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We have a variety of members affected by high blood pressure who are willing to share their story in the media to help raise awareness. Examples of personal stories are given below.
I realised I had high blood pressure at the age of 37 in the 34th week of pregnancy. My daughter was born early due to my having pre-eclampsia.
My blood pressure didn’t return to normal as was expected, so therefore I now have to take medication to control it.
I don’t smoke, keep to a fairly healthy diet and only have an occasional glass of wine – and being a farmer’s wife I get plenty of exercise. Unfortunately, high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes are quite common in my family. But I like to think I have a positive attitude and it doesn’t have to rule your life – you learn to adapt. After all, there are worse things!
It started by chance as this “silent menace” often does.
My wife gently chided me that my snoring was getting worse. I went to my GP who referred me to a specialist sleep clinic where my blood pressure was taken.
I was horrified to find it was 189/110. I have a private pilot’s licence and had had my annual aircrew medical only six weeks earlier and everything was fine, so this was a great shock to the system!
I was put onto medication which stabilised my blood pressure, and I started a self-help regime by joining a gym and adjusting my diet. I’ve lost over two stone in weight, my waist is five inches smaller and my biceps an inch bigger and I have the blood pressure of a much younger person! There is no complacency – I realise how lucky I was to find out the problem in time.
Six years after the birth of my first child, my dress size increased from a size 14 to 20. When pregnant with twins, I discovered that my family history of high blood pressure had caught up with me.
However, with the help of my GP and practice nurse, my blood pressure is now well-controlled. I can’t deny that I’ve found lifestyle changes difficult, but I continue to try and have made sure that my children eat sensibly and get lots of exercise.
I went to see my GP about a minor complaint, and as a matter of course my blood pressure was taken. Much to my surprise, it was above what was considered acceptable. My doctor started me on medication because it was high enough to warrant immediate action.
My blood pressure dropped, but unfortunately I also became depressed, impotent and lacking in energy. I returned to my doctor, who changed my medication and sent me to a blood pressure clinic. There I was given lifestyle advice, which included salt reduction, and with these changes and medication my blood pressure is now stable.
Life is now back to normal and I feel fit and healthy.