My name is Maggie. I am 83 years old. Five years ago my blood pressure was up and down a lot, and I was taking two medicines for it. My doctor prescribed a blood pressure instrument for me to use at home to take my blood pressure. I would take my blood pressure each morning and write the blood pressure readings down in a little notebook. Every three weeks I would then take the notebook to my doctor at his office, and he would adjust my medications. It was hard for me to get to the doctor, because I had to get my neighbor to drive me.
One day my blood pressure started going up. Over the next week it got a little higher each day, and I began to worry. But my next appointment with my doctor was not until the following week. I thought about calling my doctor, but I didn't want to bother him, because he's so busy. So I just waited, hoping my pressure would go down. Two days later I was awakened by a severe headache, and I couldn't see out of my right eye. When I tried to get out of bed I collapsed on the floor and could hardly move. I was taken to the hospital and was told I had a stroke.
Five years later I can now walk a little with a walker, but I still can't see out of my right eye. I wish my doctor had known about my blood pressure that day when I had the stroke. I think it could have been prevented. I have now heard about a new way for doctors to keep an eye on a patient's blood pressure by using the Internet. I think this is a great idea, and I believe it can keep other people like me from having strokes. - Maggie D. 12/20/00