Thursday, October 6, 2011

Disappointment at the Doctor’s Office

I had a doctor’s appointment this morning for my yearly exam. All of you ladies know that is bad enough in itself. I must have looked rather nervous because the doctor asked me if I was ok, and I said, “well it’s not exactly fun!” and she said they don’t get many requests from patients to have 2 or 3 exams a year. lol. But I came away from the appointment the way that I seem to always come away from the doctor—feeling depressed and upset.

I don’t really have a problem with this doctor. She is kind and has always commented on my weight loss, although I was the one who brought it up this time, not any of the staff there. I wasn’t even told how much weight I had lost this year, although I know it was at least 20 lbs.—which is very significant! For once, I was not told I needed to lose weight or anything like that, which was nice.

But I came away upset because my blood pressure is still high. Although looking back, it looks like last year they thought it was normal—but I remember them still mentioning that they didn’t want me on my birth control pill because of my blood pressure. As of this morning, I have lost 87 lbs. and my blood pressure is STILL high. Going in to the doctor, I had images of my blood pressure being just perfect and her taking me off of the medications. Instead, I heard warnings of having a stroke, of recommending me not to have a baby, and that I was only 26 years old and need to get this under control and make sure I don’t have a disease. That is NOT something I want to hear at 26 years old.

It’s not that I don’t care about my health. I have turned my life around. I eat healthy, I exercise, and I take care of myself. Granted, none of us are 100% perfect. I started this journey because I was told I was at risk for having a stroke—and to find that it hasn’t helped at all, is really frustrating to me.

I know that some people have high blood pressure because it’s in their genes and that could be the case with me. For the past four years I have been told if my blood pressure doesn’t go down and if I don’t lose weight, they don’t want me on a birth control pill. This time, she said she would not put me back on the pill I’ve been on. She’s switching me to an estrogen birth control pill to see if that works. If it doesn’t lower my blood pressure, I am to see a family doctor and figure out what is wrong with me. She also recommended seeing a family doctor for my asthma/allergy issues because she says there are medicines out there that could get my issues under control and if I am using my inhaler more than twice a week, I need to see someone about that.

So basically, it’s time to start tracking. I’m going to get a small calendar and track everything. I’m going to track my blood pressure, inhaler use, headaches, pain in my side (which she thought could be a pulled muscle (huh?) or my gallbladder), and anything else that I notice. I also requested to have blood work done to test cholesterol and blood sugar because for the first time, she never asked me to have it tested—I usually don’t have it done. She also wants me to have my liver enzymes tested because of my blood pressure issue. All I can do is keep taking care of myself and take control of my health.

I am 26 years old and I don’t want to die of a stroke. I want to be able to have children with my wonderful hubby. But it’s amazing to me to think that my weight might not be the issue…And also a little scary. I think that doctors try to scare you into action. You come away thinking you are going to die, that you have heart disease, that you will never have children, etc. We all know this is a serious issue—but they really know how to hit it home.

I KNOW I am healthier. I know I am 1000 times more fit than I was 87 lbs. ago. I’m sure losing weight HELPS but it may not be the only key.

So I just wanted to get this off my chest. Thanks for listening, my bloggy buddies! Smile

And I also want to thank my wonderful mother for being there to listen to my frustration and my tears. You really are the best. Smile


  1. I'm sorry you are so worried about your health. It is hard when you do all the right things and still have health issues to contemplate.

    For the BP, just continue to lose weight. Also, really think about any processed food you eat because sodium can be a culprit in high blood pressure. You might try using a program that tracks nutrients to see how much sodium you get in a day.

    While being on a medication may not be what you want, at least they do have those for familial high blood pressure. It does run in my family, but I got the opposite. Low blood pressure, which has its own issues.

  2. Another thing I just thought of. Do you ever check your BP outside of the doctor's office, like at a pharmacy or something like that? You could have white-coat hypertension where it is really only elevated from being at the doctor's office. I would start checking that whenever you shop and make a log.

  3. I was just gonna say exactly what Lori said. I used to work at a doc's office, and it is very well known among health professionals that some people really do ONLY have high bp at the doctor's! Surely they had you monitor it outside of the office before taking meds for it, though. You need to try to take it with the same cuff so you get an accurate reading. I can't remember if they recommend taking it at the same time of day or after the same activity (for example, upon waking... mid-day, etc). Why don't you google "how to keep a blood pressure log" and see what you find? I bet you will get some good tips! I'm sorry you came away disappointed. Just imagine how disappointed you would be if you were in the same "shape" you were in 2 years ago! Not having a doctor tell you to lose some weight is a big deal! Woohho!

  4. I have major white-coat syndrome! So I always check my BP everyday for 5 days at the pharmacy leading up to my check up! It really works!

  5. UGH! I have so been there. I had high cholesterol when I was 206 lbs. When I went to the doctor 1 year later weighing 161, I thought for sure she'd high five me for lowering my cholesterol, and losing weight. But no. I still had high cholesterol, and that's all she talked about... :/

    But like you said, we are 1,000 times healthier for losing the weight. It's just not the only key...

  6. It must be so frustrating making so many great changes, and still seeing high BP. I just watched a movie called Forks Over Knives. Some of the people there had BP issues, and the information in the documentary helped them. Just a thought :)

    Keep up the great work!!

  7. I've dealt with the bp problem before, and I know how frustrating it is! Mine is completely stress related (I freak over everything). I think Lori's advice was great- start checking it on your own, see if there's a pattern. Best way to fix the problem is find out what (if anything) is triggering it. High bp runs in my family, so it may just be something you'll have to work with, but I hope not! HUGS!

  8. I'm sorry you are worried about your health. I like though that you are still encouraged to continue on to become as healthy as you can be. Helps me want to keep trying! :)

  9. When I went to my yearly exam I was told i had high blood pressure too. My Dr said she did not want to give me a new prescription until I got my blood pressure under control. (Good thing I had almost 3 months left of meds) I have to watch my sodium intake now. Based on the photos of what you eat, it does not look like you have a lot of sodium in your diet. I just went back to my primary doctor for a check and I was told I did not have to take the blood pressure medication anymore, but I have to go back for another check up.
    Good Luck!



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