05 December 2013
Went to see my lady doctor earlier this week about a little spot of bother I've had with Mrs Menopause. It's no great huhu, but something that's given me pause for thought and that I wanted her to be aware of. It turned out to be neither a downside nor an upside - more a 'hmmm, we'll see'.
Doc was, as always, really great. She took time, listened carefully and discussed it with me, and we agreed that we won't leap into making changes just yet so, for now and for the next three months, I'm on a 'watching brief'. If things stay OK over that time there's no further need to worry. If they don't quite go to plan then we'll be heading off into prodding and poking territory. As I say... hmmm. Wish me luck.
While I was there though, two other things happened that made this fat lass a very happy puppy indeed.
The first was a discussion about my asthma. She noticed from my records that I hadn't ordered the inhalers on my repeat prescription for 'quite some time'. I agreed that I hadn't, and confirmed that I couldn't remember the last time I'd needed to use them. I also confessed that I can't actually recall where I've put them (sheepish grin) and that I certainly don't still carry them everywhere with me now, like I did for most of my life. She replied, 'no problem, I'll take them off your prescription'.
Doesn't sound like such a big deal, eh? Well, to me it is - I've had the darned things on my repeat prescription (and carted at least one around with me) since I was in my early teens. So this is a very B-I-G measure of progress for me... and all this good stuff whilst my aerobic excersise plans are still sitting firmly on the back seat as I'm not yet back to my regular rowing. I told my doc I couldn't have been given a nicer Christmas present.
She then decided it was probably about time to take my blood pressure as it hadn't been checked for a while. She was happy when it came out as 125/65 mm/Hg, and that was after a brisk walk to the surgery so not exactly 'resting'. Hey, OK, I'll take that.
Before factoring in age and gender, a nice 'normal' blood pressure reading is said to be 120/80 mm/Hg (systolic/diastolic). Actually, in the UK, adult blood pressures are usually categorised into three groups:
Low = 90/60 mm/Hg or lower
High = 140/90 mm/Hg or higher
Normal = values above 90/60 mm/Hg and below 130/80 mm/Hg
Then there are those modifying factors. For a woman like me, aged between 50 and 54 (OK, I know, but I'm just about still in there), 142/89 mm/Hg is deemed to be the high end of the 'normal' range. Note this is still 'normal', just the top end, once age and gender are accounted for.
By the time I hit my next birthday, so fall into the age 55 to 59 bracket, that 'normal' upper value is expected to be a little higher, at 144/90 mm/Hg. In fact, the 'average' blood pressure for a healthy 54-year-old woman is, I gather (after Google searching), 129/85 mm/Hg. Even looking at that I think I'm doing OK.