High Blood Pressure in China…. Oh boy…

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As some of you may remember, I have been battling high blood pressure for the past year.  I have tried natural remedies, traditional meds and changing my eating habits… however, last Thursday I found out that I had lost that battle … and needed to go with the western meds.

Every year in China a foreigner that has a Z visa (or permanent resident visa) needs to renew it by going through a lot of paper work and a physical.   My visa expiration is April 1st.  Yep, the fool’s day…. anyway.. I traveled to Yiwu city about 3 hours by car, and 5 hours by bus to do my physical.

My trip started at 5am, I was tired and grumpy and not at my best… when I got to the clinic.  I passed all the required tests…. blood, urine, heart, eyes, weight, height, ultra sound, mammogram, and EKG.   However, when it came to my blood pressure I clocked in at 235 over 119.  They had trouble taking the test since the monitor sleeve was too small for my arm… they took the test 5 times.. and every time it was higher and higher.  Finally, they told me that I didn’t pass.   I was freaked out… if I don’t pass this examination I don’t get  my visa renewed… then I must leave China… and my husband… not good.

I quickly took a bus back to my town… and was exhausted… my boss was frantic…. we raced to the hospital to find a way to lower my pressure.  The doctors also didn’t have a monitor to fit my arm properly…(everything is kids size) … and they were not sure what to do.  After, talking to a doctor friend of mine in America.  I was told what meds and dosage that I should take.  When I gave this information to the Chinese doctor he told me that they didn’t have that medicine in China.

After a lot of Chinglish, and a chinese dictionary…I got my feelings across to this doctor and he gave me a cocktail of meds to take.  He assured me that my pressure would be back down in two days for sure.

Yesterday, 3 days later, I took the train back to Yiwu… 4 hours… I took some photos of the view.. and a few photos of the little boy who kept me company on the trip there.   I also took some photos of the hotel I stayed in.   I arrived the day before and got up bright and early this morning to go back to the clinic.  Of course they remembered me…. and to my surprise .. had purchased a normal sized monitor to check my blood pressure.   I first tried their electronic monitor… and it clocked me high again… they tested it again on this machine and It was lower but still too high… When they used  the new machine that fit my arm my blood pressure was clocked at 145 over 91 …. I was back in the normal range..Yayyyy me.

The whole office cheered… in the clinic… hehehe… I guess they were tired of seeing me.  They gave me my seal of health approval and I was on my way.

I quickly called my husband and told him I passed… he was  very relieved.. then I called my boss… who told me congratulations… I am not sure if that was the response I was expecting but I said.. thank you …

I think this whole episode has scared my husband a little.  He is worried that if I get sick in China.. they wont be able to help me.   So, he thinks we should move to America… where I can have my own doctors.   So, begins the year-long process of our move back to America… proves to be some interesting stuff.. in the blog .. for the following year… stay tuned

until next time…



14 thoughts on “High Blood Pressure in China…. Oh boy…

  1. mayiara

    Hey girl, I agree with the poster above–I’m more worried about your *health* than you staying in China. You still have high blood pressure, and that is *not* in the normal range, just not ridiculously high.


    Please consider having a friend send you an automatic blood pressure monitor from somewhere like Target or Walmart or CVS, and measure your BP everyday so you can understand what your normal range is. Please take care of this, our health is one of of our most precious commodities. Be well.

  2. Pingback: The Visa Process Begins… « Life Behind The Wall

  3. blackandyellow

    Sorry to hear you are leaving China, but I think Michael has a point about moving to the States. I am glad you are ok, and that you are able to get medical care for your condition.


    For what its worth. This link is a bit long winded, but it explains a possible link between the prevalence of high blood pressure in African Americans, and survival during the middle passage.

  4. Mayte

    I’m sad to see you leaving China, but am glad you are heading toward better health. I’m sure you will continue to blog about your adventures and we’ll be eagerly awaiting more of your adventures. Good luck with everything, Jo!

    1. @Mayte, thank you .. and my health is only one of the reasons… another is the fact that I am getting older and I want to put more work time into the states… I had never planned to be old in China..and my husband is much younger and this will give him time to establish himself in the states.. before I am at retirement age.

  5. I am happy to hear you are making an effort to reduce your blood pressure. I will continue to read because I’m sure there are grand adventures ahead for you and your husband as you make efforts to move.

  6. Regi

    My goodness. When I read what your blood pressure was my eyes got so big because that is absolutely scary. Not to frighten you but you could have had a stroke. I’ve seen so many people who’ve suffered from having one. For many, having a stroke is a leading cause of disability. It’s a battle but you can manage your blood pressure. I have a close friend who finally realized that she had to take her medications everyday after being admitted into the hospital, and not when she felt like it. She also does the dash diet. I’m sure you’ve gotten lots of advice, so I wish you the best.

  7. wanja

    Oh goodness, I feel so sorry that you had to go through such an ordeal! Thank God all is well. Are you excited about moving back to America???

      1. Karen

        I am glad that you are doing well. How long have you been away from the U.S.? If it has been more than 10 years, then it would probably be best to approach like you did when you moved overseas. On the positive side, you will have the benefit of language which is a big plus.

        Best of luck!

  8. John

    wow that is scary, there a web site call WebMD or health.webmd.com I subscribe to it, it have some helpful advice and tips about health and you can look up health issues that you might need to know, I’m glad you are OK

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