I can not remember the exact date and time in 2006. Something strange! “Don’t be silly Jacqui” I told myself! You are reading a book with very small letters.” This could be the strange thing that I am feeling. My eyesight is getting blurry, am I going blind? I am putting it off to see the Dr. I clean my glasses and put them back on. Nope so the glasses are new and can’t be the problem. Another week pass, I go into the supermarket and I cannot see any of the prices. Scared shitless, I made an appointment with the Dr. I put out my cigarettes just before I enter his clinic. I told him my problem, to which he then took his device to look into my eyes. (Looking through the eyes Drs can immediately see if there is damage or restrictions to the arteries)
Stunt he put his machine down, pulled out his blood pressure machine. I never had my blood pressure taking before so I am totally oblivious to the shock on his face. He stood up, put his hands on his head. Start passing up and down in his office. I am in a total panic now! Well if you want to kill your bloody patient before they even know what is wrong with them, than this behaviour from a Dr sure fucking will! “What is wrong with me I shout!” Where is your mother I asked he, because I have to save your life now! Panicked I called my mom, told her I’m dying! Mom arrived flushed at the Drs office.
He took my blood pressure again, and my mom face showed that I definitely have one foot in the grave. With PB reading of 220/120. Aged 26. My heart pumped so fast I could see it jumping out of my chest like Jerry when Tom is just about to spice and eat him. So my journey started with a illness they call the silent killer! There are a lot of people living with high blood pressure, but don’t know. See this is the scary thing with this illness sometimes there are no signs. No warnings! Unfortunately some just drop dead with heart attack, stroke, haemorrhage or what they call sudden death.
From Dr to Dr over the years. I have tried many different medications, beta-blockers with various side effects some that made me cough so much that I could not have a conversation and peed my pants, heart palpitations, headaches, tiredness the list goes on!
I learned to deal with this part of my life. No one sees it, I am healthy, stylish and beautiful from the outside but inside my body is having a world war with itself! This is were my anxieties sometimes start. Am I going to be one of those statistics that will just not wake up! This is my silent partnership that I want out of, but so far it got its grip so tightly around me that only husband truly knows how scared I am at times!
24 hour urine collection, CT scans, ECG’s kidney X-ray, I’ve had everything done. Hoping to find a primary problem to my chronic high blood pressure, and always the result negative. Disappointing but the good thing is I am aware of my problem and we are controlling it, although my Dr said I have uncontrollably high blood pressure. I have keep positive. I start my breakfast with a handful of pills, three times a day. Sometimes I dream of a tablet free day, to have my health back. I always talk to people about high blood pressure although a common illness, people don’t understand the if they do not have it.
I’ve been living with my BP for ten years and I only really felt the extreme dangers of it while I was pregnant with my twins. They put me in the extreme high risk pregnancy. I have never been so scared and stressed. But the possibility of loosing my boys was overwhelming. Even the professor that is a specialist high risk pregnancy referred to his handbook at times to see how far we can push and increase my medication. At the time I spend eight weeks in the hospital, during my MY ROLLER COSTER PREGNANCY to try keep my babies inside for as long as possible. I was on four different medications it felt ten times throughout a 24hour day. We manage to keep my extremely stubborn high blood pressure under control. By God’s grace and protection I gave birth when they reached 31.5 weeks. My miracles are healthy and beautiful.
After my boys were born, my anxiety reached its peak. The thought of dying and leaving my babies was heart breaking. So instead of enjoying my children I was overwhelmed by fear of just collapsing on the spot and not wake up. My every thought was consumed with this terrible implications of what my high blood pressure can do to me. Because I was thinking of my BP so much and coming up with the weirdest scenarios of me dying it was subsequently always high when I measured it.
I woke up one day, realising I need to take control of my life, thoughts and high blood pressure. I found a therapist that deals with people with anxiety, trauma and all round crazy people. Through talking about my fears I found relief. I found peace. One day we had an exercise where she brought out her a BP machine. She put it in front of me. “What do you want to tell this machine? ” she asked me… “but before you shout at this machine. Think if it was not for this machine Drs would not have know about your condition. They would have been unable to safe you and your babies.” This device is your miracle. This machine safed your life! ”
Walking home after this I felt gratitude, and lucky. I felt lighter. I can manage with this without driving myself crazy! Since that day, my days become brighter and the sun shining and my twins is the highlight of my life.
Now with my head sorted out, my physical is still needs attention. We are always looking for ways to decrease my BP. At the moment I am waiting to undergo a full body scan call …..Positron emission tomography (PET Scan). This is an imaging test that allows Drs to look for diseases, lumps and tumours in the body. One of the parts to look at while we do this scan is the adrenaline gland which regulates high blood pressure. After a $30 000 and two 15 minutes scans it showed that I am physically as healthy as a fox, and no evidence of any internal problems. So my BP is inherited from my mother, that’s been dealing with hers for 27 years. It in my DNA
I am fortunate that Hong Kong has amazing healthcare and my team Drs really are dedicated to help me. I am ok, because I am not in this alone. I am happy, healthy, a proud mom of two and loving wife.
Keeping silent of issues that is haunting is not fare on yourself and your family. Speak out someone is always listening and caring!