“A few years ago I went for a checkup with my GP. I thought, better late than sorry. I found out that at the age of 42, I had the heart of someone in their fifties. That was shocking. I also learned I had high blood pressure.
“From then I was prescribed medication and I made a point of taking out the prepayment prescription certificate. Because I thought, if I’m going to need to be on medication for the rest of my life, this would help make it cost effective.
“I had to get into the frame of mind that this was going to be life-long. I took a while to come to terms with that.
“At one point, I let the medication lapse and a received a call from a Black GP at my practice. That was a wake-up call because he said high blood pressure can lead to a slow death, like you won’t see it coming.
“From then on, I resolved to never run out of medicines, and to always order repeat meds before I run out.
“My blood pressure is under control now. I take my meds and I carry a pedometer to measure how many steps I’m taking. My average is around 14,000 or 15,000 steps. I make a point of going for a long walk really early morning. I also do pushups and the outdoor gym.
“To anyone who says they don’t want to know about their blood pressure, I’d say they’re potentially damning themselves to a death sentence because by the time they know, it could be too late.”