Blood Pressure Advice

I know I should be worried about strokes; after heart attacks and cancer, strokes are the UK’s third biggest killer. Also, strokes run in my family. My grandfather, who drank and smoked, had a stroke, and started to recover, and then started to drink and smoke again. Then he had two strokes in the same day, and, we were told, no chance of recovery. What had happened to him, exactly? A nurse tried to explain it to me; it was something about blood and the brain. My grandfather died after being in a coma for eleven weeks.

For a while, I thought I understood how strokes worked, because a stroke is the result of high blood pressure. If you’re trying to water a flowerbed with a hose, and the water won’t shoot far enough, what do you do? You partially block the end of the hose with your thumb. Then the water comes out much better, doesn’t it? That’s how I imagined strokes – blood shooting through narrowed arteries much faster than usual. Apparently, though, that’s completely wrong. But now, I’ve got a chance to find out the truth, and perhaps add years to my life, because strokes are, to some extent, preventable, and because on Saturday I can find out exactly how… WL

Bloodline: is your pressure too high?
Cliffe Precinct
When? 9am-5pm
How Much? Free
The Stroke Association will be on the streets today taking blood pressure and explaining about strokes.