Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Pressure of High Blood Pressure

Blood Pressure


The screening process to participate in the study was difficult. I was asked general health questions such as age, weight, recreational habits (drinking, smoking) and any known fertility issues. I passed that and was so excited.

When I went back to the clinic for my blood draw, my blood pressure seemed to be higher than normal. I have not had hypertension before so I attributed the elevated pressure to the stress of driving to the clinic which is about 45 minutes from my house. Waiting in the waiting area also gets me stressed. They seemed to accept that answer. However, the next time I went in for a checkup, my bp was still high.

I saw my family doctor to get on BP meds. She gave me Methyldopa (Aldomet) at a very low dose since I did not have a history of hypertension. I also bought a battery operated BP monitor to check myself at home.

I still seemed to have high blood pressure when I went back to the clinic. They had me lie on my left side for a few minutes to see if it would go down. Nothing doing. At this point I was crying. I was so upset because if I didn't have normal BP, I would be removed from the study. (I think that is the main cause of my elevated pressure, not wanting to get kicked off the island so to speak) The study nurse finally said I needed to try Wellbutrin (for anxiety) and Labetalol (another BP med used during pregnancy)

I decided against Wellbutrin but started taking Labetalol. I was also ordered to see a cardiologist and get an ECG and stress test. Let's just say the treadmill on an incline thing is tough stuff. After all that, I finally got my blood pressure under control. It was nerve wracking going through the tests and taking additional medication but being able to get the BP under control and move forward in the study was such a relief.