More than a year ago, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. The truth is my pressure had been high for a while, but accepting a “hypertensive” status before your 30th birthday was hard to swallow. Almost as hard as that first angiotesin receptor blocker. (Say that five times fast.)
Rather surprisingly, my pressure ranges between 145/90 – 160/95 when I’m not medicated. This seems unlikely because I’m young, thin, active, and eat a healthy diet that’s quite low in sodium. I’m not your typical hypertensive patient.
And yet. Here we are.
As is so often the case, my medication dosage was tampered with a bit to see if we could get my pressure to a healthy 120/80 or below. But we overdid it: I wound up with hypo-tension (low pressure) and, when my meds were recalled in August due to contamination with a carcinogen, I decided (with consultation from a pharmacist and physician) to try to see – one last time – if I could drop the numbers naturally.
I went to a walk-in with a double infection intending to simply get some antibiotics to clear up my throat and ear, but I felt it was my duty to ask for a blood pressure reading. And that’s how I wound up with my second blood pressure medication prescription – this time for candesartan.
It’s irrationally difficult for me to accept that I need medication. It was hard to accept that I needed anxiety meds. It’s hard to accept that I need anti-hypertensives. It’s hard to reconcile those needs when you know you’re doing everything right and the results don’t add up. I know better, and yet I still struggle with it. I’m not sure I’ll ever truly feel good about putting a medication into my body but I have to.
And so, once a day, I’ll pop my little pill and feel a sense of relief that I’m doing what’s best for me – even if it’s not what I want to do. Self-care, right? It’s not always pretty.