I’m having blood pressure problems again. Gah! So frustrating!
A couple of weeks ago I had my annual physical, and as part of said annual physical, my doctor checked my blood pressure. Imagine my surprise when it was 150/70! Whaaa?? That bottom number is fine, but where the heck did that 150 come from?
As you may (or may not) recall, I had blood pressure problems in pregnancy – pre-eclampsia, in fact. But I’ve since got my BP back under control – or so I thought…
To be fair, I was having a really stressful day (or was it week…or even month…?) when I got that 150, but really any high readings are troubling to me as a diabetic, and particularly as a diabetic with proliferative retinopathy that tends to bleed with high BP. (Yep, the eyes have also been unusually leaky in the last few weeks.)
My doctor was also somewhat concerned. He asked me to monitor it at home (I bought a home monitor during the pre-eclampsia phase) and to come back in a couple of weeks.
In the meantime, I went to my home-away-from-home, the Youville Diabetes Centre, and had my CDE (the wonderful Michelle Chrisp) check it there. I figured I might be suffering from white-coat syndrome with my doc, but surely I wouldn’t with the lovely Michelle! But even there I was 140/73! Come ON!
So, I’ve been monitoring it (relatively) faithfully since then. At home I was getting pretty reasonable numbers, actually. Mostly hovering right around 120/80, actually. My highest at-home reading was 132/81. So I was feeling pretty good going into my appointment today. I had myself convinced that the high readings were temporary and there was no problem to speak of.
But today at the doctor’s office, that top number hit 150 again! (I don’t even remember what the bottom number was because I was so frustrated when I heard the 150.) WHAT?! And this time I did not feel stressed out or nervous or anything! Well, not prior to the BP test anyway.
My doctor says that it’s common for women who have had pre-eclampsia in pregnancy to develop hypertension later in life. But is this truly “hypertension”? How do you treat a BP that is sometimes 150/70 and sometimes 102/70? If I go on meds to lower my BP, how low is it going to go in the lower points of this BP rollercoaster?
So he (the doc) has ordered a 24-hour BP test, but apparently it takes up to 6 months for a machine to come available to do this. (Let’s not launch into a discussion of public vs. private health care here, mmmkay?) So I’ll be waiting a while, I guess.
In the meantime, I’m going to bring my home monitor over to the Youville Clinic to figure out if it’s actually spitting out accurate results. Beyond that, I guess all I can do is keep an eye on it …
…and try to relax. Yeah. Okay.