 164/100 — then took some Motrin. It didn’t go away. By dinner time it was a full-blown migraine and it kept getting worse. After dinner, I sat down and tried to watch TV for a little while to relax, but my head was pounding. I checked my BP — 199/120. Checked it again — 197/119. Took more Motrin and tried to go to bed. I couldn’t even lay down. Got back up a little while later and tried to sit in the recliner. Head absolutely pounding. Vomited. Headache still there. Checked BP half hour after that — 200/120.

I completely panicked and took a Lisinopril that I still had from last fall (the drug that caused the 4-month-long cough). Went back to bed and told Jason to make sure I was still alive when he got up in the morning.

Did I have a headache because my BP was out of control? Or was my BP out of control because I had a headache?

No clue what brought it on since I didn’t eat anything really weird or bad over the weekend or all day yesterday and I had a fairly stress-free day. But, it scared the holy you-know-what out of me.

I got up this morning and the headache was gone but now it’s coming back. I just checked my BP and it’s about 150/100 but I know the Lisinopril is still in my system from last night. So I took my vitamins and the Formula 303 from my chiropractor.

I don’t know what to do next. My BP was right around 150/100 for most of the summer until the car accident. Then it was up and down. I got amazingly low readings over Labor Day weekend, but it’s been back around 150-160/95-105 since then. I think my neck is healed (from the accident) because I haven’t had any serious pain for a couple of weeks and I haven’t had any really bad headaches until yesterday.

I’m so frustrated. Especially since I do not want to return to drugs to keep it down. It’s just frustrating that I’ve tried a gazillion different natural approaches that are known to control BP. Apparently, I still haven’t found just the right combination that works for me.

Hopefully, today’s headache goes away. I have an appointment with my chiropractor tomorrow, so maybe he will have some suggestions. He says 140/90 is my goal. I’ve reached that many times in the last 10 months. I just can’t keep it there regularly.


On a good note, I made this fabulous little salad last night for dinner. The dressing recipe is from Martha Stewart, but her salad had endive and watercress, which I know my kids won’t eat. I served it with a kids’ fave — spaghetti and crusty bread. The salad was a big hit since it’s loaded with fall flavor. If you haven’t tried a honeycrisp apple before, you must. I bought some locally-grown ones at the farmer’s market and they taste like sweet apple cider. I didn’t use the blue cheese, but I do think if you are a blue cheese fan, this is the perfect salad for it.

Butter Lettuce with Apples & Maple Vinaigrette
serves 4

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large head butter lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 large honeycrisp apple, thinly sliced
1 green onion, sliced
2 ounces crumbled blue cheese (optional)

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, maple syrup and mustard. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while continuing to whisk. Set aside.

In a serving bowl, toss together lettuce, celery, apple and green onion. Drizzle with dressing. Season with freshly-ground black pepper to taste. Sprinkle blue cheese on top, if desired. Enjoy!


6 Responses to “The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”

  1. diana October 5, 2010 at 5:05 pm #

    Sorry to hear about your terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day 😦

    In all seriousness, have you thought about getting massages? The chiropractor I see in Toledo has a licensed massage therapist available, I believe. Yours may too.

    It’s worth a try – at least another natural approach to “normal” blood pressure. Good luck and hope you’re feeling better!

  2. tamiespears October 5, 2010 at 5:59 pm #

    Hi Diana – Thanks for your nice note. Who is your chiropractor in Toledo? Mine doesn’t have an on-staff massage therapist, but I’m going to talk with him about my options when I see him tomorrow. I may have to re-vamp (again) what I’m doing, whether it’s diet, exercise or vitamins.

  3. diana October 5, 2010 at 8:04 pm #

    I see Dr. David Fields on Talmadge (just south of Monroe St). I don’t think his office has one on-staff, just one that he refers patients to, when needed.

  4. kathe lowe October 6, 2010 at 2:56 am #

    Hi Tamie- Ron got me linked in to your blog- love the recipe & honeycrisp apples- will definitely try.

    Sorry to hear about your migraine. This is coming out of left field, but I will share my experience:

    I had terrible migraines at about your age [ perhaps ocuuring maybe even 3 years earlier] my blood pressure had always been low [ 118 over 70-80] at a regular check up my BP was well into 140. I panicked a lIttle, but my Dr.[ also my cousin] slyly smiled and said she was pretty sure of the cause and that we would cover it at next visit, after reviewing tests. At next visit she informed me I was peri- menopausal. Fluctuating -raging hormones were now the culprits in my everyday life- not just 3-5 days a month. I think I started using a progesterone cream that i got at Claudia’s Health Food Store, and the migraines either stopped or I moved on from that phase. Also at the same time, I was having some bite problems with my teeth. The dentist polished down a few contact points, so maybe this also helped with the migraines.

    So maybe when talking with your practitioner- bring up the effects of hormones etc.
    Good luck! I look fwd to reading you again.

    • Tamie October 6, 2010 at 11:29 am #

      Thanks, Kathe, I’ll keep all that in mind. Honestly, I haven’t had a migraine in YEARS. This was just out of the blue. I’m sure it was related to the BP. Just not sure why.


  1. Vegetarian Dinner for October 5, 2010 « jhcckkm - October 6, 2010

    […] from top: Salad with Apples and Maple Vinigrette from ( Brown Rice Pizza (Recipe Below), Apples with Gourmet Peanut Butter and […]

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