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High BP? Not Me … or So I Thought

Portico Regional Representative Andrea Arey didn’t expect her biometric screening would offer any new insights. What she discovered surprised her.

Andrea Arey
Regional Representative, Portico Benefit Services
Tempe, Arizona
February 2018

When Portico’s 2018 Live Well Challenge gave me the opportunity to earn wellness dollars by getting a biometric screening, I jumped right on it in early January. My annual physical is always in August and my test results always come out normal, so I didn’t think there would be anything to get excited about. Boy, was I wrong! The scale showed that I had gained 9 pounds since August, and to my surprise, my blood pressure was extremely high. The nurse suggested that I make an appointment to see my physician. I did just that. And, because family history can offer some clues, I did a little digging there too.

Both of my 85-year-old parents are in very good health, so I always figured I’d been blessed with good genes. But my biometric screening results prompted me to ask my mom and dad if either of their parents had high blood pressure. My father shared that his grandmother died at 41 from a stroke and his mother started taking blood pressure medication at a young age. When she was 70, she forgot her blood pressure medication while on a two-day trip to meet a new grandbaby. She didn’t think two days without her medication would hurt her. Sadly, she suffered a massive stroke from which she never fully recovered.

I’m grateful my biometric screening results gave me a wake-up call. There are many factors contributing to my health concerns: family history, stress, poor diet, and lack of consistent exercise due to frequent travel. Thanks to the Live Well Challenge, and with the help of my doctor, I’ve been given the chance to make changes that will keep me healthy — so, God willing, I can be around for a long time.

This submission describes a personal perspective on an aspect of the ELCA benefit program that may or may not reflect the experience of others.

email Share your Wellness Voice at livewell@porticobenefits.org

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