Wait A Minute… When Last Did You Check Your Blood Pressure?

Sincere apologies if you think the cover picture to this intended enlightening article is meant to act as a click bait and in no way was this meant to be a disregard in respect to the late Icon.

I was not friends with Deji Tinubu and to be fair, acquaintances would also be a long shot; But working in a sports industry here, you are privileged to come across people who the industry rely heavily on and Tinubu was one of them.

Right man, right job, a penchant for football and sports in its entirety, stakeholders in the industry could not have asked for a better man when he was appointed as the Special Adviser to the Governor on Youth and Sports’ affairs. It was to be a clear fit- gloves on hand-esque.

So when the news hit me at work that Tinubu had slumped during a football event, all I could do was take a deep sigh and think of a man dying doing what he loved. 

But I wanted more to this, as footballers at times, pros and amateurs alike suffered this tragic ending./So I ran through my feeds on online platforms and I later discovered the man slumped while clutching his chest.

There is no confirmation if Deji died from heart blood pressure complications but since it was a popular suspect I thought to talk about it and remove the notion that lacking match fitness or being unfit is what could lead to a slump and death.

For those who don’t know me, my name is Chuka, contributing writer at this site you are currently reading. I’m 24, and till I changed jobs worked in a job that required my presence three times a week with a 9a.m to 4p.m clock. 

I try to play basketball three times a week and apart from my rest days, occasionally jog my estate. I can’t count myself a drinker, not so much of a junk lover, and I don’t smoke. At 6 foot 5, I’ve got a waist size of 38 so to be fair, I’m quite okay. 

But last year, I was diagnosed with Left Ventricular Hypertrophy- a condition in which the muscle wall of the heart’s left pumping chamber becomes thickened. It is caused by prolonged strength training or high blood pressure. It was easy to strike out the former but the latter left me puzzled.

The journey to longevity all began when I went to the opening of my aunt’s pharmacy around the VGC axis. As guests trooped in and out, I thought to myself maybe I should get to check out my blood pressure as I saw the machine lying idle and so I got the pharmacist to help with this.

He did it twice before signalling to my aunt who is a doctor to come over and perhaps do this a third time. And then I noticed the surprise on her face and I looked at the numbers.

“190/110″… “Bobo, you need to come to the hospital tomorrow”

I was in shock when she began to explain what the numbers were and in my usual self, tried defending it with “must be the traffic I was in, I played basketball this morning, I think I’m panicking that’s why”

Next day I’m at the hospital and she is checking me out, this time around I try to control everything from my breathing to my thoughts. 

Champions League 2008, my family, my girlfriend…for a second David Moyes creeps in and I’m like not today Satan and I continue life…8-2 Arsenal, and just then the stuff wrapped around my arm releases. 

I can’t remember the bottom figure but I know I topped with 170. So yes, supporting the right team, having the right team, a good girl, and maybe fast internet definitely keeps your heart at a less stressful state.

Still far from the 120/80 benchmark, I get to do an ECG test and the results come out with the doctor saying I’ve got LVH. A quick run of my family history and I get to know my dad was and my mom is hypertensive. So there was a possibility, albeit a certainty, that my high blood pressure was hereditary.

I was placed on medication for which I wouldn’t mention to prevent abuse, I’ve changed jobs, cut down on my salt intake and even with the rigors of my banking job I average around 117/75 for my blood pressure which I’m being told is great.

There is a reason why high blood pressure is called a silent killer. The effects of high blood pressure include organ failures, stroke, and ultimately death. And with little symptoms that often could be passed off as malaise, it is a dangerous condition if not checked early.

Not everything is from the village, those guys are sometimes too busy trying to feed the nation. Incidences of young teens slumping are becoming too frequent and some are lucky to survive the scare to deal with the warning. Not everyone gets that fortunate.

For the rest of us who are left with the sudden blow of Deji’s demise, we take consolation in the works and achievements he made in our sporting industry. There is no confirmation yet as to if his death was caused by a heart failure from high blood pressure but we hope the industry’s loss would be a massive gain with this awareness.

Visit your local clinic or pharmacy, check your blood pressure frequently and as always, try living a healthy life.

RIP Deji Tinubu… Gone but never to be forgotten.


Source: wolexis

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