Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Younger Me

That's the verdict of the doctor after he checked my BP two days ago when I went to see him about the 'slight' pain in my left eyes.
Actually my left eye has been acting on me the past 3 weeks. There is a phrase in Malay about this and without bothering to check the dictionary - English or medical, I would term it as 'rapid movement of the eye lid(s)'. Not quite the way the cat kenyit its mata above. That is one gatal cat if it were able to do that! In my case, it is more like 'bergerak mata;.

In fact it was immortalized by SM Salim in one of his song - the kenyit mata and mata bergerak, not the cat! It is called Geli Hatiku, a song by Johari Salleh while SM Salim penned the lyric himself.

Kalau kenyit simata kiri
Konon katanya abang kasih
Kalau kenyit simata kanan
Kononnya ingin nak berkenalan

Kalau kenyit kedua mata
Sudah kena belum biasa
Hendak pinang duit tak ada
Tinggal bujang sampai ke tua

Kalau terlanggar bahu kiri
Abang berkata I am sorry
Kalau terlanggar bahu kanan
Abang berkata tersalah jalan
Kalau terlanggar semua badan
Sememang-memang disengajakan
Kalau selalu diamalkan
Kenalah kasut memang lah padan

Kalau kalau tergigit lidah
Alamat nak konon nak bertengkar
Kalau-kalau bergerak mata
Alamat orang jauh nak jumpa
Kalau tidak bergerak semua
Itu alamat buruk padahnya
Kalau-kalau beliak mata
Itu saya tak tau
Tanya sama dia
Sorry I digress.

My GP was not around during the checkup, so instead I saw a temp.

He could not figure out if anything was wrong with my eyes, and probably thought it was just an infection that's causing the pain. I was more afraid if it was just a symptom for something bigger, so I asked him in the meantime to check my BP, just in case.

After wrapping my arm and measuring my BP, he then looked at me and asked, "How old are you again?"

After I told him my age, he said, "You have the BP of a person in the 30s."

"Oh, really? Why would you say that?" I responded. Actually what I meant to say was that he should know better as I do have look like a person in my 30s, despite my age. The only thing that was stopping me from saying that is that I knew he would not buy it and I did not want to provoke him into insulting me by saying that I look like someone in my 60s instead. ;-)

He explained that my systolic blood pressure is 128 while he was expecting a person my age would have a systolic BP of ~140. I have forgotten the actual numbers he mentioned, and he went on to explain about the range of age and the expected systolic BP.

Actually I have never heard of that, though it does not mean what I don't know does not exist. I had always thought the BP of a healthy person should always be 120/80, irrespective of age and this is what I would normally strive for.

Nonetheless I was quite pleased with his statement. At last I must have reversed my ageing process and would have liked to tell this young doctor the secret potion that I have been taking to enable someone near 50s to have the body of someone in the 30s - the exilir of life; the fountain of youth, if you must. But instead, I took out my wallet and out came a strip of my Norvasc 10 mg BP medicine that I would take daily. This is the reason I have the BP of a 30-year old, I guess.

That's how I managed to shave off more than 10 years of my age.

Try it; it may work on you. But do get consent from you doctor too, I mean, your wife! ;-)


SO I decided to surf and this is what I found.

The good doctor is right. It is called the "100 plus age" rule.

Blood pressures tend to rise naturally with age in both men and women so that a 130 systolic blood pressure of a 30-year old (roughly 100 plus the age) becomes 150 in a fifty year old and 160 in a 60 year old with male blood pressure readings exceeding female by around 10 mm Hg. The systolic pressure is the pressure peak with each beat of the heart (systole) and the diastolic pressure is the basal pressure that is in the blood vessels during relaxation of the heart (diastole).

But as I read further I found the following para disturbing.

High blood pressure, as defined by the drug industry and medical doctors, is not an instant death sentence. The goal of maintaining a blood pressure at or near 140/80 (now 115/75) is based on drug company hype, not science. These numbers are designed to sell drugs by converting healthy people into patients. If high blood pressure were dangerous, then lowering it with hypertension drugs would increase lifespan. Yet, clinical trials involving hypertension medication show no increased lifespan among users when compared to non-users.

The doctor told me in the public hospitals, they would not be treating me with Norvasc, so what I am doing is called preventive medicine. But I am of course paying for that preventive medicine and based on the above para, I am not sure if I am doing the right thing.


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