Thursday, October 21, 2010

Under Pressure

Serenity now.

I have to go to the doctor in a little less than an hour.  To have something checked that I absolutely hate having checked.  My blood pressure.

On top of just having hypertension to begin with, I have a terrible case of white coat syndrome.   If I am even vaguely aware that someone might be taking my blood pressure at any time in the near future, it goes like this automatically:

up, up, up

I often wonder what it would be if someone showed up at my house unexpected to take it.  I'd imagine it must be lower, but who knows?

I never had issues with my blood pressure until I was sitting in triage, very pregnant with Ashley.  One chance borderline high reading was all, then it went back to normal.  Along came Ally's pregnancy and she brought with her an irritable uterus for me.  Which, I must say, was awesome.  I should write about how awesome that was someday. 

Anyway, to counter the constant contractions, they gave me medications.  The contractions didn't go away at all, but they had another lovely side effect....my blood pressure spiked.  And it's been high ever since. 

I had a doctor tell me once that the medications probably triggered my genetic predisposition to hypertension.  Thanks, Dad!

Ever since then, I've had it. 

I lost a bunch of weight right before I got pregnant with AJ in an attempt to lower it naturally.  No such luck.  My doctor was thoroughly impressed with the effort, but said I was stuck on the meds indefinitely.  Then I found myself pregnant, with hypertension.  Already lumped into the high risk category for gestational diabetes, I now had this too.  Ugh.

It got bad towards the end of the pregnancy and they started to fear it would turn into eclampsia.  So, out AJ came.  A little earlier than I would have liked, and not under ideal conditions, but he was healthy. 

Since he was born, it's been the same.  High.  I ran out of medication one month and missed a few days,  checking it at the grocery store every day.  It was always okay...so I started to wonder if I really needed to be on the meds anymore.  I talked to the pharmacist (they know me well there, a little too well...by product of 4 kids and asthma) about things like half life and reasonable windows of effectiveness.  He decided that I very well may not need to be on it...but had to talk to my doctor first. 

It took a few months for me to get around to that.

Today is the day. 

Unfortunately, stress affects blood pressure pretty much directly.  My life is stressful to say the least, so I have no delusions that I will be able to get off the meds any time soon, if ever.  It would be nice though.

Serenity now....serenity now.

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