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Mike's Story - High Blood Pressure

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Hi, my name is Mike. I’m 66 years old and I have high blood pressure. My family history is very full of cardiovascular disease. My father died at 45 of a heart attack. His brother died at 42 of a heart attack. My grandfather died at 37 – heart attack. So we have a lot of cardiovascular disease on the male side of our family.


When I was in my mid-twenties, I went to the nurse and she said I have high blood pressure. She said, ‘Well, we want you to call your doctor right now.’ With the initial diagnosis, the doctors told me, of course, I was at risk for, you know, very serious coronary events – stroke, heart attacks.


The initial treatment plan for lowering my blood pressure was to start taking pills. It took quite a number of tries to get it so that it lowered the blood pressure to the normal range. Typically when I’m given a new prescription for medication, hypertension, they explain to me how I need to take it and I follow that right to the tee. It’s easy to do. I work it into my schedule.


Early on and consistently the doctors have all said it is medication on the one side and lifestyle on the other. Almost every time you go to the doctor they talk about nutrition and exercise so, you know, that was part of the regime to begin with, but I have to admit I was really not terribly compliant. Over time I gained to where I was 284 pounds. Then I lost 100 pounds, 125 pounds, and so right now I weigh about 185.

DIET (1:42)

When I decided I wasn’t going to go over pant size 50, I made very simple modifications. I just decided I was not going to eat the junk food at the office. During the week, I tried to have a really controlled diet. I eat fruit, yogurt, some high fiber things, sometimes, salad.


I do not like exercise but walking is easy and it is good cardiovascular exercise. I walk a mile every morning before I go to work, typically. And I walk a mile, two, three in the evening, so I average between two and four miles a day, and on the weekend I walk five to ten miles. Exercising and eating right have helped me maintain a good blood pressure.


I check my own blood pressure periodically. I have a cuff at home, which I do, and then I go annually to the doctor and they keep a record there as well. Much of this is really preventative care. If somebody comes down with a diagnosis of high blood pressure, hypertension, you need to follow your doctor’s instructions, take medication as is prescribed, some lifestyle changes. It’s easy to control. Anybody can do it.