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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
My name is Tom Messer and I am 63 years old. I retired from the computer services business when I was 50. For most of my career I worked long hours and 7 days a week. Although it was financially rewarding, it didn’t contribute to a healthy life style……..I smoked a lot, drank too much, didn’t sleep nearly enough, ate anything I could find time for, and handled stress like I was addicted to it. I was treated for ulcers in my early thirties and high blood pressure in my forties. I worked hard, played hard and let the doctors take care of the health issues.
In January of 2004 I began to notice that I was becoming short winded on the golf course and while doing various jobs around the house. In mid March I met with a local (small town) Dr. and, after an electrocardiogram, he referred me to a Cardio Dr. in a nearby city. After two or three visits and several tests that week, I was checked into the hospital for heart surgery. It began as an angiogram and wound up as a quadruple bypass. There was really no decisions to be made…….I was in bad shape. My lifestyle had caught up with me. As bypasses go, it was a normal procedure…..no problems and I was checked out of the hospital 3 days later.
Last Feb. I had a brief problem with high blood pressure…226/119…that kinda came out of nowhere. (See chart below:)
I had been taking my own readings and posting them to a spreadsheet, but only about 2 or 3 times a week. I was feeling kinda weird one night, ’bout 11:00 or 11:30 and thought I would check it again before I went to bed. My machine showed an error condition rather than displaying my readings. I took it a couple of more times, same result. I changed arms…no help. I changed the batteries in the unit….no help. I woke my wife and scared her half to death, but at least I had someone to talk to. We stayed up and just talked about various things, then I left for the couch to see if I could manage to sleep, needless to say, it was a long night. I almost knew that something was wrong, but was hoping that my monitor was messed up. As soon as our little clinic opened up in town the next morning, I took my monitor and went for a quick check. Turned out that the monitor was fine, I was just not pumping it up far enough to get the high readings! The readings posted on my chart that morning are the average of those taken by the Dr. and then a couple of nurses. It took a couple of days to get the readings out of stroke territory, but you can see from my current readings that they are going along quite well now.
As far as other symptoms, other than feeling kinda jittery and weird, I had none. Those were enough for me to suspect something. The only dizzy times I’ve had were when my pulse was under 40 bpm and my pressure was actually low or normal. The only headaches were during the first couple of weeks when I quit drinking coffee and then after surgery when I gave up cigarettes. Man, that was something. It’s because of this void of symptoms that I take the time to take and record my readings with your software. It’s better than a spreadsheet, kinda cute to look at, and it’s sure easy enough. Did your system save me from a stroke? No, but it could have. It will help many people over time. You guys are doing a great thing………thanks!
By adding another medication and changing the dosage of others, it got back in line and has remained reasonably stable ever since. I take my blood pressure and pulse rate readings twice a day and utilize “My Blood Pressure” software to track it. This keeps me organized and it’s a great format to share with my doctors. (See current chart below)
I would think that everyone that goes through an open heart procedure has individual experiences they can share. Whether to inform someone who may be anxious about an upcoming operation, or someone who may have questions about the one they just had….they can help! I had a neighbor that helped me a lot…………he has gone through bypass surgery three times! I would be happy to answer any questions concerning my own experiences with anyone who thinks it might help.
Tom Messer (Tom lives in a little retirement village…..have a beautiful lake and golf course…called Runaway Bay. It is located in Northeast Texas,USA, about 40 minutes from the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.)
Note: if you would like to contact Tom, please email us at support@my-blood-pressure and we will forward your email to him.
Create your own blood pressure chart with the My Blood Pressure software for Windows.
Try it free for 15 days, or buy it for $29.95.
Easy-to-use, and works on all modern Windows computers.
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.