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Sobering Afternoon

Well, Kelly, Hallie and I spent a fun afternoon visiting my parents across town. We spent close to two hours swimming around their neighborhood pool, having a good time. My brother Allen and his family joined us and we all played in the water a bit.

My mom wasn’t feeling well around dinnertime and so health seemed to become the topic of conversation. After checking my mom’s blood pressure and his own, my dad put the blood pressure sleeve on my arm. After a few pumps, I relaxed and waited for the magic number to appear. I was shocked to see 134/84.

“That can’t be right,” I said. “It can’t be.” In my Navy days, nurses trying to draw my blood accused me of being dead. My blood pressure was so low it took over five minutes for me to fill a sample vial.

I pumped the bulb again and waited for the real results. Once again, the numbers were too high: 134/81. Yikes.

I have been pondering those numbers for the rest of the night, wondering how I got to this point. Looking back on my diet, I don’t see anything but supposedly healthy eating habits. I detest fast-food and eat it only under duress. I eat little red meat and really don’t get much salt in my diet at all.

As for my physical fitness, I haven’t felt better. I have been exercising in the evenings for the past few weeks. Kelly and I walk at least once a week; sometimes twice a week, depending on the weather cooperating. I am also sleeping better than I have in a long time.

I love my new job, and the excitement it brings. Finally, I get paid to show off my geekiness: I out-geek our customers daily. My morning commute is incredibly easy.

So, with all that said, how could I be facing such high numbers? It stumped me all night. That is, until I got a theory.

I am taking Aciphex for GERD, or Gastro-Esophogal Reflux Disease. Looking down the list of Aciphex complications, one jumped out at me: hypertension. My heartburn medicine may be saving my stomach at the expense of my heart!

I feel a little better about those high numbers now that I may have discovered their prime cause. At any rate, I’ve got a good excuse now to give my doctor a call and get that checkup scheduled that I’ve been putting off.