Remember this post? The one that started my whole blogging adventure? I was so frustrated as to why I had high blood pressure and the fact that every doctor I visited wanted to put me on blood pressure medication without so much as running tests to rule other things out FIRST.
My blood pressure had gotten to be a “normal” high reading, but because it was steady, but not out of control, I had stopped monitoring it. I felt fine and had no other issues. But, it was always in the back of my mind. I knew there was an underlying cause SOMEWHERE and one day it will be brought to my attention.
Well, fast forward to last May. I went in for a regular OBGYN checkup. The nurse took my blood pressure as usual, but for whatever reason that day it had sky rocketed to a reading of 202/110. Ummm…what now?
They took a few more readings, you know to make sure it was accurate, and yes the readings were still that high.
They were hesitant to let me leave in that condition so they made me promise to go straight to, at the very least, an urgent care facility or equivalent.
I went to the urgent care facility near my house and gave them the high blood pressure readings from the OBGYN. Now because of my age, the fact that I didn’t exhibit symptoms, I had no family history, don’t have high cholesterol, and I’m not considered overweight, the doctor decided to make sure nothing else was wrong (something my previous primary doctor should have done, right?)
They immediately drew blood, ordered a renal doppler ultrasound (to explore the renal arteries), and gave me two prescriptions for the high blood pressure until all the tests came back. Up until then I was able to avoid any medication, but I knew with these high readings I had to go on something in the meantime.
My blood tests came back and everything was normal.
Over the course of the next three months I had the renal doppler ultrasound, saw a kidney specialist (to rule out kidney issues), underwent an MRA (which is pretty much the equivalent of an MRI), saw a cardiologist, had an EKG, and got a nuclear stress test.
The results: nothing.
The final thoughts of the doctors: essential hypertension, which basically means there is no identifiable cause of the high blood pressure.
Well, that stinks. It stinks for so many different reasons on so many different levels.
It stinks because the reason the doctors gave me why my blood pressure is high is not good enough for me.
It stinks because I’m still on blood pressure meds.
It stinks because I just want to know what the problem is so I can solve it.
It stinks because I have no answers.
It stinks because when I explain I have high blood pressure to people they look at me in shock, wondering how a person of my size can have such a condition (yeah I got the bold question asked of me while in the waiting room getting my nuclear stress test). And the look on the pharmacist’s (yes, the pharmacist) face when I pick up a refill and they verify that the patient is me.
It stinks…because…just because.
I share this health story with you: 1) because I haven’t wrote anything about it in a while and 2) to be transparent, to let you know that health issues come in all different size packages.
I have always been the exception to the medical rule. I guess that’s what I’ve always been used to.
So why this? Why now? My diet doesn’t consist of even half the stuff I used to eat years ago. My healthy habits have only increased more and more in recent years.
So what’s the problem?
Well, for now it’s just another battle to fight. I still believe the real cause will show itself one day.
In the meantime, and on the bright side :), I started back working with my naturopathic doctor to see if she could help with anything. I am currently working through all the supplements and other stuff. Also, I’m looking forward to trying other alternative treatments, like acupuncture. Yep, all of this is while I’m still on the bp meds….
And through all of this I found a primary care physician that supports me in helping me get off of the bp meds.
Hopefully, the next time I have something to say about this, it’s better news.
What have you gone through in your life that really puts you through a test?