Getting older isn’t always fun. In fact, some days can make you yearn for days of yesteryear. But it’s not all bad either. I have enjoyed the time spent with my beautiful wife and amazing son, and I would not take away those years for all of the riches of the world.
But somewhere along the way, my blood pressure started creeping up. It finally crossed a line in the proverbial sand, and the doctor put me on a prescription blood pressure medicine.
I was not happy.
Not Completely Surprised
I would like to say that needing blood pressure meds caught me entirely off guard and left me reeling. But that is not the truth. You see, for years I had been living as a software developer and troubleshooter extraordinaire.
Doing that as an occupational choice meant that I spent a lot of time in front of a computer screen, staring at seemingly insignificant pieces of code for hours on end. I was not getting the exercise I needed, and a little weight crept on. Not much, but a little.
Of course, they tell you that as you approach your 40s if you don’t get the exercise your body needs then it could lead to all kinds of bad things. You know, the usual stuff like bad eyesight, diabetes, weight gain, and, in my case, high blood pressure.
It Runs in the Family
There is another reason that I should have seen it coming. You see, my dad also takes blood pressure medication. He has for years, and it started around my age at the time I was diagnosed.
Dad is a well-built man, and while not a small one, he has the right amount of weight that he carries well. He also got plenty of exercise having run several coal mines in previous years. So it would seem that my dad wasn’t a likely candidate for high blood pressure.
Yet he was.
Given that information, maybe it was just in the cards for me to develop a high blood pressure condition at around the same age as he did. Maybe if I did take up running as a sport in between marathon coding sessions, I would have still ended up with my supplemental friend.
One thing is certain, I’ll never know for sure.
It Could Have Been Worse
All said and done, it could have been much worse. When the doctor first prescribed the medication, one Amlod/Benazepril cocktail designed for the most discriminating of people with high blood pressure, it worked. The first time.
I’ve heard that it can be challenging to find the correct combination of meds to help with high blood pressure. But in my case, it was magic the first time out. The doctor said to try these, I did, and the rest was history. Even the cost isn’t bad… about in line with the Advair Diskus cost.
The only change in the years since first being assigned the pills was to slightly increase the dosage a few years back. It was still okay, but the doctor wanted to fine tune the results.
The Medication Helps
I would like to say that I am the perfect patient and always take a prescription precisely as I should. But that is no the truth, and I will occasionally miss a dose. But just like clockwork, my body reminds me that I missed one.
The biggest indication is the sound of my heartbeat in my ear. No matter if I am standing, sitting, or laying, I can tell you by the merit of my left ear if my blood pressure is up.
When I hear that beat, which sounds like a distant snare drum of dubious quality, I know I need to verify I took my pill. Always, I discover that I missed it and need to get back on track.
There is another symptom that tells me if I missed a dose. This one is subjective at best, but seeing how it comes up with regularity, there must be some merit to it. That is when I miss my medication, my beautiful but brutally honest wife lets me know that I am cranky, possibly hateful, and definitely opinionated. In a loving way, of course.
Now I Appreciate my Blood Pressure Pills
I’ll be honest, I appreciate how easy it was for me to find the right blood pressure medicine. That was just too easy.
I appreciate the fact that taking them prevents the drum from playing in my apparently sensitive ear. It’s a low sound, but it could get annoying if it kept going.
I also appreciate that I am not as, what’s the word, hard to get along with when my blood pressure is controlled. I think my wife might appreciate that one as well.
But most of all, I appreciate the years that taking the medication will give me to spend with my wife and son. I became a parent older in life, starting when I was 40. If he is as slow as I was in starting a family, I’m going to have to stay pretty healthy to see any future grandchildren.
But I also want to be there for him as he makes his way into the world. For that reason, which is the best reason of all, I do appreciate my blood pressure medication.
When he is not writing on his wife’s blog or has his head buried in software code, Greg Chaffins can be found celebrating nerdy things on his own website, NerdBeach.