This little anecdote (is that redundant) revolves around me having hypertension. I've been on medication now for a few years and I've been very good at remembering to take it. About a week ago I added a new piece to my nightly regimen which was caused by holes in the sheets on my side of the bed. OK, that's another story. It must have thrown me out of sync because a couple of days ago I was rummaging through one of my drawers in the bathroom vanity when I came across my weekly pill box container. It had somehow gotten buried and forgotten. Looking at the daily pill supply it was easily deduced that I had not taken my daily dose of high blood pressure medication for a week. Oops.
Well, the good news is – no harm no foul. I hadn't had a stroke or a heart attack. When I related this all to my lovely wife, she, who is not a believer in taking any medication unless it's absolutely necessary and even then the condition has to be severe, had this great idea of waiting one more day and going to have my blood pressure checked. Her thought was that maybe after all these years I didn't need the medication anymore. Maybe after a week of no meds I would find out my blood pressure was normal. Since I had survived a week without the medication, I figured I could make it one more day. The next morning I headed down to the local Walgreens where they have a nice little room where they do things like test sugar levels for diabetics and take blood pressure for people like me.
The nice young pharmacist, in her white medical coat (did I mention I suffer from "white coat syndrome") came in and hooked me up to the machine. "Well sir, your blood pressure is pretty high."
"170 over 100"
Yikes, I thought maybe I would have a stroke right there. I took a couple of deep breaths and she did it again. This time 163/90. That's a little better. She then gave me a short break to let me settle down a bit and then came back in and did it a third time. 160/90.
Needless to say, I'm back on the medication. The weekly pill box is now placed in a prominent spot with the hopes of preventing any more senior weeks.
You may be wondering how a person who is not overweight, doesn't smoke, doesn't drink, exercises daily, watches his salt intake and had two parents who did not have high blood pressure can end up in this situation. So does every doctor I've asked. It's just me.