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  • White Coat Hypertension - The Scourge!!

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    Old 07-14-2017, 04:55 AM   #1
    hunter73
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    Angry White Coat Hypertension - The Scourge!!

    So I had a Dr.s appt yesterday morning. I have suffered with WCH since maybe 12 years old. I have terrible case of it as well. Nothing mild or faint with this guy. After I had my physical to go to college, where incidentally, my Dr. had me lay supine and he started listening to my heart, which made it speed up even more, so he kept listening, so it kept pounding faster and faster, so he listened even more closely, and my heart went even faster..Seeing a pattern?....I hate this affliction. Oh, he left the BP cuff on my arm. I guess it was so high when he took it with me sitting he decided maybe I should lie back and relax? Yea, relax.. Ughhhh. I still remember that. It felt like he listened to my heart, which was just pounding, getting faster and faster an faster, for 30 minutes. I was dying the entire time. Dying. The cuff on my arm as well. Knowing that was going to happen again. So, after that terrible visit, oh yea, when I was younger, I would get flushed all over my neck, chest, face. Holy hell. So that as well was something for people to talk about and look at me and wonder if I was going to die or something.
    I ramble, I apologize. After that last visit still living under my parents roof, I managed to avoid seeing a Dr., or having my blood pressure or pulse measured for somewhere around 7 or 8 years. Whew. Broken bone and I had no choice but to go to ER. First time that snotty nurse took it my HR was 160bpm. I even told her prior to slapping the cuff on that I get really nervous in hospitals, etc.. And those dang vital sign machines. Starts inflating...tight, tight, tight, quits...Course where it stops first time is for the average Joe...I can feel my blood pounding under that cuff, tight, tight, stops....No, still pounding...Then, to add injury to insult, after the machine finally deflates, and we all better hope the alarms are turned off, the thing starts up again...My pressure and HR were so outta whack, it takes another reading b/c surely the first couldn't be correct. So, miss happy to be here ratchet barks "Your heart is beating 160 beats per minute! Can you not FEEL it in your chest??" No kidding? really? I had no idea it was that fast. Damn girl, I can hardly draw a breath I'm so wigged out. Then wheeled to a room where they come in every 15 minutes and strap the cuff. I told them it wasn't going to get any better. Just the way it was with me. They wanna know if I'm on drugs. HA. I wish. Another weird thing. I've always been very embarrassed by this affliction. So weird. A guy I knew was working as a tech or something and he was one that kept coming around to take my pressure every 15 min. So now, since I know him, I'm even more nervous and embarrassed. This is one weird, disturbing syndrome huh? When I was younger, I don't think anyone believed me. Believed that there was such a thing. It's now pretty widely covered in studies, meta analysis and hell, I even think they mention it to future nurses and Dr.s.
    I'm getting older and I need a Dr. now. There are things a man needs as he ages. White Coat Syndrome be damned, I have to go to the Doc a couple times a year. Third time I've been to this lady. My two previous visits, my HR and BP were not super crazy. I've learned to pop a Xanax, and tell them before they ever get near me with the cuff. I mean, the two previous were well into hypertensive and tachycardia, but I was kind of impressed with myself. The way of the future is automatic readings. Well, personally, mine is lower with a manual. Something about the sound of the machine, the pulse Ox clip on your finger.... How it stops inflating only to start again b/c my BP ain't like everyone else. So, 176/106....HR-126 Damn!
    Just as you think you're making progress. Doc checked it herself again later with a manual and it dropped to 160 something over 90 something. Woo Hoo.
    One other thing and this long, boring post will be over. Thing is, I've never written about this. Never told my side, the real story, the whole story. Feels really good.
    Am I the only one that freaks out about having pulse taken or someone listening to my heart? Same reaction as BP measure for me. Anyone else the same way?
    Also, it seems there are people with WCH that don't even know they have it. How lucky are they? It's mild, so they don't even know they're nervous. That kinda blows me away. I sure know when I have a Dr.s appt. Weeks in advance I start freaking out.
    Hope this maybe opens some new discussion. So good to know I'm not alone!

    Last edited by Administrator; 07-20-2017 at 06:50 AM.

     
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    Old 07-14-2017, 07:13 AM   #2
    Jerseygirl921
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    Re: White Coat Hypertension - The Scourge!!

    You are definitely not alone. No way. I've been dx with cancer twice, so as a result of that I have a severe case of WCS. I have hypertension and health anxiety on top of it. I'm the classic case of astronomical BP at the docs but normal at home. At the docs usually in the 160/110 range or better. At home nowhere near that. I've just started with a therapist to help me with this anxiety and WCS. Even with the manual cuffs its high. When they say well we'll retake it in a few mins try to relax its like uhhh you can't say that to me, the damage is done so to speak, it won't work the Bp will be as high or higher, you're making it worse by telling me you're coming back. When they put the cuff on me I immediately start with sweaty palms, heart pounding, etc. But to me it makes sense why I react that way, because of my health history. I get frustrated with the docs sometimes. This thing is real, especially for someone like me with a history of receiving really bad news at docs offices. I hope the therapy will help me. Good luck to you as well!

    Last edited by Jerseygirl921; 07-14-2017 at 07:17 AM.

     
    Old 07-14-2017, 07:30 AM   #3
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    Re: White Coat Hypertension - The Scourge!!

    Yea, Docs and Nurses that don't get it. Wow. Nothing worse........"Just relax. Don't think about it." "I'm not gonna bite." It is the most ridiculous thing ever. I tell docs, RN, whoever, I wouldn't be any more nervous than if I was getting ready to sing National Anthem at the dang Super Bowl. Live. And that's no joke. Some of the studies and thought processes amaze me too. The philosophy that if you get worked up going to Dr.s, then it probably happens in traffic and grocery store, etc. Um, no. Unless I'm singing at Super Bowl, I don't ever feel like this.
    And some goofy, young nurse that make a huge deal out of your HR and BP...After you told her it was gonna be high. Makes it worse.
    I can't take my own BP without getting a little nervous. My wife can take my BP with cuff and scope and get an honest reading. I think she is only person on planet that can put that cuff on my arm and I don't freak.
    Good luck to you. Hope your health is OK

    Last edited by Administrator; 07-20-2017 at 06:45 AM.

     
    Old 07-14-2017, 08:13 AM   #4
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    Re: White Coat Hypertension - The Scourge!!

    Thank you. I get jealous of my husband's numbers lol, he can go to any doc any time and get 110/70s, its like really ? Are you kidding me right now? Can I have your numbers ? But then again, he hasn't had the health issues like me. I'm doing well, thanks for your well wishes ! One day (hopefully sooner rather than later) we'll conquer this !

     
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    Old 07-15-2017, 09:01 AM   #5
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    Re: White Coat Hypertension - The Scourge!!

    Dealhunter,

    I'm so sorry to hear you have been dealing with WCH for so many years. Just curious, when your wife monitors your BP at home, what are your average #s?

     
    Old 07-18-2017, 04:44 AM   #6
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    Re: White Coat Hypertension - The Scourge!!

    @ZuzuB,

    When she takes my BP, it runs anywhere from say, 120/70 - 135/85.....My resting pulse is 60. Will catch it in the 50's even sometimes.
    I'll add we have a Welch Allyn Sphyg with proper sized cuff, Littmann scope, we are both very adept and knowledgeable on taking a proper BP measurement. I'd be willing to bet we do a better job here at home than I've ever gotten in Dr.s office...Sadly.
    Funny thing here...I can't even get a decent reading when trying to take my own BP. I feel that flutter in my chest, heart speeds up. It's flipping nuts. Nothing like in a clinical setting or anything, but even my measurements are a bit elevated. If I want to sit there with the cuff on and take 5 measurements over 30 minutes, I might get a real number. Much easier to let the wifey take 3 measurements and average.
    Thanks for the question!

     
    Old 07-18-2017, 08:35 AM   #7
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    Re: White Coat Hypertension - The Scourge!!

    Dealhunter,

    Your resting #s in a non-clinical setting are great. Whatever you're doing, keep doing it! My cardiologist and other doctors fully understand the phenomenon of White Coat and if my BP spikes during an appt, they don't freak which helps me enormously. I presume that you bring a printout of a few days worth of your home #s to your appointments to reassure THEM? LOL.

    zuzu

     
    Old 07-18-2017, 11:50 AM   #8
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    Re: White Coat Hypertension - The Scourge!!

    Another person here with white coat syndrome. I didn't have it back in my younger days. Then it was 120/80 almost every time at the doctor's office. But over the years as I've developed more and more health problems and butted heads with doctors with whom I disagree, my BP shoots up in the office. I've been on blood pressure meds for almost 20 years now. I had a devil of a time convincing my PCP that she couldn't medicate me on the basis of office readings. It has only been in the last couple of years that she has seemed to accept that my home readings really do tell a better story of what happens in daily life than do office readings.

    There was one time my endo got a little concerned when my BP in his office was 203 over something. That same night at home after dinner my BP was 111 over something! (I never pay much attention to the diastolic because it rarely changes much. It is usually in the 50s or 60s.)

    Hang in there, dealhunter. When the white coats get to the point they want to start prescribing BP medications, bring a good record of recent readings to the office and insist they medicate on that basis, not on the unusual situation in the office.

     
    Old 07-21-2017, 10:18 PM   #9
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    Re: White Coat Hypertension - The Scourge!!

    Hi. Totally agree with so many of the previous comments. The last comment above was crucial. Bring a good record of BPs. This is where wearable technology can have a huge impact for all of us. Imagine six BP estimates per day !!! No white coat in site !!! You don't even know when it's being taken. That is a bright future.

     
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    Old 07-26-2017, 03:33 AM   #10
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    Re: White Coat Hypertension - The Scourge!!

    Thank you, zuzu8 and Uff-Da!

    I do indeed keep a record of home measurements
    Thanks for the advice.

    Last edited by hunter73; 07-26-2017 at 03:35 AM. Reason: Don't know what I'm doing:)

     
    Old 08-04-2017, 12:57 AM   #11
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    Re: White Coat Hypertension - The Scourge!!

    I read your whole post and you are not alone. The latest medical info says we are not more at risk just because of WCH Aloha

     
    Old 08-04-2017, 01:01 AM   #12
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    Re: White Coat Hypertension - The Scourge!!

    So glad I found people with the same problem. My bp was high both at home and the doctor's office. Then I cut out salt and have low bp at home but in the doc's office today it was 160/78 Home low again. I won't take meds unless it gets high at home. Aloha

     
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