I've moped about a bit this week and not done much, not that I have high blood pressure, mine is terrific - 118/73 at last count. It's my husband. We have a home monitor as he has had pills for years and someone said we should get one. It has languished unused in the cupboard until recently when M said he was waking up every morning with a headache behind his eyes and didn't feel well. We didn't think much of it, I thought it might be a residual sinus infection but we did take a test, using me as a control (hence the aforementioned-reading.) Between 204 and 214 over something. We were scared. He had changed his pills a month before because he had to take a cocktail of 4 different ones, one of which had to be cut in half but it always crumbled so became annoying. These were replaced by only two but clearly, they weren't working. So we high-tailed it off to the local pharmacy where the resident nurse took his pressure on her two machines; the manual one that you pump up yourself: 130/90 (on both arms). Lovely, but short-lived relief - the digital fancy one (like ours) also read a consistent 204 over something. What to believe? For safety's sake we went to our doctor. Also a very high reading - and a lecture. However, she did prescribe new pills, supposedly really really good ones and we went home. My first thoughts were: what if he has a heart attack or a stroke? We live in a small town with the nearest hospital half an hour away. Trying to be pro-active, I googled the first aid, got equipped with Aspirin, and discovered the phone number of a local paramedic service. Apparently, if someone has a stroke, there is a good chance of recovery if they are attended to within two hours. My husband phoned his older brother and made a back-up note of the medicines he takes. A week later, so far so good, M ventured to take his first readings this morning, 175 and five minutes later 159 (over something - I still have to research the diastole/systole thing)
The chaser to this story - if you have read this far... a couple of weeks ago, my husband woke up one morning, feeling a little better and fancying to 'play around a little': mission was accomplished, leaving him feeling good for the day. To my surprise, I was woken up later that night, half an hour after going to sleep with a similar request with a similar outcome. Having recently listened to a radio phone-in show which concentrated on male 'recovery' times, the expert had said that the average 90-year-old could count himself lucky if he managed one erection a month. Work it back: my husband is 67. The next morning, he apologised. He said he had thought it was the next morning (is it all in the mind?) Anyway, on reflection, I am wondering if it was the high blood pressure needing an outlet? Whatever, it would be a good way to go, they say. Happily, my husband is still alive. We play it day by day. He was hoping to ditch the blood pressure pills altogether by drinking a particularly nasty-smelling health tea which goes by the name of Cancer Bush. He has been taking it for 3 months and it smells like something burnt over in the oven. Huh! Faint hope. At least, he can stop drinking the foul stuff now and stop polluting my kitchen. Whatever the other lessons in this exercise, it has made me once again, realize how much my partner means to me and how bereft I would be without him.