In Which I Act Pitiful to Gain Your Sympathy
Did I mention that wearing the 24 hour blood pressure cuff was irksome? And it was! It was if "irksome" is this season's new word for "insanity inducing painful". I'm fairly certain that this device I wore all day and all night yesterday appears on the CIA's list for "enhanced interrogation" methods.
By the time it was midnight, I was about to scream. It had been going off every fifteen minutes but would do it twice per session so eight times an hour I was having the shit squeezed out of my arm. It had switched over to night mode around 9pm but I was still having it go off four times an hour. I was still concerned that I kept getting error readings but later on it got over whatever was throwing it off and began taking proper measurements again - at least it would after one false start.
Sleep wasn't looking like it would be a reality so I stayed up to watch the Republican nominee debates on CNN. I have to say it seems insane for me to have my blood pressure measured while I'm watching politicians say things that make me want to slap their heads off but sometimes they're so ridiculous that it's good for a giggle. I, however, was in no mood for amusement of any sort. By 3:00am my left arm felt terrible. It had good color and it was warm but it was also terribly painful from having it squeezed so hard so many times and my arm from the elbow down was very swollen. At one point when the cuff pumped up it squeezed my arm so hard I thought my fingertips would burst open.
I finally abandoned the
It was at that moment that I developed a whole new appreciation for my husband and what he has to endure. You'd think I would already have a good idea of what the paralyzed endure but having my right arm bound up and unable to move it freely made me realize that B puts up with stuff that would have me become a sniveling baby within ten minutes. I mean just how does B put up with not being able to shift into a more comfortable position? He hates to wake me up unless he really has to so if he's laying funny or his shoulder or ear becomes weary of being laid upon, he just puts up with it. Me? I'm way too much of a crybaby to deal with that sort of thing.
By the time 5:15am rolled around the cuff was back on daytime readings so any rest I may have gotten was again back to being interrupted eight times an hour. I was absolutely miserable laying there with tears in my eyes and couldn't wait until I could get back to the doctor's office. I finally got up at 6:30am, washed my face, brushed my teeth, brushed my hair, dressed and was out at the streetcar stop before 7:00. I arrived at the doctor's by 7:20 and waited another half hour before the doctor's assistant removed the devil's plaything from my arm and got the readings off of it.
My doctor, upon inspecting the results, said "Your blood pressure is a catastrophe.". And a good morning to you too, Frau Doctor! But it was. The median reading was 184/118. It even sucked during the night readings but in my defense it's not like I ever slept. What is puzzling the doctor even more is why my blood pressure would shoot up like this in less than a month. When I had seen my doctor on November 8th my blood pressure was its customary 120/80. When I saw my gyn on November 15th my blood pressure was 188/124. She asked me if I had headaches (no) or bouts of dizziness (no) and the only symptom I could report was that my hands and feet had been feeling swollen a little too often.
The doctor ended up giving me some medication to tackle things as they are now - a combination drug to lower my blood pressure, lower my pulse (because it had been running about 95bpm) and to relieve the swelling in my hands and feet. I've taken one pill and just now my blood pressure was 146/98 and my pulse was 72bpm. Much improved except I still have no idea why one week I'd be perfectly normal and the next week my blood pressure would be ringing the bell. I'll be on this medication for a week, see the doctor next Thursday and see where I am at that point.
I don't like the idea of having to take blood pressure medication every day but I like the idea of having a stroke even less. And if it keeps the Cuff of Hell off my arm, I'll comply.