Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Friday, May 13, 2016

And Then There Were Three





I may have a problem.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I tense up when the word 'blood pressure' is spoken in this house. I find the subject very frustrating.

Last summer when Bob was not well he got obsessed over blood pressure. He likes to use a wrist cuff, I prefer using an arm cuff. At one point I took our blood pressure cuffs into the office of his cardiologist and the nurses checked them against the cuffs they use in their office.  Still the problem persisted. Finally I spoke to his geriatrician about it and she told me to put the cuffs away and only take his blood pressure if he was symptomatic. That sounded good to me so I had a talk with Bob and we agreed that's what we would do. Later I discovered he was using the wrist cuff in his room and not telling me. He has a thing about gadgets so I said "What the heck, play all you want," and I never challenged him on it.

Recently he's not felt so well so we're back on the blood pressure merry-go-round. He's brought the wrist cuff into the living room where he can report the readings to me. He's apparently some what symptomatic. How much is hard to tell. His readings are always on the low side and the cardiologist likes that, you just can't let it go too low or you have a problem. His descriptions of his symptoms are often difficult to interpret. I do better just watching him. I can usually spot a real problem but it's these iffy in-between episodes that get to me. It's far better if we don't take his blood pressure every day. Today I'm thinking about throwing that wrist cuff out in the street and let the cars run over it.

He took it this morning with the wrist cuff and got 69/37 Pulse 72. I looked at that and figured it couldn't be correct, although he was complaining that things were "sort of hazy." I finally took it with the arm cuff and got 89/41 Pulse 60. That sounded better to me.

Do you or anyone in your household have blood pressure issues? How do you deal with it?

21 comments:

  1. Ken's blood pressure is controlled well with medication. But about those squirrels! When a squirrel finds a nicely-filled feeder, especially a groovy one like yours, he or she feels compelled to share the good fortune. I suppose you should be flattered.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I only invited one squirrel. It was not a blanket invitation.

      Delete
  2. I have high blood pressure and at one time I got obsessed with taking my pressure...like 10-15 times a day. Then I learned that those wrist cuffs aren't accurate if you take your pressure too close together. Just like digital bathroom scales are not accurate if you don't wait at least five minutes. Now, I can't even remember the last time I took mine. I never have symptoms....that I know about but my bottom number has never been in the 40s. If it had be I would be calling my doctor's nurse line.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never had blood pressure problems myself so I don't identify real well with the problem. I like his to be something in the neighborhood of 90/60 but most of the time the bottom number is in the 40s and 50s. Glad to know someone else got obsessed with taking BP.

      Delete
  3. I have high blood pressure and check it once in a while. If it goes above 160/90+ I go lay down and meditate. I am content with 140/80. I shouldn't be but at least it's not pounding in my ears. I'm on medication.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bob's is never high. Always on the low side. You don't have a lot of energy with low blood pressure. May be why he thinks slow and walks slow on some days.

      Delete
    2. Thinking about this and remembering way back when - When the doctor started me on BP meds, we had a time trying to get the dosage right. I felt like a zombie and at one point, I passed out on the floor - my BP was too low, so my medication was changed again. You need to tell the doctor, some spouse's are stubborn.

      Delete
  4. That's a pretty low blood pressure. Most cardiologists/gerontologists would recommend keeping the BP a little higher, especially if he is symptomatic. If he is on BP meds, they may need to be adjusted. Just a friendly suggestion, but you might want to give his doctor a call to report these low pressures. When the BP is that low (if it is accurate), it means the brain is likely not getting a good enough blood supply, which can cause symptoms such as fainting, feeling dizzy, problems with vision, confusion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We go round and round all the time with the cardiologist. I think his pressure is so low it affects his thinking. He doesn't like me to call the cardiologist between his scheduled visits. I need to look and see when his next appointment is and go with him. Bob never tells them anything and never asks questions. Probably need to tinker with the dosage of the BP medicine. It's a fine line we walk.

      Delete
    2. I agree with Carole May.

      Delete
  5. Tom takes mild medication for high blood pressure and hardly ever checks it at home anymore. We have an arm cuff. I was borderline high until I lost weight, and took a reading fairly regularly. Now the cuff pretty much stays in the cupboard.
    Squirrels always come in bunches. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really don't want to feed all the squirrels in this side of town so I may be putting away the feeders if they become a problem. I only invited one, it was not a blanket invitation.

      Delete
  6. We both have high blood pressure but are on medication. LD's has been real low a few times and we worried but it did go up after a day or two. Up to normal. His cardiologist said the only steady blood pressure is if you're dead. We have cuff and arm ones but don't check them much unless he has chest pains or other symptoms. I go WITH Louis Dean to the doctor most of the time unless it's routine blood work and we have no issues. It takes both of us to stay on top of all the meds and appointments and health issues we have!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I seldom went with Bob to the doctor until this last summer. Then for a while I went to every doctor for every visit. Now I pick and choose. I'll be going to this next appointment with the cardiologist. He's about to get past driving at all so if I have to take him I might as well go in with him to see the doctor.

      Delete
  7. I'm the same way about taking my sugar readings. I feel the change in my body and it sends me in to panic - is it going up or down. Glad you are the calm one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Squirrels. That is kind of what happened to me with the doves. I think that all the doves in a 20 mile radius come to see if food is out. Squirrels probably whisper among themselves too. Better get your party shoes ready.

      Delete
    2. As a brittle diabetic you actually have reason to be greatly concerned. I have a sister-in-law with unmanaged type II diabetes. She only takes her sugar readings when she feels funny. Not sure how she thinks that helps other than to send her to her recliner with a margarita to wait until the 'funny' feeling goes away.

      Delete
  8. I'm with Carole on this one. That seems really low and I'm glad you will be going in with him this next time. Sounds like his meds need adjusting. I do use a wrist cuff which I had checked for accuracy by my primary. I have white coat syndrome--higher pressure in the docs office. At home or when under regular monitoring in the hospital I am perfectly normal with no meds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I find blood pressure to be extremely fickle. Bob must have a little white coat syndrome because I can get these very low readings at home but by the time I get him to the ER or the doctor's office his readings are much better.

      Delete
  9. Those readings are really low. My mother, husband and brother all have blood pressure issues and are on meds. They've never been that low though. Wow!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I consider these readings to be dangerously low, we've already spent a day in the ER over this. His doctor says unless he's symptomatic it's okay. We walk a very fine line. Personally I think he adds to Bob's mental confusion and him having no energy.

      Delete