_ _ _ _ _
When the nurse takes my blood pressure and it is 140 something over 80 something, I’m surprised, but not concerned.
“It’s the white coat effect,” I tell her. “My blood pressure always rises when someone is taking it.”
My doctor comes in and looks at my chart. Five minutes later, she casually takes my blood pressure again as we’re talking; I’m hardly aware. It’s slightly lower – about 138 over 86. She’s concerned.
“I don’t like this,” she tells me. “I’d like to put you on a mild medication.”
(Meee, who has taken nothing stronger than a seasonal allergy pill or liquid, an over the counter pain reliever, Tums, a vitamin, and a birth control pill?)
“Is this something that, once I start taking it, I’ll have to take for the rest of my life?”
“Yes. You're not overweight and there are no other health factors.”
“I am so stressed these days; I committed to letting two of my daughters play lacrosse and realized later that they practice at different times; I’m in two carpools, which is helpful, but there have been days where I’ve had to go back and forth and back and forth and I have some other things going on too; they’ll be finished soon and school will be over shortly after that; plus, I’m going on vacation; I’m sure the numbers will come down; I’m sure it’s stress.”
It wasn’t stress. The numbers didn’t come down.
After that first appointment, I stepped up the tennis and running a notch. I paid more attention to my salt intake. I told every friend I have about my blood pressure reading… over and over and over. I was still trying to convince myself that the numbers would go down; that when I took the reading at home, I’d be nervous and that that’s why the numbers wouldn’t go down. I’d also looked on the Internet for the numbers that are considered too high. When I found 140 over 90 as the limit, I said, “Oh, I’m still normal. I’m under that.”
I told the Internet info story to a friend who’d had a bypass. He pleaded with me to take the pill. “Why not get your pressure down, so that you’ll have room to go up and down within the normal range.” Then he told me his fantastic blood pressure numbers and cholesterol numbers and how much he exercises and how well he eats and how good he feels.
He takes his pills.
Another friend suggested I take my blood pressure multiple times every day; assuming that it would become routine and that my nerves would settle down; therefore, eventually getting an accurate reading. She was hopeful, along with me, that this was a phase.
It didn’t work. Every time I took my blood pressure, the numbers got higher and higher. Finally, she said (which she probably thought from the beginning), “Anita, take the Pill.”
So I take the pill.
It took a while to accept being a person who needs a pill. Recently, I was advised to take another pill in addition to my “fluid pill” (as my mother calls it), so now I add vitamin D. Occasionally, I slip in an allergy pill.
All these pills… I needed a system. During the weekly Target visit, I found a 7 day pill box. It seemed so big. I didn’t buy it. Next weekly trip, I bought it. One of my kids said, “Oh Mommy, that’s for old people.”
I laughed with her, but was thinking, better old than dead. Live long enough, and you too, will need a pill box.
Seriously, I suppose it’s hard to experience the aging of the body, or the realization that you’ve inherited that “bad gene,” but, put your pride aside, make yet “another trip” to the doctor (as many as it takes), follow recommendations, and get your body fixed.
Take the pill.
How about you? Are you avoiding a necessary pill or something else that will improve your health?
11/1/12 - I may have given the impression that I’m reluctant to take my pill. I’m not. I’m thankful to have it.
Initially, I “was” reluctant and my doctor held off on prescribing them for a couple months because my numbers were “pre” hypertensive and not risky. On my subsequent visit, I knew it was the right thing to do; I took the prescription and got it filled.I’m thankful to my friends who helped me realize that, relatively speaking, it is not as big a deal as I thought it was after that “first” doctor’s visit. And I thank you, my blog friends, for your care and concern.
This post has the honor of being selected as a Post of the Week by Hilary at The Smitten Image. Visit her blog to enjoy the best "feels like you're there" nature photography.