Physician, Heal Thyself

Mar 31 2014 Published by under General Health

I had good intentions to blog last week. I had planned to fill out my #nephMadness bracket and blog about my choices. I had reviewed a topic, ready to discuss some medical science.

Then life interfered.

A bit over a week ago things were in their usual state of disarray for a Friday. I sat in my nurses' office, fiddling with the items on their table, including a wrist blood pressure cuff. I put it on and got a reading of 200/165. Yes, this is really high. After multiple readings with a variety of devices, including the gold standard (manual cuff and my nurse with a stethoscope), it became clear that I now have hypertension.

In retrospect, this should not have surprised me. After all, almost everyone in my family has developed high blood pressure at some point. I believe my mother's onset came during peri-menopause, a phase of life I now "enjoy."

I bought a cuff and picked up my first bottle of hydrochlorothiazide on my way home. The first few days got interesting since I had to fly to a meeting; gosh, diuretics do make you pee! By the end of the first week, my urine output was back to its usual amount. Today my blood pressure was 150/90. Not normal, but much improved and still decreasing daily, and all with a once-a-day drug that cost $3.51 for the first 30-day supply.

By the way, I felt completely fine. Even now that my pressure is down, I cannot point to a single symptom that would suggest my BP was high. Hypertension truly is a silent killer. Don't ignore it, and take your medication(s). It's important for your heart, your brain, your kidneys, and your life.

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