Just thought I'd take a moment to check the boards and immediately saw your post! Thanks for the words of encouragement and support re: the bp readings. This am it was 120/70 but I check it throughout the day....I did have one day where it went over 160/90 but only one day in the last 5 weeks isn't bad, so I continue to monitor and will proceed accordingly. My last bp med interfered with my sleep so I stopped taking it one day (so I could get uninterrupted sleep that night) and slept so well that I just couldn't bring myself to taking another pill....and my bp just dropped. I do think the side effects can elevate bp but I have no proof...and I have some other theories as well, but will keep them to myself until I am convinced my bp is under control....and yes, I do not fool myself into thinking I do not have high blood pressure---I certainly do, but I can control how to manage it.
As far as the clonidine goes, I have read that they do a "clonidine suppression test" to test for pheo! When I saw "clondine", I thought of you and your bad reaction. I've reread the info on it and from what I understand, it is a one time oral dose---blood is drawn before and after, and then tested for results. Beta blockers and thiazide diuretics (among other things) can give a false positive and for that reason these meds are discontinued 48 hours before the test.
As far as the hctz goes, I started out on a low dose, either 12.5 or 25 mg, but I would have to check. It was effective at lowering my bp immediately. However, my bp crept up and the dose had to be increased. I believe that the reason my bp crept up was because the fatigue interferred with my energy level so much that my lack of activity and my poor eating habits contributed to the problem.
But I would agree with your doctor about slowly introducing a med....and I will keep that in mind when I go on another med, as undoubtedly, I will need to.
Oh, and as far the hctz goes, it is one of those drugs that was never tested on older adults!!! Which kind of blows my mind since it is so widely prescribed. Will have to do a little blurb on the boards regarding that info...
The job hunting hasn't started yet, despite my accumulating debt. I really need to focus on diet and exercise now so I don't "relapse"...will set a goal of Sept 1 for employment but must be active now for lots of reasons.
I'm awful glad we're "staying in touch". I think of you often and hope and pray that your health improves daily.