Sunday, 31 January 2010

Bloody Pressure

If I was the "my cup's half empty" type instead of the "my cup's half full" type I could have a real good whinge about my lot. In addition to my dead kidney, urethral stricture (you don't want to know how I deal with that), bradycardia and high cholesterol it appears that I now suffer from hypertension (high blood pressure) which is, amongst other things, not good for kidneys. This is despite having an extremely healthy diet and doing lots of running. If I'd left it up the doctors I'd be on cholesterol and pressure lowering drugs, have a heart pacemaker fitted and would have opted to have my dead kidney removed.

I know that there are people out there who are far worse of than me. That's one reason I run (because I still can and for those that can't), but with this new condition I'm getting less and less tolerant of people who abuse their health. I lost both my father and brother (aged 47 and 42 respectively) to diseases that were not of their own making so I get really wound up (I know, not good for my blood pressure) when I see people abuse their bodies with cigarettes, crap food and a sedentary lifestyle. The morbidly obese guy I saw last week being given the kiss of life on platform 13 at Manchester Piccadilly station will no doubt agree with me.

So, I've got myself a blood pressure monitor (Omron M6 Comfort)and am monitoring it twice a day for a month before taking the results back to the doc. I've done it for over two weeks now and the results are looking very interesting. It appears that running has a significant and almost immediate effect. After a couple of runs my pressure comes down out of the danger zone (For example it dropped from 156/103 to 124/83) and stays there until I have a rest day during which it shoots up again. So, that means that I have to run every day for the rest of my life if I want to stay off the drugs. Ron Hill must have known this all along (as he's run every day since December 1964!).

I'm getting some weird results in terms of the correlation of heart rate to blood pressure. All the texts say that if heart rate rises than so does blood pressure, but not mine. My very low pulse (35 in the mornings) may have something to do with it but I can't find anything that throws any light on this. Instead of the heart rate and pressure graphs following each other, mine are a mirror image of each other. The higher the heart rate (resting) the lower my blood pressure. As my wife says, I'm not normal.

Anyway, I now have another reason (aka excuse) to run. Can't complain about that can I?

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