As a graphic designer for Healthy Living Made Simple magazine, part of my job is also working on the marketing materials used for the Sam’s Club Free Health Screenings. In the two years I’ve been a Sam’s Club member, I had never taken advantage of the free screening program.

Thankfully, in January 2017 I decided to take to take part in the year’s first screening event, mostly to get insight into the program I design for. That simple blood pressure check ended up being a life-changing test.

During the screening, my blood pressure read 168/124 mm Hg, well over the recommended levels of less than 120/80. The staff at the screening showed immediate concern and rechecked it twice to ensure it wasn’t a mistake. It was no mistake. I lead a pretty active lifestyle so needless to say I was shocked by the results.

I went to the doctor immediately and my blood pressure had jumped to 200/124. Through medication and changes to my diet, I’ve gotten my numbers under control. The doctor said stress and family history were probably contributing factors and those results helped start a dialogue with my family about our health history that was long overdue.                                                         

I’ll be forever thankful to the great staff at the health screening and cannot recommend getting screened highly enough.

David Hovey has been a Sam’s Club member for two years. He works as a graphic designer.