A Tale of Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

Posted on March 13, 2023

I was feeling a bit odd the other week and someone said to me “oh you should get your blood pressure checked Bob, it’s a silent killer”. Part of me didn’t want to do it, so I pretended that because I walk the dog a lot, I had nothing to worry about it.

Off to see the Nurse

Then I thought I’d better do it, especially as I had nothing to worry about. So off I trundled to see the nurse on Friday morning. As I sat in the waiting room I started imagining the nurse saying something like this. “Stay right there, all your arteries are blocked, the ambulance is on its way”.

it wasn’t that bad but when she said, “oh dear, that’s a bit high, lets try again”, I wondered if shitting ones pants came as a an added symptom. “Yes that is still high”, she said, “I think we should test you for cholesterol, kidney and liver function. Jesus, I didn’t expect that. She stopped short of saying, “have you got a will?” took some blood and sent me on my way.

A Sudden Appointment

With beads of sweat pouring down my head, I drove home slightly stressed. Probably not very clever with a high blood pressure reading. She had told me not to worry too much, which was of some comfort. However, I then realised that she was hardly going to say, “Go home and try not worry yourself sick…just enjoy your weekend…while you still can”. I was told the results should be in by Wednesday.

I spent the weekend walking double the distance I normally do, but I did have few beers. This was just in case I was about to be instructed I had to give up the rest of my days to sipping lettuce tea. I got up this morning and just as I prepared myself to get some work done, I got a text. “You have an appointment at 16:15 on 13th March”. What? She had said Wednesday? Why was it so quick? I could only conclude that terrible news was incoming.

Doctor on the Phone

After spending the afternoon ringing any friends I could think of with high blood pressure, I drove to the surgery. I went to check in but it turned out that in a state of morbid panic I hadn’t read the text properly. Ir was a telephone appointment. I sat in the car and waited. The Angel in my head was saying, “telephone appointment Bob, it can’t be too serious”. That didn’t stop the devil, though. “Telephone appointment Bob, they can’t bring themselves to tell you to your face that you aren’t going to see the week out”.

Then it came.

“Hello, Mr Lethaby, are you okay to have a chat about your blood test.” This sounded ominous. I wanted to say, “not really no”, then hang up. Anyway the scenario was mixed bag but nowhere near as bad as I had convinced myself it was. Kidneys and liver good, blood pressure and cholesterol not so clever. In fact , had I just left things as they were, I was marching triumphantly into heart-attack territory.

Thrills Spills and Pills

It was quite humbling being told that I need go on pills and work hard to get a stone and a half off me with more exercise. I had convinced myself I eat healthily because we eat fresh food and vegetables here. The trouble is, my reduction in alcohol consumption has come with a descent into snacking that I have been in denial about. I can eat a bag of chocolate peanuts in less than a minute.

So, things have to change. I will need to turn my dog strolls into something more akin to a march and the sweeties have to go. My alcohol consumption is at an all-time low but needs to go a bit lower still. The quack thinks that with these things in place, I will be on the right road to avoiding an early appointment with my maker.

Finally, can I state that I am not here to teach people how suck eggs. However, if you are a similar age to me and haven’t been looked at for a while, it takes no time at all. What the doctor told me was more or less this. Whilst a long life is a lottery, there are a lot of wasted years on earth lost to people simply not checking their blood and cholesterol levels.

Must go, spinach for tea.

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