We had an opportunity to chat with Jim. He has been working as Safety Manager for the Eastern U.S. at a food manufacturing company for the past 9 years. For fun, he enjoys going to car shows, hiking, and canoeing in a nearby park with his wife and son.
Livongo: Tell us about your diagnosis and early days with hypertension.
Jim: I was diagnosed about 4 years ago. Since high blood pressure runs in my family and I was also consuming a diet high in fat and fried foods, it wasn’t a huge surprise. I assumed it would happen at some point.
It was hard at first. I wasn’t checking my blood pressure all the time, and when I checked, it was high (140/90), because I am also not really good at taking medicines — I forget to take them.
Livongo: When did you first hear of Livongo for Hypertension? What appealed to you about it?
Jim: In late 2018 I heard about Livongo through our company’s wellness program. Until then, I would go to the grocery store to check my blood pressure, which obviously wasn’t convenient.
At that point in my life, I was working on making changes. I had lost about 20 pounds, and my blood pressure was getting better, so I was going in the right direction. But I wasn’t able to check my blood pressure consistently. So having the Livongo monitor at home made it easier to check regularly. I got into a cadence of checking every morning, and also after my 9-year-old tests my patience.
Also, the way the app allows me to track my data and share it with my doctor is extremely useful. And thanks to the app reminders to check my blood pressure, I don’t forget any more, and I like that the reminders are not overbearing.
Livongo: What advice do you have for others with hypertension?
Jim: Do what you can to get it under control. It wasn’t easy for me to give up fried foods. But it’s about deciding what you want to do with your life.
With my job, I travel a lot, but you always have a choice about what you eat. For example, I now go to Panera and get a sandwich or a salad, or to Chipotle and get a Burrito Bowl, instead of going to a fast-food chain and eating something fatty. When I travel, I have started going to a grocery store and getting a healthy alternative to eat in my hotel instead of going to a restaurant.
Livongo: So how is life today, and how does the future look?
Jim: Between being able to check my blood pressure regularly and losing weight, I have been able to drop my medications. I also used to have prediabetes, and I no longer do.
I will continue to check my blood pressure and maintain my new lifestyle. I want to make sure I am around for my son. He’s getting stronger and running faster, and I have to try to keep up with him for as long as I can, and that starts with keeping my blood pressure and my weight under control.
I am grateful that my company is doing this, enabling me to check my blood pressure on a regular basis.
The testimonials, statements, and opinions presented are applicable to the individuals depicted or quoted. Each member’s exact results and experience will be unique and individual to each member. The testimonials are voluntarily provided and are not paid.