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Walking DOWN the slight hill from our garage to our mailbox, my senior mom got to the sidewalk and said, "Oh my, I feel so short of breath!" This was not the first time she'd said it, but usually there was a good reason, such as walking UP a steeper incline. Then the sensation always went away shortly after. This time, it was quite unusual and thus, a cause for concern. We followed up on it right away with a call and then a visit to her doctor. Because she also had some ankle swelling, a blood pressure reading that was a bit high, and had experienced some dizziness recently, she was scheduled for several tests, some blood work, and an EKG. Our doctor also asked us to pick up a blood pressure monitor and specifically said "Buy the blood pressure cuff that goes on the arm NOT the wrist."
I didn't think to ask her why, but after using it, I was SO glad she made that recommendation. I had tried the wrist cuff in the past and it was always so difficult. I often had to retry several times to get it to work.
And no! As much as I love Pink Saturday and cute pink things, I have NO clue how to do take a blood pressure reading the old-fashioned way, even if it is with a sweet pink set, so I didn't get this, as PINK-a-licious as it is.
This time, we bought the Omron 7 series blood pressure monitor and I am SO happy with it. It worked easily, right out of the box. I just opened it up, pulled out the "fast-start guide," plugged it in, put the cuff cord into its hole, and aligned the cuff on my senior mom's arm the way the picture showed. It worked great the first time out.
Our doctor wanted us to get her blood pressure reading every day for a week. She wisely reminded us that blood pressure readings are often higher in the doctor's office than at home. She wanted to verify that my senior mom's blood pressure really was high, on a regular basis (it's not – YAY!). We've taken 5-6 readings already and only once had to redo a reading – because my mom reached down to get something and the cuff slipped off. 🙂
We head back to the doctor's for a follow-up tomorrow, but we've already heard back on most of the tests and are thrilled that so far, all is just fine. Looks like it was a false alarm, which we are so grateful to God for. And now, we have a very handy, easy to use, and reliable blood pressure monitor that will be useful for my whole Sandwich Generation family. It's definitely a great resource for our handy dandy caregiver tools! After all, human nature being what it is, finding out you have high blood pressure is often the first step in actively working to lower your blood pressure. 🙂
And for those of you who love to check out reviews, you'll be happy to know that Consumer Reports rates the Omron 5 and the 9 series blood pressure monitor in their top choices. They didn't review the series 7 specifically, but based on our useage, I'd guess the 7 would also rate highly.
P.S. If you are looking to buy a blood pressure monitor as well, click here, and scroll down midway. You'll find an excellent chart with great comparisons to help you make the right decision for your family – in AND out of the Sandwich Generation. 🙂