Wake-up Call


For quite some time know, I have been aware that my blood pressure has been significantly higher than it should be.

This morning at 3 am, I woke up sweating and agitated. My heart was racing a mile-a-minute. Having been under a bit of stress at work (a more and more frequent occurrence with cut-backs and the public scrutiny of the Public Service, especially where the use of contractors — like me — is concerned). I pulled out the blood pressure monitor and took my BP — an activity, itself, guaranteed to raise my pressure — and was horrified to see that it was 190/114 with a heart rate of 91.

I went in first thing to the clinic to see my doctor (Dr. Mullan) who pronounced my blood pressure “dangerously high” and gave me an anti-hypertensive called Micardis until the results of the tests he has also ordered are in. He has also given me a week off work.

For someone who is overweight and leads a fairly sedentary lifestyle and with a history of hypertension and/or heart disease on both sides of the family (my birth-father’s entire family suffered from one sort or another and most died at an early age; and my mother’s father died at age 53 from a coronary thrombosis — barely a year older than me…) you would think I would have been more and not LESS conscientious about taking care of this before.

A case of “if I ignore it, it won’t happen”….

I am going to have to make some changes…

Hypertension and panic attacks… This is an interesting article on the association between hypertension and panic attacks. To my mind it is a valid theory and sort of self-perpetuating. Those with hypertension tend to have a heightened response to the stimuli involved in panic attacks. A panic attack raises your blood pressure and feeds the panic. I find myself unable to stop spiraling into panic-mode when my BP is up.



  1. mudhooks said,

    March 5, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Well, I know I have to do better with my diet. While I don’t eat a lot of fat, I don’t eat a lot of the stuff I know is good for me. In fact, I don’t eat as much or often as I should. That may seem odd when I am overweight but given that I get very little exercise (my back has been a hindrance to a lot of activities I used to do all the time like cycling) the calories I do eat which come from a lot of bread and pasta don’t get burned off.

    Exercise is not just important to keeping me fit but will go a long way to improving my frame of mind.

    When I am anxious I don’t feel like eating at all and starving oneself takes a toll on the muscles which includes, of course, the heart.

    I KNOW all this. I just need to get myself motivated to DO it.

    I have been wanting to take Tai Chi to start with.

    I used to be very fit and healthy. I used to take aerobics three times a week but after my bike accident almost 20 years ago, I wasn’t able to breath even during light activities (because I hurt my ribs badly). Cycling which was how I got around in summer was also impossible. The weight went on and I have fallen into this very sedentary lifestyle.

    I have to get started, though…. It isn’t an option.

  2. azahar said,

    March 5, 2009 at 2:25 pm


    First rule of thumb for panic attacks.

    Any free community centre yoga classes offered near you? I love my yoga classes – they are very good for relaxing and are also a good yet gentle workout.

    What sort of changes are you thinking of making?

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