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  • Uncontrolled High BP?

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    Old 10-09-2003, 05:21 AM   #1
    onnason
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    Post Uncontrolled High BP?

    I'm posting again because I took my BP all day yesterday (probably every hour or so) with readings ranging from 112/88 to 140/105. I'm normally a 110/70-78 gal, so I'm very upset about this. Could my anxiety over these readings be what's causing the rise? I should mention, work has been disasterous, and my husband is scheduled for open heart surgery on 11/3 to repair the beginnings of another aortic dissection (he almost died from it back in '01 at 41 years old). I'm sure the stress of everything is getting to me -- is it o.k. to have elevated readings for, say, a couple of months with no adverse effects like stroke or heart attack? Why wouldn't the Atenolol (75 mg) and Triamterene (37.5 mg) keep it under control -- isn't that what it's SUPPOSED to do?

    I spoke to my doctor who was not very concerned about these readings. She said that even at a diastolic reading of 105-110, SOME doctors COULD try dietary changes before medication. She said it's certainly the stress doing this to me and to "throw out the damn cuff" (I use a manual one -- a sphygmometer (sp?) and a stethoscope).

    As you can see, I'm in a panic. I've been taking klonopin, 3 mg. day, but it really isn't helping. Any reassurance is so much appreciated. Thanks again.


     
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    Old 10-09-2003, 05:43 AM   #2
    Beth36
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    Hi Amarra,
    Sounds like you've got a lot of stress in your life right now, and this is probably what's causing your blood pressure readings to vary so much. I know that one of the first things my doctor told me after I got diagnosed with high blood pressure was not to obsess over taking my readings all of the time. Even a person with high blood pressure well controlled by meds that usually runs within a normal range can have some isolated elevated readings, and that it's nothing to worry about.

    My advice? Just don't take your readings for a few days, even though it may be tempting. It will just stress you out if you have one that's elevated, and you don't need that to worry about now. It sounds as if your blood pressure is under good control.

    -Beth

     
    Old 10-09-2003, 10:37 AM   #3
    Rick7799
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    My BP readings go up and down. One thing my doctor told me was to take it no more than 3 times a week. I was like you and would take it all the time. If it was high I would worry about it and it would go higher. I found that was good advice.

     
    Old 10-10-2003, 06:58 AM   #4
    onnason
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    Thanks for the good advice. I haven't been following it because I just can't -- I don't know what's wrong with me (maybe I should visit OCD board!). I'm trying again today -- I did take it this morning, but I put the cuff under lock and key at work and asked a co-worker to keep me away from it. My reading this morning was o.k. -- 122/88 (it's usually MUCH lower for me -- like 104/68 or so first thing in the AM), and it always climbs through the day. I've now been averaging about 134/98 which is awful and scares me a lot. My doctor said that even at 134/98, I'm fine for a few weeks -- and I won't "stroke out". I'm not sure I believe her, and I do have this weird headache now that I know is caused from the elevated BP, but I'm going to try to leave it alone. Did your readings come down after waiting a few days?

    Again, thanks for the support.

     
    Old 10-10-2003, 09:41 AM   #5
    Beth36
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    Amarra,
    It really does sound like you're doing fine! Good idea to keep that cuff away for a little while. As we all know, worry can make your bp go up. And no, you are not OCD, probably just concerned about your bp like all of us on this board are-or we wouldn't be here. It's a great thing to be concerned and conscientious, but just don't go overboard with it. I was just diagnosed with HTN the first of September and I haven't bought a home-monitoring device yet. Since I'm still working on getting it under initial control, I want to wait a bit longer. My father and brother are both physicians, so they take it for me occasionally too.

    Have a great weekend!

     
    Old 10-10-2003, 10:07 AM   #6
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    Amarra- Your headache that you just mentioned is not caused by your slightly elevated BP...You are working yourself up into a frenzy, kiddo....The headache is most likely tension, and NOT your BP.

    Try not to take your BP more than 3 times a day MAX. (no cheating...you are already in a state of anxiety at the very moment you decide "oh, I'd better check my blood pressure!")

    Take it at the same times each day. You mentioned you use a manual cuff with a stethoscope....Wondering if it'll be easier for you (and easier on the anxiety level) if you invest in an automatic, self-inflatable monitor...It'll take a lot of "accidental" high or low readings out of the equation.

    Whichever way you go, don't forget to keep your arm relaxed at approx heart level resting on a table. Do not tense your arm as this will give false readings.

    Don't let this stuff overwhelm you...you are fine...your doctor is right, you are not going to "stroke out"....

    Try to calm down a little, take your pressure no more than 3 times a day and see where you are in a week or so..At that point you will have recorded all your readings and will be better able, with your doctor, to ascertain whether or not you should stay on the dosage of meds as is, or change "tactics".

    zuzu xxx




    [This message has been edited by zuzu8 (edited 10-10-2003).]

     
    Old 10-10-2003, 11:11 AM   #7
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    Thanks to all for your responses and advice. So far, I only took my BP once today -- MUCH better for me!

    Zuzu, interesting you should mention the inflatable/automatic monitor. I do have an Omron, but I don't believe it because the readings are so much lower than the manual monitor. Just this morning, my 122/88 reading on the manual was mirrored by a 117/70 on the automatic. Couldn't be THAT much difference, could it? I called Omron a couple of weeks ago to say that I thought the unit was off, and they gave me a bunch of hints on how to get it to work properly. At first, it worked wonders with the readings being only a couple of points different between the Omron and my manual monitor, but since I've become this worked up, the readings are nowhere near each other. Zuzu, could you have possibly hit it on the head? Could the actual act of taking my BP be raising my anxiety by 20 points or so? Could the Omron be right and the manual reflect my anxiety?????

     
    Old 10-10-2003, 12:42 PM   #8
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    Amarra- Anything is possible with these monitors.....The best thing to do would be to take both to the doctor on your next visit and have them checked against theirs to see if one or both of are not calibrated properly.

    By the way, both readings you got this AM are not anything to worry about.....The number clinicians are worrying most about now is the top (systolic)...and yours this morning are good!

    zuzu xxx


    [This message has been edited by zuzu8 (edited 10-11-2003).]

     
    Old 10-11-2003, 06:13 PM   #9
    rubindj
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    Anything not taken on mercury is suspect.

    Your correct, something is wrong, either your automatic cuff is wrong, your hand spygonometer is wrong, you personal anxiety is different between the two, or both are wrong.

    Many doctor's started using non-mercury sygs. about 10 years ago. Guess what? Almost all are now going back to mercury, after heavy use, they all get out of wack except for gravity.

     
    Old 10-12-2003, 02:11 PM   #10
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    Zuzu8,I will take both monitors to the doctor -- my next appointment is 11/1. And Rubindj, I have seen doctors using the mercury monitors more and more. Just makes it all the more difficult to monitor!

    One last few questions -- I promise (o.k., at least for now). I've narrowed it down to taking my BP 1X a day, and it's still climbing, and I do believe I'm doing it to myself. Now my averages are 134/94-100 or so. I know from researching that I should "see my doctor within a month", and since I'm seeing her on 11/1, I assume if it doesn't go any higher I'm o.k., right? As to my questions -- WHY would it jump around so much if not stress/anxiety related? And, I'm definitely and consistently getting more than a 10 point difference from the left to right arm. I thought I read somewhere I should be concerned about that -- is that true? What could that be?

     
    Old 10-14-2003, 02:56 PM   #11
    Rick7799
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    My blood pressure is always at least 10 points higher on the right arm. It's the first number that is higher. The second number is about the same. Would there be a reason for that?

     
    Old 10-15-2003, 04:21 AM   #12
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    Rick, why don't you post your question separately from my thread? I think people are sick of seeing my name come up! I have the same question -- and I read that a 10 point difference IS a cause of concern, but I'm also a huge hypochondriac, so I think I "cause" the difference due to the anxiety between taking my left, then my right arm! My right arm is always higher by at least 10 points -- sometimes the bottom number, and sometimes the top number!

     
    Old 10-16-2003, 07:38 PM   #13
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    "And, I'm definitely and consistently getting more than a 10 point difference from the left to right arm. I thought I read somewhere I should be concerned about that -- is that true?"

    Amarra- It's very normal to have differences under or about 10mm Hg between the arms.

    It's less normal to have differences of 20mm Hg or higher-- But, it is not always indicative of a problem either.
    So try to relax....I promise you are not going to keel over any minute!

    zuzu xx

     
    Old 10-17-2003, 05:13 AM   #14
    onnason
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    Zuzu, I thank you. I've managed to get through the last week due to your posts and this board. My BP is back down a bit, averaging around 124/86 or so -- still a bit high for me, but it doesn't scare me as much.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. You truly are (to me) one of the most knowledgeable on the board!

    Adrienne

     
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