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High and Low Blood Pressure

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in the My Blood Pressure Newsletter. If you are interested in having your blood pressure story told, please email Kellie or Steve at

My Story – Ian Ross

Two or three years ago I had to have a minor throat operation to remove a polyp. The only abnormal circumstance at the time is that we had spent an unpleasant week in Hamburg (rotten weather, hotel room too hot and too noisy), my beloved computer was on the blink and the operation was to take place the day after our return. So a bit of tension perhaps.

Before the operation the nurse came to test my blood pressure. She seemed a bit perplexed and did the test three times, each time with a different instrument.

Shortly afterwards she returned and regretfully announced that the operation was cancelled.

There was vague mention of the throat consultant wishing me to see without delay a cardiologist, also a vague mention that this would cost. I was horrified as I am in the best of health, am careful with my diet and take plenty of exercise (about an hour’s walking every day). I was also relieved when the nurse said that, as an alternative to seeing a cardiologist, I could simply go back to my own doctor and get the appropriate medication.

This I did and was put on beta blockers. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you what the reading was as I did not take a note of them at the time. Apart from feeling very tense at the time (I loathed the consultant who many others find unpleasant) there were no symptoms whatever. Periodic tests following the commencement of beta blockers (bisoprolol) showed my blood pressure to be normal.

Now for the next part of the story.

About four months ago my wife and I took the bus to Glasgow just to have a nice time. We went round the shops and I bought a fountain pen. We then strolled on to an Italian restaurant. Shortly after finishing the hors d’oeuvre I felt very queasy. At the same time I had an intense itching in my hands.

I persevered through the main course. After starting the fruit salad I felt very odd, did not want to embarrass my wife and told her I was popping outside for a minute to get some fresh air. I stood up outside the entrance to the restaurant. The next thing I remember was being seated on a chair, prevented from getting up and treated with great sympathy and concern.

Apparently, I had collapsed in full sight of the passengers in a passing bus, the windows of an office opposite and those seated near the restaurant front window. Great drama! An ambulance was called and my wife (very concerned, poor soul) and I were whisked off to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary where I was given all sorts of tests – blood, urine, BCG, chest X-ray.

It was discovered that my blood pressure was well below normal (sorry, no readings) and that the beta blockers had to stop forthwith as I was over medicated. The only other thing they discovered was a urinary infection for which I was given anti-biotics. The hospital staff in the Accident and Emergency department, despite being very busy, were very nice and I felt guilty at imposing on them.

by Ian Ross, Renfrewshire, United Kingdom


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About Kellie

Kellie is 37 years old and together with her brother Steve makes up the My Health Software team.

She helps on the websites and gathering news for the programs. Kellie worked in the medical industry prior to having her two children (8 and 6) and has a strong interest in self awareness and management of health conditions.