By G. Morales, APN-C, DC
I have a horrible headache from beating my head against the wall trying to get across to patients the importance of maintaining a good blood pressure. I feel like a recording, repeating the same words in an effort to save the patient from themselves. I keep hearing the same excuses— “I forget to take them; They make me feel funny; I don’t have any symptoms; I can’t afford them.”
I can’t make many understand that controlling a potentially deadly condition is as simple as remembering to take a pill, sometimes two. The consequences of NOT taking their meds can be devastating, maybe not immediately, but over time. When the heart has to work harder to pump blood through the body, the heart becomes enlarged, somewhat like any muscle when it works harder through exercise or lifting weights. As the heart becomes more muscular and enlarged, the chambers of the heart where the blood is pumped from, become smaller. As a result, the heart cannot provide blood to the kidneys, so they don’t work efficiently to pump fluids out, fluid accumulates around the heart, in the lungs, and in the lower extremities, and shortness of breath develops. This condition is called congestive heart failure.
High blood pressure will also cause any plaque in the aging, less elastic blood vessels, to break off and travel to the heart or brain causing a heart attack or stroke. If you are lucky, you will survive, not so fortunate, you might have speech problems or one-sided weakness if you are not so fortunate you die…Please take your meds and help keep MY blood pressure down.