Apparently I've been under way more stress lately than I realized. I knew my panic attacks had been coming on more frequently and with new triggers, but I didn't realize how badly I need to take a break and relax before the stress does major damage.
Lately my blood pressure has been pretty high. It's nothing like it was when I had preeclampsia, but my normal bp is under 110/80. This week it's been in the 130-140/90s range. That's not super majorly high, but it's high. The big concern is that it's jumped so high fairly suddenly.
I know after having preeclampsia I have an increased risk for high blood pressure. My doctor also knows I absolutely hate taking medication if I can manage conditions with lower my stress, diet and exercise, and that's what we're choosing to do for now. I already eat a pretty healthy diet, but I admit I've been totally lacking in the exercise department. The stress has been piling up recently, so lowering my stress is also a big issue. I'm going to start on an exercise routine, and my doctor will monitor me. Hopefully that will be enough for now, but if not we'll discuss medication.
What concerns me the most is the fact that heart conditions run in my dad's side of the family. Two of my dad's brothers have had multiple bypasses. My cousin who is only a year older than me has also had a couple major heart surgeries. My grandpa had heart problems, and he passed away from a stroke during surgery. My grandma also has extremely high blood pressure and is on a restricted diet, but that doesn't mean she follows it. If you met her you would think she's Paula Deen's sister, and she cooks like it, too. She's also a die hard southern load 'em up with butter and salt cook, and that's her #1 problem.
I never really thought about my family history of heart problems when I was younger because so far it's only been the men with problems, but that doesn't mean I won't have to worry about it. I don't know if any of my Grandpa's sisters had any heart problems, and my Dad only had brothers. I'm pretty much the first female in line after that, so I should be cautious anyway.