Dec 14, 2011

The First Few Steps


Blood Pressure by Army Medicine
 Blood Pressure, a photo by Army Medicine on Flickr.

It is quite unbelievable for me the first time my blood pressure at rest registered at 150/100 mm Hg.  Could it just be the so-called white coat syndrome?  The nurse told me to take a rest for a few minutes before she took another reading...140/100.  That's when she asked if I was feeling anything and I said I didn't feel any different.  But from that time on, I am not the same person.  That was more than a year and a half ago.  When my blood pressure went down to 120/80 without doing anything, I thought that was just some fluke. I didn't have my blood pressure taken again since then.


And then, just out of curiosity,  I randomly had my blood pressure taken again after having the nurse dress up a wound when I accidentally sliced a bit of my thumb with a rusty cutter blade.  There was again those annoying numbers...140/100.  This time, the company doctor prescribed me initially with Amlodipine for a week.  That really didn't significantly lower my blood pressure.  Next in line was Metoprolol.  I went bonkers with that one as I turned out to be symptomatic with it.  I probably managed to take it for three days before I had to go back to the doctor.  I felt like my energy was draining from my body after taking Metoprolol.  What finally made the doctor decide that I should stop taking it is because I told him my heart rate was at 50 beats per minute even if I jog around for a while.  Add to that, my blood pressure still didn't drop to the ideal 110/70 mm Hg. 

Finally, the doctor prescribed me with Losartan.  I guess that is more potent than those previous medications.  It worked for me.  After a month or so, the doctor reduced the dosage to half, and then to a fourth.  My blood pressure was stabilizing at 120/80, not the ideal but far better than the initial readings I got.  I was actually thrilled when the doctor said I could stop taking it for a week and we'll see what the effect was.  Silly me, I stretched that timeline quite a bit more.  But that was because my reading didn't go up.  What made me go back is when I got readings of 130/90, three weeks after.  But that was a long stretch and I have got to be thankful for the little blessings, in this case, of being drug free even for while.

Now I'm back to the daily medications.  Next month, I would have my blood checked again for LDL, HDL, blood sugar and what-have-you's.  There was nothing strange when I had it checked three months ago.  I hope we do get to pin the culprit for my elevated BP.  I refuse to blame it all on my genes.  My guess is, this calls for a lifestyle change more than anything else. 

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