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Home Blood Pressure Monitoring...Is It for YOU?

Home Blood Pressure Monitoring Machine
How do you feel when you think about your blood pressure? A little stressed maybe?

Do you hate getting your blood pressure taken at the doctor's office?

You know….watching and listening to the nurse as she pumps up that bulb and feeling the pressure on your arm….are you silently saying "Come on, stop!" because you KNOW that the higher it goes and the tighter it is on your arm, the higher your blood pressure reading is going to be!

The Fright of My Life

The night I had my major blood pressure incident in 2009,  my daughter, who is an RN, came over at 1 a.m. because I was so stressed out. Things just didn't feel right. Doing something as simple as sitting at my desk, I felt nausea. I had been trying to go to sleep, but every time I closed my eyes, I saw stars in my head.

So I went to my son's room and told him something was wrong.

He said to call my daughter...she would know what to do. (I should have known to call 911, but silly me thought "It's probably nothing. Don't want to look stupid," which actually WAS stupid.)

Anyway, my daughter promptly came over with her blood pressure monitor.

I knew from watching her that she was concerned. At that point, I didn't even know what a good blood pressure number was. After the first reading, she took my blood pressure again.

Each time she took my blood pressure, I got more scared. And my blood pressure went up even higher. Sound familiar, anyone?

pros and cons of blood pressure monitorsShe said to me that we were going to the hospital. By the time we arrived at the hospital, my blood pressure was 210 / 110.

Luckily, it was a brand new hospital, and there was no one in the emergency room! When do
you EVER see that, right?!

We stayed a few hours… long enough for them to bring my
blood pressure down with an i.v.

The point in this story is that taking your blood pressure CAN be a scary thing….but it doesn't have to be.

Nurse's Orders

The first thing my daughter told me to do the next day was to get a blood pressure monitor. At first, I actually dreaded what the numbers would show.

Do you know that feeling where you almost feel your heart skip a beat because of the fear?

That feeling went away when I started thinking of the blood pressure monitor as my friend….my ally in this new adventure of how to get the best numbers to show up.

A Sigh of Relief, or….Oh, Xxxx

There will be days when you can breathe a sigh of relief….because you succeeded! The numbers are good!
home blood pressure monitoring
And there will be days when life happens and the numbers aren't as good.

What you have to think of when THAT happens is…"I know what to do now."

And actually DO it. Something in your routine needs a tweak, a change.

No Matter What, It's Ok

If blood pressure monitoring scares you, the key is to turn the switch in your mind that pulls in that fear.

First, take a couple deep breaths and FEEL yourself relax.

Then, say to yourself, "No matter what the numbers are, it's ok." Because no matter what the monitor says, that's what you are dealing with! You move on from there. Getting stressed is NOT going to help.

Possible Causes

If you have a high reading, think back to what you have been doing during the last day.

Do any of the following sound familiar:

  • Eating out (VERY good chance of too much sodium in
    restaurant foods)
  • A lot of prepared foods (same thing – too much sodium)
  • Not enough sleep
  • Stressed at work or home  
Any one of the above can cause your blood pressure to go higher.

It's time to do something about that!

Do You Have a Thermometer in Your Home?

When you have a thermometer in your home, it's because you know that there might be times when you or your child might get a fever. You just want to be prepared.

When you do get a fever, you either go to the doctor if you think it's serious, or you start
self-care either with vitamins, cold or flu medicine or the like.

You probably don't panic, do you? You just do what you need to do!

Home Blood Pressure Monitors – Like a Tire Gauge in Your Home

A lot of people are afraid of blood pressure monitors. I get it! I used to panic when the cuff kept getting tighter and tighter because I KNEW it meant my blood pressure would be high.

The thing is...you need to switch your thinking so that you see the monitor as your friend! After all, even if the numbers are high, that is the monitor telling you to do something to bring your numbers down. 

Compare your blood pressure monitor to using a tire gauge. That's a good way of thinking about it. It's a good idea to check your tires on your tires at least once a month to keep them in good shape. Air temperatures make the tire pressures fluctuate, as well as... you know….those pesky road hazards that could cause a flat.

It's the same with your blood pressure. When you get yourself in the habit of checking your blood pressure on a regular schedule, just like you taking care of your tires, you are on the way to keeping your body well maintained from the inside out!

Do You Like Challenges?

It was kind of funny the first couple weeks I had my blood pressure monitor. I was obsessed with it.

Blood pressure monitors should be in every home
I must have taken my blood pressure at least 20 times a day at first. But I did it out of fear. I didn't want a repeat of that first episode!

After a few days, though, it actually became FUN!  It was a challenge to beat the blood pressure
monitor with better numbers than the time before!

You can do the same!

Because you want to WIN THE CHALLENGE that your body has given you. Get those numbers where you're not afraid of them…where you feel secure about your health!

LOVE your blood pressure monitor. It is your friend!