Before I start this blog post I want to reinitiate that I am not medical person of any kind and this blog is strictly my experience and life journey with MCTD.

A couple of years ago I changed positions in my company to a much more stressful position knowing that my health would suffer some but the idea was to work a little extra harder right now so I could reduce my work load in the coming years and start a quieter life with much less stress. It was not an easy decision to make but one my husband and I made together. The last couple of years have indeed taken their toll on my health and one of the changes was I now had high blood pressure or hypertension. All my doctors were worried because MCTD can cause high blood as well as stress can cause high blood pressure and the two together were not the best combination. I didn’t want to go on a blood pressure medicine because I really thought I could handle it myself and bring it back to normal.

I was doing yoga regularly, working out regularly, my diet was clean but I still had stress in my life from 8-5 Monday – Friday. I got a blood pressure machine for home and took my blood pressure regularly. Sometimes it was high and sometimes it was normal. I was told I was in menopause which is stressful and just being hormonally out of balance can affect all kinds of things so it was no wonder I was restless at night, drowsy in the morning and having fluctuating high blood pressure.

Since seeking professional help with menopause, doing yoga, exercising regularly and eating clean my blood pressure is finally normal again. After 2 years I can get a normal blood pressure reading anytime at home and any doctor’s office I walk into. The feeling of knowing that that piece of this puzzle is behind me makes me so thankful. I realize I push this body to extremes sometimes and I don’t always have my own filter turned on high enough to let me know when enough is enough. This is where my family and trainer have really helped me. I am listening a lot closer to what my body wants and needs and I have even gotten to the point where if I haven’t slept well and my body is really tired in the morning I don’t get up early. I won’t work out first thing and I will stay in bed as long as necessary to ensure that when I do get up my body is fully ready to function and work properly.

I see my trainer 4 days a week for solo weight training and Insanity, therefore, he has a close eye on me and if I am not showing my full potential he is calling me on it and advising I modify. I have learned that even to modify doesn’t mean I’m not working I’m just working to my body’s capability that day. Sometimes I can give 100% and still have more but some days I only have 80% to give and still have to keep some energy for my husband and my career which means I cannot give all 80% at the gym. Why it has taken me this long to figure that out I honestly don’t know but I do think my mental thinking is changing along this journey. I am trying things I have never tried before such as buying a bike, riding and participating in a 30 mile road ride in 46 days. The world may not be ready for Nicole Richard to be on a bike but it better get ready because I’m out there.

I no longer want my health to take a back seat while I figure out my career path and working very hard to keep my stress down and have resorted to taking a relaxing type supplement during the day when I am at work to keep me more even all day and hopefully this will continue to help me keep a normal blood pressure reading and enjoy a happy healthy life.


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