May 2008

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That's a funny one! And you're right about those blood pressure monitors, even the really expensive ones are pretty useless. That's why all the nurses and caregivers (I used to be one) use the old-fashioned blood pressure cuffs.


One of the funniest posts in a long while. Thanks, Scott.


Hi Scott,
I highly recommend Buddhist meditation to drop blood pressure. Had a bit of a high one myself and practiced mediation for a while.

Next time i went to my doctor, she said my bp was *below* what's considered normal. (which was a good thing according to her).

But it was a dramatic difference. and very good for the mind, too.


Hypertension is a bit of a hyperbole in this instance, eh?


Jeff says:

"Patti is just not funny. Or original."


Hi Scott,

remember, the best way to avoid hypertension is to panic and fret about it all the time!


Don't worry about it, even if you do have high blood pressure. There's nothing you can do about it. Remember - you don't have any free will.


My dad has just started getting FREAKISHLY high readings with his portable blood pressure reader. He will be thrilled to know this. I always get moderately low readings, so I'm kind of unsure what I should think.... Thanks for the update.

Did the doctor mention why the portable blood pressure monitors are so very shitty?

Grady Short

Be afraid. The above article states blood pressure reading's in doctor's offices are not all that reliable. I think you should start antihypertensive medications as soon as possible. Don't forget pre-need planning.

Have a nice day.


Even at your doc's office you could be getting an inaccurate reading. Most places don't bother with protocol.

Here is what you need to do to get an accurate reading:

1) Put the cuff on.
2) Sit relaxed with your back resting on a chair and your feet flat on the floor without moving around for 5 minutes.
3) When someone comes to take your blood pressure do not move and do not talk to them (both will raise the bp)
4) Be sure the arm you are testing is resting on a flat surface, and not just hanging at your side.
5) Have them take your blood pressure, then deflate the cuff and you then raise your hand in the air for about 10-15 seconds.
6) Re-do the blood pressure if you desire.

People don't understand how important it is that they sit quietly for 5 minutes etc before a blood pressure. If you want to see the difference do one after you have just sat down with your arm hanging unsupported and then do one using the above methods. It's also important to remember if you just had coffee etc.


Must be you Scott - perhaps faulty BP machines run in the family? I asked my Dr which monitor to get, and then every now and then I bring it in to the office and check it against the nurse's reading. Very accurate - always within +- 5 pts on both values. I forget who makes it off the top of my head. I'm sure that was useful.

Joshua Ungerleider

Scott, ironically, an inaccurate monitoring telling you that you're about to die, probably raised your blood pressure on its own, like a self fullfilling prophesy.

Its actually a good business plan, tell people they're going to die, and when they find out its a false alarm, they're happy. Who calls and complains that they aren't dying?


Hypertension runs in the family for me :(:( my father and my brother have hypertension its very hard :( and im afraid about me

Ravi Dawar

The other day i went to see a movie, in the hall i saw a person who looked similar to you. i approached that guy and asked him 'Are you by any chance scott adams'.he smiled and said no but many people have come to ask the same question to me.
He was also an ardent fan of Dilbert.we discussed your strip for long.
i could not get a chance to photograph that person otherwise i would have sent you his photograph.
by the way what is the probabilty of two persons having the same facial features.

Greg Wischnewsky

Lucky you.
mine is really too high for genetic reasons. My grandfather on my mother's side and his two sisiters died of strokes. My mother has been on medication for the last 30 years in the hope of preventing such a death (so far she's successful at 72). And I am taking blood pressure pills since 2006. I am 47.
I envy you.


Every time I give a talk, someone always asks, "That's all good and nice that helping users learn is the key to

creating passionate users... but who's going to do all that extra work? Who's going to make the extra tutorials and

better docs?" Answer: your user community. Think about all the things a strong user community can do for you: tech

support, user training, marketing (evangelism, word of mouth), third-party add-ons, even new product ideas. And

that's not including any extra sales you might make on community/tribe items like t-shirts, stickers, and other



I liked this comment so much I'm going to ask you to post it again:

"Is there no pill for hypochondria?"


Having established that you are indeed quite healthy there is only one thing left to say: Live long and prosper.


Thank you for the laugh. This was the first time that I've read your blog and it was really what I needed to brighten my day. I'm a cancer survivor and every ache and pain makes me think it is back and the grim reaper is at the door, so this really hit home with me.

Thank you for making me laugh at myself!!!


All right, I'm glad you're alive and well. Stay healthy, Mr. Adams.


Whoa I just read Rita Mae's post - get back to the Doctors or buy for yourself some simvastatin (you need a blood test after a few months to see if your liver is okay with it - about 1 in 5000 ain't - you stop or cut back and the liver goes back to normal). This is a real wonder drug and it is available in generic form (out of patent). Here in the UK it costs about a penny, at todays rate of exchange thats 2 cents I guess. That might be how much the Doctor pays but in the freemarket US of A you've got to be able to pick these up cheap. They keep your blood stream clear and protect against heart attack, strokes and also Alzheimers. Don't make me tell the marine (I know I can't; what I mean is, only ignore the cholesterol if you want to check out)


90's over 60 !!! Sheeeeit! I'm 117 over 76 and I thought i was doing well.

Actually my Doctor gave me a pill for borderline hypertension (it was pushing 130 over 90 I think) and I am 30 lb overweight and take no exercise. I thought she should have told me to lose weight and get off my fat ass once in a while.

I am exercising now and I've lost a few pounds so I'm on the way. It's easier to get someone to take a pill than change a lifestyle I guess. By the way - any veggy diet book recommendations?


I know it's not the exact topic of your post, but I have a question for you: You're always talking about how if you were a world leader, that you'd defer your opinion on complex matters to the experts. Why then, do you continue to insist that a vegetarian diet is better for you when so many health experts disagree?


Lol, Scott stopping the worry seems like the first step to stop and prevent hypertension (right)?

The blog was hilarious, the comments even more so.

The reason I keep coming back! (the best blog on the net, no doubt)



Unrelated to the topic, but you'd be interested:

There is preliminary evidence that deterrence can be expected to work for about 100 years, which is an unacceptably high risk. Aside from concern for future generations, that time horizon implies roughly a 1% chance of failure in any given year and a 10% chance of failure in any decade. With a 100 year time horizon, every 15 years is like pulling the trigger in a game of Russian roulette in which the whole world is at stake. Every 30 years is like pulling the trigger twice in that suicidal game. A sane person would never play Russian roulette even once. Neither would a sane world.

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