Hypertension runs in her family. Her mom and grandmother also battled high blood pressure. Still, the medication is such a drag, she’s decided at times to stop without consulting her doctor.
“I lied. Really, I lied,” she admits. “He said, ‘Are you taking your medicine?’ I said, ‘Mmhmmm. Yeah, my momma makes sure that I do.’ I was just lying,” she says.
That is, until she, too, had a stroke. Now, she has three blood pressure medications, and says she takes them without fail.
This story is part of NPR’s reporting partnership with WPLN and Kaiser Health News.