Saturday, October 16, 2010

This is a public service announcement - if you haven't had your blood pressure checked lately, please do it ASAP!!

I've been on blood pressure meds for over 10 years, but until recently I only took 25mg of Atenolol (which is a very low dose). Over the past 5 years, I've had a lot of major stress in my life - my grandfather (who was like my father) died & I was the executor of his estate, my father died, we moved, and both of my children graduated from high school. Even though I knew better, I put off going to the doctor again and again - and before I knew it, 3 years had passed.

I would have no doubt put if off even longer, but they wouldn't refill my blood pressure meds anymore without a visit. So off I went to the doctor. It wasn't pretty. My blood pressure was 160/110. I then spent the next 3 months going back to the doctor over & over again - trying different meds - and getting checked. He kept asking me if I had any "symptoms" - headache (I always have headaches), dizziness, blurred vision, etc. - and I kept telling him "no". The one thing I did tell him is that my hands, feet, & face felt puffy when I woke up in the morning - every day. And that my weight would fluctuate as much as 4lbs. in one day.

Finally, we hit upon the right combination of meds and my blood pressure is staying in the 120/80 range. But guess what? I feel like a different person. I feel so much better - just an occasional headache, more energy, no pressure in my ears, no more "puffy" feeling - and some of those things I didn't even realize I was experiencing. I think the symptoms just came on gradually, and I just starting accepting them as the way I normally felt. I forgot what it felt like to "feel good". I'm now taking Avalide 300/25 (300mg of Avapro, 25mg of hydrochlorothiazide).

Here's a couple of pictures to show you the "puffiness". These pictures were taken just about 2 months apart.



What a difference, huh?

So please - make a trip to your doctor for a check-up at least once a year. Don't put off taking care of yourself because you're too busy taking care of everyone else. What would happen to them if something happened to you?