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Hacking your 60s: meet my new friend, Belitra the Blood Pressure Monitor

Omron High Blood Pressure Monitor

Too high, too high, dah dah dah dahhh… If you’re a Baby Boomer, Stevie Wonder probably comes to mind when you hear this. My brain seized on this melody when my GP (the son of my original general practitioner) saw my blood pressure numbers. He handed me stronger meds and suggested I should take record my blood pressure numbers at home.
Over the course of our relationship, this has been our basic approach. I offer my opinion on my profound aversion to pain (they test for the flu shot here by shoving a Q-Tip way up your nose, yo!), make him and the nurses laugh as I do my exams, and listen to him suggesting lifestyle changes might help me lower the unwanted results. It’s the ‘ugh’ of getting older after a sugar-filled, sedentary lifestyle.

So I did my research, and I ordered Belitra from the States. I’m sure I could have gotten a much cheaper option here in Japan, but I didn’t want to puzzle out kanji (Japanese syllabary) labels – I wanted English.
When she arrived, I wondered if it would be funny to do an open box video on YouTube. After all, she is a new machine. But I was too impatient to start using it and getting stats on the board.

One thing I noticed and appreciated right away – big print on the Quick Start Guide. Thank you!
Another thing I noticed was the separate message here:

Stop - don't return the device
Stop – we can help so you don’t need to return the device

This little stop sign tells me how many worried, confused folks give up in frustration and return the machine. Either it isn’t working, or we’re not using it in the way it was intended.

To help out, I have three suggestions for handling items like this:

Prepare
Search for the Quick Start Guide for that device online, and read it thoroughly.
Can you visualize yourself following the steps to set it up?
What are the customer support options? I prefer chat so it’s easy to send a screenshot or picture and the conversation is live, rather than waiting for an email response.

Get it
Order it with insurance if available, so you don’t have to feel too stressed about it not working out.

I’ll earn a bit if you use my link, so, thank you in advance if you use it:

Use it
Grab the Quick Start Guide: it’s not such a mystery, now, right? Make sure you have the customer
support info handy. Then follow the steps. I would do a throwaway recording or insertion or whatever the machine is supposed to do, for the sake of practice and peace of mind. Make sure you know the conditions you need to use it under for optimal recording. Put it where it’s safe and accessible.

And forget it till you need to use it.

Or, notice that it has a rakish smile, make up a name and make it part of the family. Imagine how it will celebrate with you as you get those numbers where they need to be, or encourage you if your numbers are still a challenge.

And enjoy!

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