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But Doc, I feel fine – Part 1, When the stress goes away

This is part one of (hopefully) a short series with my interactions with the medical profession and my blood pressure.

For most of my life, I’ve been quite healthy. My blood pressure (BP) problems didn’t start until after I had kids. More accurately, they started after the twins were born (they’re 12 now) and after I became a Single Dad ten years ago at the ripe age of 50. I started this Single Dad journey in August 2000. By April 2004 I was on BP medications.

Now everyone knows that small children need to see the doctor on a regular basis. And I was almost fanatic about taking them to the doctor like clockwork. Scheduled check-ups and immunizations. And when they had a fever that didn’t respond to my care.

Now, I assume that everyone knows that a parent taking care of their children, when the kids are in a daycare facility, are likely to catch everything that the kids were exposed to at daycare and bring home with them. As a result, I had multiple trips of my own to the doctor during that time period. When I did, the routine never varied. Get taken back to the exam room. Nurse takes temperature, blood pressure, pulse and asks questions, taking notes the whole time. (These days, there is no paper chart and pencil. It’s all done on a laptop with a touchscreen and a stylus.) Then, sometime afterward, the doctor comes in and asks the same questions that the nurse did and forms his diagnosis.

Each time I went in for me, the doctor would inform me that my blood pressure was somewhat elevated. And everytime, my answer was exactly the same. “It will come back down once the stress goes away.”

For several years, that was a good enough answer.

Then, in 2004, I was being treated by a new young doctor (same family practice facility, though). Being unfamiliar with me and my history, he actually looked through the records. Then he asked if I was aware of how long I’d been giving the same answer. My response came easily: “Which part of six year old twins have you not been listening to?”

I left his office with my first prescription for blood pressure medication.

Since then, it’s been a routine of taking my meds every day. Going back every six months for a fasting blood test. And going back the following week for a visit with the doctor to review the results of the blood tests and get my prescription renewed.

Coming next: But Doc, I feel fine, Except….

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  • Single Dad

    Hi,..A short series with my interactions with the medical profession and blood pressure….Thanks!

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