DEAR HARRIETTE: I have high blood pressure, and I take medication for it. Pretty much nobody in my friend group knows about it because I just don’t think it’s any of their business. I’m a very private person.
The other day when we finally got to meet up in the park -- socially distanced, of course -- I dropped my purse and everything fell out, including my high blood pressure medicine. One of my friends went to help me retrieve everything, and she picked up my meds. She looked at the bottle and asked me why I didn’t tell her I had HBP. I was offended. I don’t have to talk about my medical condition. Even though she knew what the medication was for, I still felt like it was wrong for her to pry. I told her I didn’t want to talk about it. Am I wrong for being so tight-lipped? She is my good friend, but I don’t want anybody in my business. -- Outed
DEAR OUTED: You have the right to your privacy, to be sure. But step back a moment and ask yourself why you are so overly sensitive to your good friend knowing about your condition. Since she knew immediately what the medication was for, chances are, she or someone close to her may be suffering from the disease. Instead of hiding out and dealing with your illness in isolation, consider gaining support by talking about it with a select group of friends, or even just one. You can request confidentiality. Of course, that doesn’t guarantee that she will say nothing, but it certainly should make her more thoughtful about it.
Millions of Americans suffer from high blood pressure. Having support as you work to make smart choices about diet, exercise and lifestyle changes can be helpful as you work to control this disease. For more information on how to manage your HBP, go to mayocl.in/39lRg0v.