Friday, January 09, 2009

Growing Old

I had a visit to my doctor today. I have now officially been diagnosed with high blood pressure or hypertension.

It's been high for a while. This past week, perhaps because I was recovering from a cold, it seemed to be higher than usual. At my doctor's urging in October I had purchased an automatic blood pressure machine but I wasn't using it much.

However, I could feel that something wasn't right. I was a little lightheaded. I could feel my pulse in my ears when I lay down at night. My temples throbbed.

On January 2 I started checking my blood pressure. The readings were not great. Definitely pre-hypertension at best.

Most of the readings averaged about 130/104. The top number is not so bad but apparently the bottom one needs to be below 90.

At one point I got a reading of 160/128. That was definitely high.

That wasn't helped by a phone conversation with my aunt, who is a nurse at Lewis Gale. I told her my numbers and she went nuts.

"You're going to have a heart attack or a stroke!" she said. "You need to get to the doctor as soon as you can."

After that conversation, my blood pressure went up to those very high numbers. I hardly slept Wednesday night for fear I might not wake up the next morning.

The doctor this morning gave me a diuretic. These are supposed to help lower your blood pressure.

Every single one of my uncles and my aunt on my mother's side of the family has high blood pressure, so this is not a surprise.

My brother has high blood pressure too (which I just found out) and he says he isn't taking any medication for it. He is three years younger than I.

I am also overweight and of course this adds to it. I have tried lots of diets and failed at all of them, so I suppose this is not something I am successful at.

I hate taking medication, too. Here I am, growing old.

Old age is not a nice reward for a life well-lived.


  1. Me too. I've had high blood pressure since I was a teenager, and I was a skinny athletic kid. I've been on meds for eight years or so. No major side effects and the results have been good.

  2. I'm reflecting about life tonight after seeing Benjamin's quite the mystery!

  3. Welcome to the club! I was diagnosed this past year and it scared the crap out of me. My numbers were about where yours are. I got the same reactions you did too. My sister is a nurse and told me the same thing about having a stroke. I was upset because I exercise a lot and try to keep my weight down and didn't think I could get HBP. But my doc said most of the time it's due to family history and there's not much you can do. So he put me on a diuretic and also 25 mil of a beta blocker. I hate meds so it was hard to accept all of this BP stuff. Ahhh, middle age. Isn't it fun?!

  4. Lord, we must all be on the same wavelength. I just wrote about BB June!

    Just do the best you can.....start exercising and get it in balance. You can do it, or at least help your situation if you follow your doctor's instctions. Shannon

  5. Sorry to hear about the blood pressure problems. It's a good thing, though, that you caught it in time to do something about it, rather than having something more serious occur later. I certainly relate to your feelings. I'm right on the cusp of 51 and seem to be subject to all kinds of middle-age madadies all of a sudden. No fun, for sure, but as they say, better than the alternative.

  6. Mine is usually very low but I'm 48--who knows? The party might be over soon.

    Glad you are taking care of it.

  7. I pray that you will get good medical advice and some clear word on steps to take to lower the blood pressure.

  8. Oh I'm so sorry to hear that...I hope you get a handle on it soon.

  9. Strap on the walking shoes and walk every's the easiest form of exercise there is and just waiting for you outside your front door.... Will be thinking of you... I hate meds too!

    The Blue Ridge Gal

  10. Medical people make you feel terrible about yourself, don't they? My husband has had it since he was 30. It's genetic, he can't help it. But the doctor always gives him a hard time. Do the best you can, and try not to worry about it.

  11. I feel ya about the body starting to wear down and genes are so powerful. I know there are herbs that are effective for high blood pressure but I forget which ones, since I don't deal with it.

    Take care!

  12. I'm fortunate in that I don't suffer from HBP, but others in my family do. From what I know, weight loss is the single biggest help in lowering high blood pressure. It isn't easy, I know, particularly as we get older, but it is a tremendous help. Also, I've read that fasting one day a week improves longevity.

  13. My boyfriend's parents have high blood pressure - his mum particularly. He has had high readings at the docs and was supposed to monitor it. He was given discounts/freebies for the gym near our house but he hasn't done anything. He's 30 just.

    Are you feeling better now you've been and have treatment?


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