'I was shocked'

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In November 2014 I was at a concert with my friends and I started to feel unwell. I felt light headed and then began having aching pains around the mid section of my body, At first I thought it maybe indigestion (I haven’t suffered it before and was unsure) but then decided to leave the concert area and find somewhere to lie down against the outer wall and take time to breath and have some water. Only when the dizziness went and the pain subsided that I felt a return to somewhat I my normal self. The next day I decided to go to see my local GP to find out if anything was wrong and it was here where I underwent some tests where they took my blood and did a blood pressure test. They also suggested I kept a diary to keep track of how I was feeling.

After a few days the test results came back and the doctor informed me I had high blood pressure. I was a little shocked by this as I am a pretty active guy and I was only 43 so didn’t really think that something like that would effect me. The doctor assured me though that it would be fine and explained how I was lucky to have found out about my condition, as I wasn’t aware but high blood pressure is the UK’s biggest silent killer, responsible for 60% of strokes and 40% of heart attacks. High blood pressure is also a risk factor for kidney disease and dementia.

I started to research my condition and that’s when I came across the charity, Blood Pressure UK. Their online information resources were invaluable in helping me become more informed about blood pressure issues and what I should do.

What surprised me the most though was how simple my condition was going to be to treat. The doctor explained that I would just have to take one tablet a day and just keep an eye on my blood pressure numbers to ensure they stayed in the normal bracket. To do this I bought a monitor that I now use at home to keep a weekly check.

Straight away after I took my first pill I could feel a noticeable difference and my blood pressure reading was much lower. It is amazing really as I haven’t had to make many lifestyle changes and feel much healthier now so it is a blessing that I found out when I did as the situation could have been much worse and as a dad of two that doesn’t really bear thinking about.

I would urge everyone to know their blood pressure numbers and keep monitoring their blood pressure over a period of time to gain a true picture of your health as you might feel fine on the outside but you just never know.

Christian Whelan, 43, Liverpool

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