Sometimes we do not know what we don’t know until someone points out what we did not know or it’s too late! In June, my husband went in for his routine Colonoscopy. When his vitals were taken, his Blood Pressure was 230/130! The BP cuff was kept on him while prior to the colonoscopy procedure the medical staff monitored his BP. It continued to stay in that range. There was a bedside consultation of many doctors who kept asking him,
“How do you feel?”
He responded, “Fine.”
He was very calm, not agitated or upset, he had prepped for his procedure and was ready to get this over with. Luckily, they were able to give him a medication that brought his BP down quite a bit so they could do the procedure. While we were waiting for his release, we decided to get a Blood Pressure cuff. He had always had one, but the last one broke, my husband needs an XLarge cuff which is difficult to find. We ordered that before we left the hospital.
It was important to find out why his BP was so high, he called a cardiologist to make an appointment. We found that cardiologists are extremely busy! His office had to fit my husband in. Three days later, he was able to be seen. He was asked many questions, about lifestyle and family history. My husband’s family has heart disease, grandparents, father all passed away from cardiac events. His mother, sister, niece are on Blood Pressure medication. Genetically, the odds are not in his favor!
The doctor explained that first, my husband would be on Blood Pressure medication he prescribed to bring the blood pressure down. That would control the blood pressure. Secondary issue would be to run tests to determine what is causing the high blood pressure.
That began our summer of heart testing…he had lab work, EKG, Heart Scan, Sleep Study, and Angiogram. Each test revealed another piece of information that started to put the puzzle together. The Heart Scan was the most revealing in that my husband was very high risk with blockages. His cholesterol #’s have always been within range, except for his “good cholesterol.” The Nurse Practitioner explained, “It does not matter what your cholesterol # says, if there is a blockage, that’s a problem.” From that test it was determined an angiogram was warranted, and more than likely the doctor would be putting in a stent or two.
The angiogram revealed my husband had 100% blockage on the one side and 95% blockage on the other…a “widow maker!” ByPass surgery was the only option. We were given the surgeon’s name and to contact him. Two weeks after the angiogram, my husband had ByPass Surgery! He is a very active person, still working, never felt any symptoms, shortness of breath, or racing heart, or not feeling well.Embed from Getty Images
We are incredibly blessed he went in for his colonoscopy that began this journey of putting the puzzle pieces together that ultimately lead to getting to the source of his high Blood Pressure. Listen to your doctor. They are very knowledgeable. One thing we did differently that I am grateful for…my husband always went to his primary care doctor who prescribed blood pressure meds, but did not go further, did not recommend for him to see a cardiologist. We made that decision for ourselves…advocate for yourself. Do your research about what your being told at the doctor’s office.
It might possibly save your life!