My Story: “One Day I Could Barely Get Out Of Bed”

havena johnson

I am never sick.

Never smoked.

Never took drugs.

Didn’t really drink…two glasses of wine and I would fall asleep, so what’s the fun in that?

I don’t even remember what year it was I gave up sugar, white flour, and all that other stuff that tastes so good.

Only time I ever went to see a doctor was for the occasional cosmetic surgery and that was probably two years ago. I really was meant to be born with this body. Botox came from heaven.

I was forty-four and living my wonderful life of consultant work and watching my son go through high school playing basketball and becoming a man.

Then one day I could barely get out of bed. After dragging myself to a client appointment, I realized it wasn’t getting any better and I drove myself to urgent care.
My blood pressure was 245 over 160. Is that bad? I asked.

I was having a heart attack.

My kidneys had failed.

I went into ICU. They administered procedures to stabilize my organs and I don’t know how many blood transfusions I had. I was there for two weeks. Finally, the utter relief that I was going to pull through.

What type of dialysis would you like going forward?

“I’m sorry, what did you say?”

“You will be on dialysis for an undetermined time. We are hoping they will repair themselves, but currently your kidneys can’t function on their own.”


“Because your blood pressure was so high, for so long, that your kidneys had to work too hard to process your blood. It’s all because of your blood pressure.”


I didn’t know.

Looking back now, I can see some signs that were indicators that I was getting sick. I had insomnia a few times; unusual for me but life has stress. Occasional headaches but who doesn’t get them…figured it was the Botox. Had small dizzy bouts every once in awhile; thought I needed glasses. I never gave any of them a second thought.

When we don’t feel well, or right, or normal, we rationalize it away. If you feel bad, do you figure it is because you are overweight? Drink too much? Eat way too many snacks, sodas, fast food? Could be. But it also could be your organs having to work too hard.

High blood pressure is called a silent killer because there are no symptoms that your blood pressure is chronically high. The few symptoms I had were due to my kidneys and heart working overtime for way too long.

What is your blood pressure?