When Stress Adds on the Pressure

All of my life, my blood pressure was either low or normal. Never in my life did I think I would have it on the higher end. I don’t easily lose my temper, I’m not one that tends to get angry easily, and I am not someone who yells often.

This weekend however I got the shock of my life.

On Friday, coming home I was feeling more tense than usual but I ignored it. Since I did have a busier week than usual, I just thought I would soon need a visit to my chiropractor to loosen up my neck and back tension.

I went on to do my usual mom duties. I picked up my eldest from his job and I went home to care for my toddler.

As I was giving her a bath and catching up with my husband I suddenly noticed a couple of squiggly flashing lines on the sides of my eyes, and they would not go away. I learned later that medically these lines are called “floaters”.

Immediately, I remembered that I had something similar happen to me while I was pregnant with my toddler. I went to the hospital and my blood pressure was elevated but not in a dangerous place. I was released within a few hours.

As I told my husband I was seeing these floaters, he immediately looked at me with concern. He got the blood pressure monitor and took my blood pressure within minutes.

Sure enough, my diastolic level was on Hypertension Stage One, while my systolic was elevated. By that time I also felt a sudden headache coming on.

Immediately he ordered me to rest on my bed and relax. He told me not to worry about picking up my youngest from basketball, he would take care of it. He took our toddler with him and I relaxed for 30 minutes.

I started feeling much better, and my blood pressure got better. I wasn’t completely all well, but it was better. I didn’t take on any additional chores that evening.

Some friends came over for dinner that night as scheduled, so that our kids could have a play date. We laughed, drank a little wine, had a good meal and just had a great time unwinding after a long week.

The next day I felt tension again after dropping off my son at his dad’s. When I got home my husband took my blood pressure again, and sure enough-it was high again. My diastolic was at 88 (closer to stage 2 hypertension). My systolic was also a bit elevated. I took time that afternoon to relax and unwind and I felt much better after that.

The next day, I took it more easy and my blood pressure was normal.

I didn’t have errands to run or anything to take care of urgently. Even though I had one deadline, I worked towards it, but my mind frame changed. If I didn’t finish this project on time, then it would just have to wait until tomorrow.

I put my health FIRST.

It made a big DIFFERENCE.

Lesson learned: put your health FIRST. Everything else can wait.

The world will go on without you.

Get and accept help when offered.

Take time to relax-intentionally.

This is what I did for the grand part of the day and boy did I feel good! No tension, no headaches, no floaters in my eyes. Just peace.

Next step? I’m calling my doctor tomorrow and I’m making a food plan that encourages healthier food options that encourages normal blood pressure.

I’m planning to make time to intentionally relax each day. Along with the help and support of my amazing husband (I thank God for him), things will be different.

I will pray and lay my burdens more on Jesus instead of taking them all on myself.

I will put my health FIRST.

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