Advice please re blood pressure.: I'm scheduled to... - PMRGCAuk


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Advice please re blood pressure.

Hollyseden profile image

I'm scheduled to get a 24 hour blood pressure monitor fitted tomorrow at local hospital. Sadly I'm just back from being 18 hours at nursing home where my mother in law of 44 years has just passed away. Obviously I'm upset but worrying about this monitor. In circumstances I may get dodgy readings (don't want to end up with meds because of that) but have also waited a few weeks for this appointment and have doc appointment on Monday to discuss results of that and blood tests. 😱 What should I do? Words from the wise ones very welcome.

22 Replies

I am sorry for your family's loss. Don't worry too much, just explain about this factor. Life hardly ever stays normal for us whatever normal is. Keep calm and breathe.

Thanks for your kind words. I'm just worried that readings will make doc want to put me on more meds 😬 I'm already querying the Alendronic acid without a dexascan Also checked BP with home monitor 198/108 . Never rains but it pours as they say in bonnie Scotland 😊

You are right to query everything. I dread to think the cocktail of drugs and more drugs for those drugs, I would now be on, if I didn't keep myself informed and often say er no.

The thing is medics are trained to keep the organism alive no matter what and we just want some quality of life as well. It is also up to us to keep tabs on what we are being bombarded with and the contraindications and the incompatibilities. GPs simply do not have the time to do that.

AA terrifies me!

I wouldn't let high blood pressure go unchecked though. I have just suddenly stopped Amlodipine having pointed out to my GP that a possible diagnosis of Aortic Stenosis is a contraindication for this blood pressure med. It says everywhere not to stop it suddenly but she said stop it and I did and I am still here. Don't get into a twist about it, we are taking Pred. It drives up the blood pressure, perhaps it makes sense to counteract that, hopefully just for the duration. ( I know, hopefully).

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to SheffieldJane

Nice to have company - I have recently discovered that the anti-arrythmic I am on should not be used for patients with sick sinus syndrome unless they have a pacemaker. First appointment for the cardiologist - mid January!!!!!

Oh well - I have been fine on it for over 5 years...

I too am sorry for your loss.

The whole point of 24 monitoring is that it takes it when you are asleep and worrying doesn’t get in the way.

There is something called White Coat Hypertension when the site of a professional puts up your blood pressure.

I even give it to my self and I was a nurse. My husband is a GP and I get it with him as well. He calls it Pussy( my nickname) Daftness

If you take it at home you should do it first thing and

ignore the first reading.

That said your readings are high and if you need to take hypertensive drugs it’s not the end of the world. When you reduce the Pred it should improve however many thousands of us are on them, try not to let this add to your stress, you are being treated, that’s what matters and there is already too much going on with your life.

I have serious white coat for 50 years im now 72!! It just gets higher and higher i used to take my own 20 years ago but i got phoebic with that after being told by a psychiatrist i was playing with god taking my own bp. I used to take it whil relaxed watching say corrie and get normal readings say 110/70 etc but i decided to train myself to go to doc and walked into kitchen imagining table was doctors desk and in a few seconds my bp would zap up to say 200 plus over 140 plus. Im scrared of 24 hr monitor in case it stays high and i burst my arteriers or stroke etc. So for years i ignore bp even the doctors dont take it. Someone told me theres a finger bp measure is it true?? Thanku.

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Augustus-6

There's a finger pulse measure but you need a proper artery you can compress with the BP cuff and listen to the blood wooshing through as you let the pressure down to be able to measure BP.

You won't burst an artery with a 24 hour monitor - but ignoring if you have high BP means you could be putting yourself at risk of all sorts of things. If you HAVE high BP you can be treated and then the risk is reduced.

Augustus-6 profile image
Augustus-6 in reply to PMRpro

Are u sure because when i mentioned this to my doctor a few years ago she didnt seemed to agree it could be a risk. Im not sure i could go to sleep either.

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Augustus-6

I doubt you will find anyone with a medical background who would say anything any different.

Sounds just like me. I can get over 200 /120 all by myself. I did it when I had my cataract done and the more they worried about me the worse if got.

I now take my own and photograph of it on my IPhone to show its normal.

All I can say about the 24 monitoring is that I had it for 48 hours and it was fine. I also had all the tests including an echocardiogram and was normal. Both the cardiologist and my husband agreed that the only think wrong with my heart was it was connected with my head!

As the others say, if you are proved to be hypertensive just take the tablets, they are no worse than some other drugs and keeping alive is what matters.

Thank you for your experience its nice to know im not on my own. I have suffered from insomnia since i had breakdown in my 20s and like b/p the more you think about it the more energy u give it and intensifies the result. Bp and sleep are similar for me accept i can try and forget bp but i can never stop insomnia. 20 years ago i took my own bp ok readings the fam doc thought it was a problem for a psychiatrist who read me the riot act that i was playing God it was then i became phobic with my own device so i agreed to take two lots of bp pills and i havnt been for a check in 20 years im terrified.

5 years ago i was symptom free when i choked was rushed into hospital they said they wanted to do a 24 hr blood test in the morning they had an idea my areteries could be blocked so i had two areteries stented ivwas on auto bp monitoring and i think i gave up since they never said my bp was high. When i left hospital,the first time ive been admitted myself in my life, i had angina i would not go back deciding they would make me worse poss more stents. I took loads of herbs from herbalist after a year it went for 4 years but since feb i have angina back im now taking dr linus pauling vit c and lysine which is suppose to clear arteries and correct bp so we will see.

I had a friend when ivwas 22 he was 24 had white coat which they didnt recognise in those days it went higher and higher his artery burst same for my mother. So i keep away from them and just take repeat bp tab and keep my fingers crossed.

I am on a cruise so have limited internet access.

I am very sorry you have had such a rotten time but you are not going to burst an artery.

Monitoring is sensible when you are relaxed in your home own although if last Fridays Corrie continues I don’t think it will do my blood pressure much good. Ignore the first reading.

Next time you go ask either your GP practice or pharmacist to check your machine against yours so you know it’s acurate.

Be careful about gaining weight, eat plenty of vegetables and make sure you try to relax, all those things help blood pressure.

Finally lean on us, we are all here for you.

"Both the cardiologist and my husband agreed that the only think wrong with my heart was it was connected with my head! " Ooh we do need a sense of humour don't we?!?

DorsetLady profile image
DorsetLadyPMRGCAuk volunteer


Sorry about your loss.

Very good words of wisdom from EdithWales. Raised blood pressure can cause you more serious problems in the long run than PMR any day, so take the monitor, explain your current situation if you want to. Then, if necessary take the tablets, they can always be reviewed as you go along, in fact they should be.

I have been on BP tablets since I was in my 50s (family trait), and remained on same dose all though GCA, now that’s in the past along with the Pred, my dose has been halved, and my BP still well under control. 111/77 yesterday evening.

I, too, am sorry for your loss. I am no expert, but in my opinion you shouldn't worry about the possibility of having to take blood pressure lowering medication. If your doctor thinks you have hypertension, then it needs to be treated. I take 5mg of amlodipine daily to keep my blood pressure under control. I had a tendency to raised blood pressure before being diagnosed with GCA. I have recently completed treatment for GCA and was taking alendronic acid (AA) for 20 months, at the same time as amlodipine. As far as I am aware, AA hasn't caused me any long-term problems. I realise that some people take AA for far longer. It was never suggested to me that I should have a DEXA scan when I started treatment. I do think it's important that we question our doctors about the drugs we are prescribed and all prescriptions are kept under close review.

Thanks everyone for kind words and replies. In my brain fog I don't think I've explained myself properly. I absolutely understand how important it is to control blood pressure but my worry was that maybe because of present circumstances ( ie no sleep last night, lots of phone calls to make and lots of running around to do to arrange funeral etc) my BP may be uncharacteristically high. Doc asked me to check my own BP at home, which I've been doing and todays reading was a high one. Anyway......I managed to get through to hospital and have been given another appointment for later when things will be calmer. Thanks again everyone.

DorsetLady profile image
DorsetLadyPMRGCAuk volunteer in reply to Hollyseden

Okay. That's one less thing to worry about immediately I guess, and as you say once the next few weeks are over hopefully things can return to being a bit more normal.

I know its difficult, been there with parents, parents-in-law and hubby (during my GCA), but you must still take care of yourself. Yes, support your husband as much as you can, but try and get others to do some of the running around (if there are any other family members).

I know its all manic immediately after death, but then there seems to be a lull until the funeral. I was lucky in that both my children were here on holiday when my hubby died, and we all worked and supported each other through a couple of very difficult weeks.

Fortunately, for two reason I think a. woodland burial with no involvement of crematory nor religious bods, and b. my daughter & family had flights booked back to NZ we managed to get the funeral organised the next week - which seems to be very rare in UK nowadays.

Take care.

PMRpro profile image

I so sorry to hear that - I hope it was a quiet and dignified going.

Do it and make sure they have a note of the situation.

Have you had one before? Do you know what you are in for? It really isn't too bad, I've had a few,

You have a BP cuff around your arm for 24 hours which is connected to a battery-powered pump and monitor which you wear on an elastic belt around your waist. Make sure you wear comfortable clothes - that are loose and have wide arms to accommodate the cuff and cables and which are easy to get on and off. Button through is probably better than something that has to go over your head. That applies to everything although they are pretty good about putting cables through the right bits of your bra.

As a general rule. it will inflate every half hour, every hour at night. You have to stop and keep your arm straight as it inflates and deflates and keep a basic record of what you were doing (walking, climbing stairs, eating etc). My husband moved to the spare room for the night so I didn't disturb him - he could watch TV better there than in the bedroom so I didn't mind. I arranged myself with a pillow or 2 to support the arm with the cuff and managed to sleep on my back - and get to sleep much to my surprise.

Part of what they are looking for is how your BP responds to various actions/during the night so it will still provide information for them even if it is all a bit on the high side due to your distress. Often when they start medication it will be "titrated" - adjusted up until they find the right dose, the opposite of us reducing our pred to get the right dose. So that should take account of any vagaries during the Holter, including the "white coat syndrome" effect.

All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well. (Julian of Norwich)

Good information there, I'll check my wardrobe for what to wear and maybe even move OH to the spare room 😉

karools16 profile image
karools16 in reply to Hollyseden

Sorry for your loss. I was told, when I had mine, to stay away from the microwave and mobile phone.

Agree w all that. Main snag when I had mine was that I was allergic to whatever they strapped it to me with. After a v restless few hours, I ripped it off in the middle of the night. Not sure the results were v helpful!

Finally got results of BP monitor and after all the hoo ha and delays etc, all is well 😌 Readings were ok so no need to start pills for now. Doc will continue to monitor and I will happily settle for that 👏👏

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