I am scheduled to go to the Portland VA for my last prostate cancer hormone therapy shot this Monday. The drive over the mountains has been very beautiful on my other trips, but the weather forecast for this time is miserable. It seemed reasonable to take the VA provided transportation which is free, and I won’t have the responsibility of failing to make the appointment if their transportation fails. Strangely, the departure location is only a fifteen-minute walk from my house, and the only problem is that the van leaves at 6AM. I need only be out the door at 5:40 and all should be easy, going and coming. Probably be back home by 6PM. All the rest of the day will be reading or looking out windows.

I’ve been taking my blood pressure every day since the possible Lyme disease event last June, when the BP reading on my old-fashion cuff monitor went to 190 systolic. I went to the ER and the nurse observed my target-like patch the size of a silver dollar and we did the Lyme test. And did it again a month later with negative (that means positive results for the patient) results. There is still an active red/white spot where the bite was but my medical team isn’t worried.

Because of those events, it seemed reasonable to purchase a modern blood pressure monitor, and I got the OMRON with the cell phone linkage. It is very easy to use and collect lots of data. Today, for our first of two daily walks Debbie and I walked down to the VA van pick-up point which we expected to take about fifteen minutes, and which took exactly fifteen minutes. I took my BP before leaving and right away when I got back. It was 113/66 48 when we left, which is a bit lower than my typical 119/60 55, but close, and 103/52 65 when we got back. That is quite low for me, but according to the usual stuff we see when researching such things, it was very good. From last June 26, 2019, Near ideal blood pressure is 105/70:

“The Ideal blood pressure for someone who has recently walked, but is now sitting and rested for five minutes is 105/70. Adding or subtracting 5 points from those numbers would mean that 110/70 to 100/70, or 105/75 to 105/65 would be so close to the unknowable ideal as to be undetectable and insignificant. Strangely, this method of choosing an ideal would mean by the pre-1977 rule of thumb, 100 plus your age, that our ideal would be the blood pressure of children.”

By that standard, I should have been feeling great when I got back from that half-hour walk, even though we walked through eight-inch snow, and I was wearing very heavy snow boots, and we ascended about sixty feet. But I wasn’t feeling great; I was quite tired.

Thus, my personal experience is that the official Blood Pressure recommendations are wrong. They say you can’t feel your blood pressure, but my experience and the experience of my older friends with low blood pressure is that it makes you feel really tired. They told me that going below 90 systolic makes you feel really tired. I wasn’t nearly that low, but I did feel tired at 103 when I should have been feeling energized. When I am in the systolic range of 120-135 I feel more fully functional.

We survived another day, and I’m wondering what Monday’s post will be. Tired?