Silent Killer

 The other day I had a bit of a scare. Don't get me wrong what I am going to relate to you is not an act of trying to gain sympathy but one of warning.This is how the story goes.

I went to the local pharmacy to refill my diabetes medication (I'm type 2).
So while waiting for it to be filled I was looking  around and saw one one of those blood pressure machines. You know the one, it has a seat and you put your arm into a device that looks like a clamp.

Well for a lark I decided to sit down and try it to pass the time. So I put my arm in and pressed start, soon I felt the air bladder fill and felt the crunch and pressure of the machine working. After what seemed like 30 seconds the machine stopped and the results popped up on the screen. Let's just say I was stunned by the results. I tried the test again and the results came back virtually the same. I tried a third time and once again same results. Panic started to creep in and I said to myself I feel fine there's nothing wrong with me, the machine must be on the fritz. 

So I decided to get some piece of mind and went to the pharmacist and asked if the machine was working O.k.  She replied that it was as far as she knew, but sometimes kids come in and play around and it goes out of whack. I asked her if she could test it, to see if it was o.k. She had a puzzled look on her face and said sure and stopped filling an order and came out. I'm not sure if that was due to the look of concern on my face or the whimper in my voice. When she tested it she advised me the machine recorded her exact blood pressure, so it should be fine. She sat me down and got me set up in the optimal position to record the best possible outcome. Well let's just say that did not happen.

She hit the start button, the air bladder filled, the gadgets inside whirred, hummed
and beeped and out came the results. Ahhh... the stunned look on her face said it all.
It was not good news. She did the test a couple of more times to be sure, it seems just 
to check her vision, to see if she saw it right. Unfortunately she saw right.
She gently helped me up and asked if I felt alright. I replied with a silly grin on my face, I feel fine why?
The pharmacist continued to hold onto my arm and steered me to the medical clinic that was connected to the pharmacy. She told me to take slow careful steps and held onto me.
(at this point I felt like a 90 year old man and walked it).
When we got to the clinic we walked up to the registration desk and she walked behind 
it and whispered in the clerk's ear, who's eyes widened and nodded so vigorously nearly 
causing her glasses to slip off. Alas...another bad sign.
At this time the clinic was full of people and I anticipated at least an hours wait.
Imagine my surprise when my name was called next. Another bad sign. 
As I walked through some of those in waiting room (some of whom were glaring hostily).
All I could do was sheepishly grin and shrug my shoulders in way of apology.
The clinic nurse took me to the back and wrote down my history and said the doctor 
would see me shortly.

So I waited and did what everyone does in the room. I read those medical posters on the wall, you know of the ear, body and ads for vaccinations. When I got bored of that I checked out the cupboards. Oh come on now, like you guys have never done that before out of curiosity, checking to see what free samples the Doctor had.

A few minutes later the doctor showed up and asked me what was the problem. 
I told him what had occurred. So in a non chalant and bored attitude (you know how doctors are) he started to take my blood pressure. He put on the bladder started to pump looked at the guage, looked down at the bladder and then looked at the guage again with a stunned look on his face. He started to mumble to himself and stared at the guage (did I mention he kept looking at the guage). He shook his head and asked me to follow him to a next room (again not a good sign) and tested again. That same look crept onto his face. He asked if I didn't have a migraine, blurred vision or nausea. I replied proudly, Nope Doc feel as healthy as a horse. He sighed, looked at me and said that he could not believe that I was not feeling any effects let alone walking. He muttered thank god you came in and put his arm around my shoulder. NOW.... that really is not a good sign!
To make a long story short or at least shorter, I was daignosed with hypertension (high blood pressure) for those who haven't figured it out yet. My words of wisdom to you today especially if your a diabetic. When you see those machines at the pharmacy or your local Wal-Mart, test yourself and do it often you may be suprised by the results and it could save your life. They do not call high Blood pressure the silent killer for nothing.
Oh yeah, you are probably wondering what those numbers were that sent everyone into a panic, well I will share them with you. Remember optimal readings are around 130/80
At the pharmacy        - 223/142, 199/142, 243/142
At the Doctor's office - 200/140 (last reading)
After 5 days on medication I am glad to say it has dropped to 165/117. I am getting there it may take a few more days but God willing I'll get there.

Your Inspector

    Gerry P.

Have me call you.

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