DEAR HARRIETTE: A good friend of mine just told me that she almost died because she didn’t take her blood pressure medicine. She is a smart, professional woman who has an important job and is involved in many civic organizations, plus she is a wife and mom. She is paying closer attention now, but it’s weird. I don’t understand why she would be so flippant about her medication.
I, too, have high blood pressure. I have never told anyone. I keep mine secret, even as I do take my medication religiously, and she is in denial about needing to take medicine. I consider myself smart, too. What are we doing wrong? What can I do to support myself and my friend? -- On the Verge
DEAR ON THE VERGE: Start by confiding in your friend. Tell her about your health challenges and what you do about them. Be transparent when you talk. Admit to whatever is ailing you. Also, tell her what you have done to support your health. Your candid conversation may help both of you to face reality.
High blood pressure is called the silent killer because many people begin to feel good and then stop taking their medication. Even smart people make not-so-smart decisions. Decide not to be in that group. By holding each other accountable, perhaps you can be more disciplined. Support each other in going for regular medical appointments where you check in on the status of your health -- you are worth it!