I fought it off and on for four years.
For a brief while, I had the upper hand.
However, over the last year, it was an uphill battle.
I looked at the numbers. Not liking what I saw, I ran them again.
They came out even worse.
Now normally I'd have thought the little blood pressure cuff (for home use) was off. Unfortunately the accompanying dizziness and tinnitus pretty much confirmed the reading.
As I wandered through the kitchen to get some aspirin for the throbbing headache that came along with the spins and the ringing in my ears, I heard Doc's voice from about a year ago:
"You'd better take care of this. I'm NOT going to push you around in a #@#%&**#@!!!!!!!! wheelchair."
I dismissed that immediately at the time.
Yesterday morning, I no longer had that option.
I called and got an appointment at a General Practitioner Doc had recommended.
I told the receptionist of my most recent achievemmet in the field of hypertension.
She gasped a little.
I could hear her typing on her computer.
"Can you get here for a 9:30 appointment?", she asked.
Normally I'd have a cute little retort, only I wasn't feeling very "retorty". Matter of fact, I wasn't feeling very "standy" or very "drivey" either.
Frankly, even just being "sitty" with Splitty felt shitty.
However, I was feeling "stubborny". Instead of getting Christine to change her morning schedule, I told her I'd be fine to drive myself.
I was marginal at best, but when I'm sick I prefer to be alone whether at home or the doctor's office.
I arrived safely. After filling out the mildly spinning paperwork it was but a few minutes until they took me back.
In a battle of sheer will, the floor scale survived me being weighed and measured.
There's a big difference between my being here and my being in Memphis. Here, everything is within driving distance. In Memphis, everything is within walking distance. I average about five miles of walking a day in Memphis. Here, I might walk five miles in a week.
However, neither the scale nor the blood pressure cuff lied.
The results from the scale will remain private.
The blood pressures on the other hand looked like this:
Left arm: 190/110 Right arm: 180/120
Wow, I had only been at the doctor's office for 30 minutes and I was doing better already.
The Nurse Practitioner soon came in.
She asked, "So, what brings you in to see us this morning?"
I informed her that "Benevolent neglect" had stopped working as my health regimen.
After a review and discussion of my family's medical history, we both decided I should already be dead.
Seeing as how I wasn't, we were forced to come up with an alternate plan.
Blood pressure medicine for the hypertension.
A complete physical to see what else needs fixing.
An ultrasound of my chest cavity to make sure I don't have an aneurysm like the one that killed Dad.
A colonoscopy to make sure I don't have any signs of the colon cancer that killed my brother Bruce.
Gathering up my wits and my stuff, I headed home. They gave me two weeks of samples and a prescription for the blood pressure medicine.
It must be good medicine. Within hours of taking it, my blood pressure was rapidly approaching safer numbers.
This morning it's 140/91. Not great, but not in the "you're about to stroke out you dumb ass" range. Next pill in two hours.
Next week it's off to the labs to get poked, punctured, peered into, and prodded.
I'm sort of curious as to what they will find.
There stands an outside chance I'm actually a pinata.
In the meantime, I think I'll just keep taking those little pills in the morning.
Until the next time, all y'all take care of yourselves.
Air Traffic Mike, ret.